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Co-Director of Germinaid Innovations

Ciara Judge

Job title
Co-Director of Germinaid
Company
Germinaid
Industry
Science and Technology
Experience
Still in education! Second year genetics student in UCC!
Education
  1. I completed my leaving cert last year and have just finished my first year of a bachelors degree in genetics in UCC.
  2. I’ve also attended various entrepreneurship and science incubators and courses, including MIT Launch and Outbox Incubator
Favourite subjects in school
Chemistry
The best thing about my job
I think my favourite thing about the work I do is that I get to follow my own curiosity.

My only advice for people considering undertaking self directed research would be to make sure and choose an area you’re interested in, and be prepared for some hard work. It’s important that you are dedicated, and do your research in whatever area you want to study.

The empowerment of young people is something I am hugely passionate about.

My Main Tasks

I suppose my career is very different to most at the moment in that it is self-driven. I work for myself, and don’t get a paycheck or anything of the sort: my reward is progress, and getting to feel like I’m making the world a better place! Who knows, in the future Germinaid might be enough to support me but we are still very much at the research stage now. Resultantly, my tasks are assigned by myself for myself, and at the moment they are centered on making progress on Germinaid’s current experiments. The necessary skills really are a willingness to learn and an interest in science, and of course the technical lab skills I’ve built up over the years. I also attend and speak at many different conferences all over the world as a result of the work that I do which is very rewarding. For that, you need a lot of confidence to stand up in front of a huge audience and tell your story, which is luckily something I’ve gotten used to over the years!I have also started to speak more often at schools in the Cork area, where I can share my story with either primary or secondary school students and try and encourage them to embrace their difference, and break from the mold by getting involved in STEM at an early age. The empowerment of young people is something I am hugely passionate about, and speaking at schools allows me to do this.

What I Like

I think my favourite thing about the work I do is that I get to follow my own curiosity. Science and research are things I am keenly interested in, so being allowed to pursue my passion is great! I also have had the opportunity to travel due to speaking at events, which is really enjoyable!

Challenges

Sometimes it can be very difficult to find motivation to do what I do. It’s hard at times when the rest of my friends are going out, having fun, and I have to sacrifice time to spend in the lab or attend speaking engagements.

Who Influenced Me

I think my family environment really influenced my career direction. As a child, I was always encouraged to be curious, and to search for the answers to any questions I had. My parents would help me when I tried to invent crazy new contraptions as a kid, so having grown up in a home like that I naturally chose a path towards STEM.

Work/Life Balance

For me, I certainly have a good work/life balance. I am still a student and still find a lot of time to enjoy student life, which is great.

Most Useful Aspects of my Education

I would say the modules that I have taken so far in college in biology have been the most useful. It was quite interesting as a lot of the material we covered was very familiar to me, as I had had to learn some of it for doing the project in secondary school!

Useful Work Experience

That’s the best thing about what I do! No experience required at this level: just take the leap, jump right in and start exploring!