Q&A with Holly Tumelty, Software Engineer at CME Group

  • Holly shares how pursuing a career in tech is for everyone and just how many opportunities are out there.

    You’ve been an intern in several local fintech companies particularly within the audit side of the business, what made you transition towards software development?

    I had never looked into other careers because I had always been interested in auditing as a profession. However, when I took programming courses for my university degree, I fell in love with the challenge of problem-solving and the fact that each problem could have several answers. I started to understand that computing and software engineering offered a wide variety of career opportunities, and that each day would present me with new challenges and learning opportunities. This really appealed to me.

    How did CME Group support you as a software development intern?

    Having less technical experience initially than some of my peers, I was concerned about how I would fare in fintech. But CME Group gave me so much security and confidence.  A mentor was assigned to me for the duration of the internship.  I was able to discuss any challenges or problems with them openly, and they were always available to help.  My manager held regular 1:1 meetings with me and I was able to get constant feedback on my progress and discuss any challenges.  It was fantastic to get that reassurance that I was on the right track, and support when I needed it.  CME Group organised additional activities like escape rooms for all the interns. This gave us a chance to get to know one another and form a support network.

    What would you say has been your most rewarding experience to date working at CME Group?

    Firstly, I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and building relationships with my colleagues at CME Group.  Everyone has been very welcoming and eager to get to know one another.

    From a technical perspective, I was proud to have finished the project I was initially assigned well ahead of time.  I was able to implement additional features and had the opportunity to showcase these to senior members of our business team who recently travelled to Belfast from Chicago, New York, and London. The project, which aids and strengthens our testing experience, received a lot of positive feedback. I took great pride knowing that a project I worked on was so well received by senior management that they want to build it out further and make it available to other teams.

    What would you say to younger girls who might be considering a career in technology but are unsure?

    I would say that the technology sector has a place for everyone. Too many times, girls are put off from pursuing careers in technology because they believe it to be a field dominated by men. Simply have faith in your own ability to enter the tech business, make a difference, and leave your mark. After all, if we don't make the leap and pursue a profession in technology, we won't be able to bridge the gap. You will enjoy a career in technology if you have the eagerness and ambition to learn new things. There are always opportunities and business demands in the technology sector, so you can find what you're looking for there.

    What’s the best advice you would give to anyone applying for an internship role within a large Fintech organisation like CME Group?

    I’m very fortunate that I have had the opportunity recently to offer advice to prospective interns at open fairs and those who have reached out to me via LinkedIn. For anyone applying, my advice would be to go in and give the whole experience 100%. The world’s your oyster; seize the opportunities open to you, and most importantly, just be yourself.

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