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Home » Women in STEM » What is it like to work in STEM at a global company?

Emer O ‘Brien

Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Jacobs

Katarzyna Bawolska

EMEA DAG Manger, Jacobs

Two young women in STEM explain the variety of career routes offered by a global solutions group. 

Women at Jacobs are solving the world’s most critical problems. They provide technical, scientific and project delivery services in sectors spanning intelligence, infrastructure, cyber security, climate response, space exploration, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Its graduate scheme offers the chance to explore the variety that working in STEM brings. We asked two young women what it’s like.  

Q: Why did you choose to work for this company

Emer O’Brien, who joined the graduate programme in 2021 as a mechanical engineer, says: “Jacobs offers so much scope. It has three offices on the island of Ireland but is located in over 40 countries globally with a workforce of over 60,000 people — and it works in so many sectors. I’m currently in the pharmaceutical sector. First, I was involved in designing a pharma plant in Switzerland; and I’m now on a construction site in Dundalk, helping to build another plant. It’s interesting because each project is different.” 

Katarzyna Bawolska, a member of the building information modelling (BIM) section of the company’s Design Automation Group says: “I joined in Krakow as a civil engineering graduate, later moved to Sweden, and now, I’m in Ireland. The company offers interesting challenges and plenty of international opportunities.” 

You’re paired with a mentor, so you benefit from their experience.

Emer O ‘Brien

Q: What do you like about the graduate scheme? 

EO: It introduces you to different areas of the company. As well as design and construction, I’ve had experience in sales and other business sectors. You’re paired with a mentor, so you benefit from their experience. 

KB: I didn’t do the graduate programme. But I have worked with people on the scheme, and it provides wide experiences — which not all schemes do. The electronics sector that I work in has a very high level of BIM experience, and many experts here have been involved in BIM for years, so I learn a lot from them. 

Q: How do you see your future in STEM? 

EO: I’d like to gain as much experience as possible and do a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. Jacobs has a scheme that may help fund that. Ultimately, I want to scale the corporate ladder here, preferably in project management or design. 

KB: I am in a newly created position, so I will be building my team to 15 and passing my knowledge on to them, so we can provide project support. I want to climb the management ladder and, being in an international company, that could take me anywhere. 

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