Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Lorna Sangster

  • Photo: Lorna Sangster, EY

    Lorna Sangster talks to Sync NI about her favourite things about working at EY, how every day is different, as well as how her parents helped inspire and encourage her to pursue a career in technology.

    Check out Lorna's Tech Trailblazer challenge below to read all of Lorna's insightful answers in full:

    What does your typical day look like?

    Usually, I would make a cup of tea first thing in the morning to sip on during my daily standups and morning meetings. However, that is the end of the routine!

    As a consultant each day could be different, one day I could be focusing on project management tasks through Azure DevOps and the next I could be capturing technical requirements or analysing on the impact on our solution.

    In addition to client work I have been part of a number of EY initiatives such Coder Dojo and Time to Code (TTC). The latter is an eight-week coding course at a local primary school which gave young kids experience in basic coding skills.

    What are you currently working on?

    I am currently working as a Technical Business Analyst in the API Management team on a large-scale public sector engagement.

    We are playing a pivotal role in optimising and enhancing their API ecosystem using Continuous Integration and Continuous Development (CI/CD) with our API solution, powered by .NET Core.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    I began my EY journey as a fresh Computer Science graduate, not knowing what area I would like to specialise in. I had applied for EY as well as lots of other technical graduate programs to get a better understanding of my opportunities and to gain deeper insight.

    It was during my EY interview that I became convinced that this was the correct track for me to be on, EY has given me an opportunity and skills to explore various technical options, helping me understand what future career paths are open to me.

    Did you always want to work in the tech industry?

    Not exactly, growing up I thought maths and physics was the path I was meant to follow. It wasn’t until on a whim I decided that computer science seemed like practical/fun maths and added it as one of my choices for university.

    After going to the university open day, I decided that the computing courses seemed more interesting and from then it became my first pick. Though I had always been interested in technology for fun, I was once part of a winning Lego robotics team which included coding a raspberry pi robot with Lego extensions – so maybe the tech life was inevitable!

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    My two favourite things about working at EY are the learning opportunities and the culture. We are given access to extensive resources and courses so that we can expand our skills in a number of areas – not just tech. From badges, MBAs, Microsoft certificates and more, EY fully back so many different types of learning.

    As for the culture, EY has a surprisingly community spirit, with every person from right across the business at all levels wanting to reach out and support you. There are lots of opportunities to network whether a coffee catchup (virtually or physically), attending an event like the summer and Christmas parties, or our all-hands calls.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in the tech industry?

    Technology is the future; don’t be afraid to grasp it now because it is only set to progress further. It is a broad field with differing levels of technical expertise, from developing thousands of lines of scripts to leveraging tech to deliver business needs. Just give it a try and see if you like it – you might surprise yourself!

    How do you see technology impacting on our lives?

    We live a completely different life from what our parents and grandparents lived; the technology boom of the last few decades has helped ease some of life’s difficulties. We are in the era of Neurolinks and AI, technology has impacted most aspects of our lives, and this will continue as the pursuit of knowledge grows.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    Growing up no one in my life had real technical prospects, though my family were very hopeful for me. My parents pushed me to be the first to graduate from university and get a career that will further me in the world. They intrusted me to choose my own path but had always ushered me to STEM as they saw it as the future.

    My dad would inspire me when he talked about how he thought the world would be when I’m older, and the inventions and technology that would be available. He inspired me to see that I could play a part in creating them.

    What do you consider to be the most important tech innovation or development in recent years?

    One of the most significant technology innovations in recent years is the development and proliferations of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

    These technologies have had a profound impact across various industries, driving advancements in automation, data analysis, natural language, processing, computer vision etc. AI and ML are revolutionising fields such as healthcare, finance, transportation, and entertainment by enabling more effective and personalised solutions. The rise of AI tools like language models (e.g Chat gpt) highlights their potential to transform how we interact with technology, work and life.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    It may be cliché or obvious, but I couldn’t live with my phone!

    Phones have become an extension of us, and our way to keep constantly connected. I keep memories, messages, trackers and reminders which have become entangled with my day-to-day life.

    READ MORE: Social Value high on the agenda for EY Northern Ireland

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