Caitlin Costelle from Genuity Science sits outside a craft brewery enjoying a glass of beer.
Image: Caitlin Costelle

Walking in Memphis to running automation tech in a Dublin lab

8 Apr 2021

American Caitlin Costelle made the move to live and work in Ireland during a global pandemic, which presented a unique set of challenges.

Caitlin Costelle swapped her home in Tennessee for a new life in Ireland and a job working as senior scientist at Genuity Science, a company powering cutting-edge genomic research.

Here, Costelle tells us about her career journey thus far.

‘I encounter a new challenge daily that pushes me to think outside of the box’

Where are you from and what’s it like there?

I moved from Memphis, Tennessee in the United States. Memphis is a city full of history, live music and amazing southern-style comfort food. Although it is a hardworking city, the people are laid back and easy going.

How long have you been in Ireland?

I moved to Dublin in December 2020.

What prompted your decision to move here?

My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting Ireland a few years ago and had a wonderful time. I found an opportunity for me to work for a great company and decided to go for it.

What’s your role in Genuity Science?

I am a senior scientist in automation. I develop and program the liquid-handling robots in the lab at Genuity Science. These automation instruments aid in prepping and processing the thousands of samples that come through our lab to be sequenced on our high-throughput genome sequencers.

How would you describe your working environment?

The working environment is very supportive and a great place to discuss ideas on how to accomplish tasks and goals. I feel like I can express myself and ask questions without negative feedback or judgement.

What do you like most about your job?

I encounter a new challenge daily that pushes me to think outside of the box. It allows me to collaborate with my colleagues and brainstorm many different solutions to a problem and what will work best for everyone.

Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?

Unfortunately, I moved during the global pandemic where a lot of services are closed or have limited access, making most immigration tasks more difficult. Even though things have taken longer to process, such as setting up immigration interviews or just getting a bank account, I still think it has been a good experience moving to Ireland and am happy we did.

One of the things that typically help someone adjust to living in a new country or city is the ability to go to the local restaurant or pub and meet people. What better way to strike up a conversation with someone than over a plate of delicious local food? With everything locked down, we haven’t had the chance to do that yet. But, luckily, we moved to a great area with plenty of parks to walk around and have picnics. Just seeing people out and about has really kept us positive that once the lockdown is over, we won’t have any trouble making friends and getting to know more of our neighbours.

Things haven’t been too difficult, but different, because of the circumstances. Stay positive and everything will fall into place – that’s what I believe. There are plenty of beautiful things to do and see, so I enjoy what limited things I can now, knowing that it can only get better.

What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?

I think what surprised me the most was how much people appreciated being outdoors, even just for a walk, no matter the weather.

How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?

I like that we are encouraged to step away and go outside for a few minutes to take a break. It really does help if you can just take five minutes to go outside after struggling with something or sitting in front of a monitor for too long. I feel like I come back clear-headed and refreshed, ready to start again.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

Everyone has been so nice and helpful. I also really like how communities take pride in their parks and green spaces. No matter what the weather is like, people are always out walking and just enjoying the natural beauty of Ireland. I also really like how it is a priority that food is locally sourced and the high-quality standard of what we eat.

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