Meghan Bourke, software developer at Fidelity Investments, tells us why she chose Ireland as a place to live and work, and why hurling rocks.
Where are you from?
I lived most of my life in Chesapeake, Virginia, in a fairly typical American suburb. Chesapeake is located in the southeast of Virginia and is the third-most populous city behind neighbouring Norfolk – home to the largest naval base in the world – and Virginia Beach, a popular resort destination. Virginia has oppressively hot summers and has gotten significant snowfall these last few winters.
How long have you been in Ireland?
Five years – I arrived for good in September 2009.
Why did you move here?
In 2008 I spent the spring semester of my third year of college studying abroad at UCC. Two weeks in I met a young man from Tipperary. Those five months were an amazing and wonderful time, and after that semester I was already putting a plan together to return to Ireland. After finishing my remaining year of college, I went back to UCC to do a master’s in software and systems for mobile networks. I was already aware of many companies, including Fidelity Investments, which had chosen Ireland as their European base, so I was confident I would be able to get a job with two computer science degrees under my belt. I love looking back at how well it all worked out, because I married the aforementioned Tipperary man this past May.
What work do you do?
I am a software developer on the ‘security master and pricing’ team in the Fidelity institutional technology group. We develop and support solutions that manage and distribute financial data for Fidelity’s brokerage platform.
How would you describe your working environment?
Fidelity is a great place to build a career because they value and respect their employees as well as their customers, which is a great motivator for me as an employee. Fidelity really fosters a culture of innovation, encouraging new ideas and technologies that keep things exciting.
What do you like most about your job?
I like knowing the work I’m doing is of value and I enjoy working with my colleagues on my team. I also like that I get to learn new technologies on the job, because actually using the technology is how I learn best. I also think it’s really fantastic how global our everyday work is, not a day goes by that we don’t talk to colleagues in the US and India.
Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?
Luckily I found it to be a pretty easy transition. After spending two-and-a-half months in Italy while my dad was there for work, and a month in Belgium for my own job training, it really made me appreciate how effortlessly I was able to adjust to life in Ireland. It helps that we speak the same language and have similar cultures and ways of life. The few differences were very easy to adapt to; I even drive on the left side of the road and can take roundabouts without any trouble!
What surprised you about moving to Ireland?
How proficient everyone is in Simpsons quotes. I also feel like I should have heard of the GAA before.
How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?
Working for an American company and talking to American colleagues everyday certainly helps! The people on my team here in Dublin are very supportive, friendly, and just really good people. I definitely feel like I’ve settled in here at Fidelity and see myself staying for many years.
What do you like most about your adopted home?
I love the charm of uniquely Irish phrases spoken in Irish accents, hurling, and the scenery of course.