Tech Trailblazers

Tech Trailblazer: Jenny Winder

  • Name: Jenny Winder

    Job Title: Consultant

    Company: Liberty IT

    Bio: I graduated with a BSC Computer Science from UUJ in 2014. I was a terrible coder but loved working in tech. I joined LIT as the first graduate Business Analyst and the rest is history!

    What does your typical day look like?

    I mostly work from home but go into the office once every couple of weeks to work on projects with colleagues like preparing to share futurespectives with leaders in Liberty IT and Liberty Mutual, having 1-1 meetings with my manager and using the whiteboard walls to design the next strategy for capability building projects in Liberty IT.  When I am working from home, I’m typically having virtual calls with colleagues in the US to design training classes for Data Scientists across Liberty Mutual. I’m also the chairperson for our LIT Women in Tech working group which involves organising events internally and externally. We’re focussed on network building at the moment.

    What are you currently working on?

    I’m part of the LIT Consultancy team and one of the mandates for our team is identifying strategic capabilities for the organisation – we always want to be two steps ahead.  I have two projects that I am leading on now:

    I have a customer facing engagement in Liberty Mutual’s Office of Data Science. I’m working with experts to design a training curriculum for Machine Learning Operations (MLOps) for Data Science professionals in Liberty Mutual. Internally to Liberty IT, I am taking the lead on building our Consultancy capability throughout the company.  I am running a consultancy skills training programme that around 45 employees have completed so far! The Consultancy area of the business has grown rapidly over the last four years and continues to do so. We are expanding the team and are currently recruiting for four new Consultants tolead, engage and drive the most impactful and complex engagements for Liberty Mutual.

    What inspired you to join this company in particular?

    I joined Liberty IT as an intern software engineer in 2012. LIT visited my university and I applied right away.  I loved my time as an intern and I returned as a Graduate Business Analyst.  Liberty IT is a fun place to work with loads of opportunities to grow and try new things. As a subsidiary of a Fortune 100 company, Liberty IT is constantly evolving and I’ve had the opportunity to try out four different job roles since I joined. It is a great place to work with flexible working patterns and offering career breaks which I am taking advantage of this summer to go travelling for an extended period! 

    Did you always want to work in this industry (tech)?

    In school, it was between nursing and IT for me. I did some work experience in both industries and IT won me over.  The exciting part for me is working with lots of different customers with different needs so I’m always learning about Liberty Mutual’s global insurance business.  I’m passionate about problem solving and collaborating with our business partners to design innovative solutions that help our customers in their time of need

    What’s your favourite part about your work?

    My favourite part is working in a team and collaborating to get something done. There is so much satisfaction getting something over the line as a team.  I’ve been lucky to get to travel with my team to some of Liberty Mutual’s global offices including Sydney, Australia and Bangkok, Thailand to collaborate with our business partners to design quote and policy insurance apps. We pioneered new ways of working to design an app and launch a new insurance product to provide businesses with accident and health cover in Australia in less than six months. It’s a stand out moment for me in my career and the ways of working were adopted throughout the organisation.

    What would you say to other people considering a job in this industry (tech)?

    There are so many opportunities to get into tech and you don’t have to be a coding expert to do it! There are apprenticeships, college courses, university degrees, master conversation courses or moving laterally to get a job in tech.

    How do you see technology impacting on our lives?

    I can see technology helping us to live healthier lifestyles.  I wear a Fitbit and it really encourages me to hit my step goal every day.  Liberty IT runs a programme called LIT Gets Moving which is a fantastic way to get outside and enjoy fresh air. We have a community that shares great walks and scenery across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    Who inspired you to work in this field?

    I went to an all-girls’ grammar school where my IT teacher was female. At A level, we had a small IT class and my teacher made us feel like nothing was out of our reach - this definitely inspired me to apply for a degree in Computer Science. 

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

    For me personally, smart home devices have been a great innovation! Wifi enabled light switches & plugs, a smart thermostat to control my home heating from my phone while I’m out, security cameras & doorbell so I never miss a delivery and google home to control them all.

    What tech gadget could you not live without?

    My iPhone 

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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