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Lightning round with... Gillian, Technology Manager, Systems Engineering

A visual diary of career highlights, from cycle tours to building the 'hospital of the future'

What does your role entail?

I am a Technology Manager in Deloitte’s consulting practice, specifically in the Systems Engineering team. Systems Engineering is a broad team with roles including Business Analysis, Project Management, Architecture, Dev, and Test.

I work primarily in the Digital Care space working with a range of public and private healthcare clients to build or design various technology solutions to support both patient care and clinicians. Together with Deloitte’s healthcare team, we work with healthcare organisations and hospitals on their journey to becoming a digital care organisation or digital hospital of the future.

How did you start out in the Consulting industry and how have you developed since?

Before Deloitte, I graduated from the University of Limerick with a B.Sc. in Health Informatics and, as part of that degree, had completed a 9 month co-op with AbbVie Inc., 2 summer internships with Kneat Solutions Limited, and studied for a semester in Stanford University in the US.

What has always given me drive and motivation in life is helping other people. In the words of Winston Churchill, “we make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”. It is a quote I like to refer back to often. I completed my degree in Health Informatics because my interest was in applying information technology to helping people, particularly in healthcare. I feel Consulting helps me to do this on a daily basis.

Over the last 7.5 years, Deloitte has provided me the opportunity to lead teams, learn from great leaders, and work with a number of important public sector clients in Ireland, Canada, and the US, working on significant digital transformation projects. In addition to this, I’m very thankful to also be in a position to support my Deloitte global colleagues with their healthcare clients, in the likes of the UK, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East.

Within Systems Engineering, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to gain experience as a software developer, tester, business analyst and system designer, and project manager across the full Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), working on a variety of public sector technology projects.

After spending the first 5 years of my Deloitte journey in Ireland, Deloitte provided me the development opportunity to work in Canada for 2.5 years with Deloitte Canada’s Digital Care team, specialising in health interoperability and Clinical Information Systems (CIS).

As well as presenting me with opportunities for learning and growth, both personally and professionally, my time in Canada and the US allowed me to extend my global network considerably. It was an amazing experience leading, working with, and getting to know our colleagues across the globe, bringing our business chemistries together to help solve some of our clients' toughest challenges; a true "As One" diverse Deloitte experience.

I completed my degree in Health Informatics because my interest was in applying information technology to helping people, particularly in healthcare. I feel Consulting helps me to do this on a daily basis.

How has the past year changed the way you and your team work?

2020 certainly threw us an unexpected curveball! My team were no longer jumping on a flight first thing on a Monday morning, and were no longer navigating through the Toronto snow to hop into an Uber to make it to the client offices. Instead, everyone is working from home, trying to build the best home office structure that’s possible within a usually confined space, and doing their best to create a daily routine that works best for them and their family or housemates.

I think everyone around the world can agree the lack of a commute to work has given us valuable time back in our day. I love catching up with my colleagues to find out how they’re spending this newfound time. Answers range from spending more precious time with children at home, to taking time in the morning to meditate or do some yoga, or going for a quick walk, to catching up on some much needed sleep! It’s great to hear most people are taking the opportunity to be productive with the extra time, and that includes catching up on sleep – sleep is very important!

Deloitte Ireland has been super in rapidly putting initiatives in place to support our people during the pandemic and the many level 5 restrictions. We’re encouraged to talk to our leaders about how we are managing, and any additional flexibility that we may need. Deloitte operates first and foremost on a basis of trust, and supports everyone to find a way of working which meets their own needs, and works for the firm and our clients.

For my many colleagues who have children at home, Deloitte have provided many helpful resources, including Deloitte home-schooling camps, virtual back-up care sessions, tips and tricks, resources to keep children of all ages busy, and family competitions, to name but a few. I continue to be very impressed at the amount of resources the internal team have been able to provide in such a short space of time!

Especially during this particularly long level 5 restriction period, it’s important for everyone to remind themselves that this is an unprecedented challenge for many, and therefore take the time to focus on your own wellbeing, work with your leader to create a work pattern that works best for you, your team, and your client, and be kind and empathetic to others.

Outside of being a techie at Deloitte, what can we typically find you doing?

Outside of work, you’ll usually find me on a road bike somewhere in the countryside, running the odd short distance, participating in one of the many global November Project workouts virtually, or singing on a stage somewhere with a choir. Unfortunately, the pandemic has put a pause on singing with others in person. However, that hasn’t stopped the Deloitte choir singing virtually together! We’ve done a few songs since the pandemic started. It’s been a fun experience learning a song together over Teams, recording our lines, and then putting it all together.

In addition to the above, I’m involved in the Deloitte cycling club where we are currently in the planning stage of organising an exciting staff marathon cycle across Ireland later this year, subject to Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines. This would involve cycling by each of the Deloitte offices, in aid of a variety of mental wellness charity organisations. There are three key reasons that are driving us in organising this charity event: to support community mental wellness charities, to support the wellness of our staff, and finally, to connect colleagues from our offices across Ireland.

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