Engineering Chic

I get the most bewildering reactions from people when I tell them I’m an Engineer, it’s almost always met with the same response; “gosh, you don’t look like an Engineer, how many girls were in that class with you?” But what’s an Engineer supposed to look like?

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#thisiswhatengineerslooklike

At this point I start to lose people when they assume I’m some glorified electrician working for the ESB and they are horrified that some blonde wan is wandering around in the dirt with overalls and a hardhat. While some projects might land me on site, and yes I do own a couple of hard hats, (it doesn’t give you hat hair), Engineering is so much more than people realise. I am a qualified Electrical Engineer and while I won’t be joining the workforce until June (I got sidetracked and decided to do a Masters), I wanted to give a little information on my journey, my course and my future career.

Why do WE need Electrical Engineers?

Providing electrical power in a modern economy is about generation, distribution and usage in a safe, economic and sustainable way. Fossil fuel energy now combines with solar, wind and tidal energy to create “embedded” generation which needs a “smart grid” to automatically switch users and suppliers in and out while maintaining the quality of the supply. Now this sounds mighty complicated doesn’t?

What does an Electrical Engineer do?

Designs & evaluates electrical systems, products, components, and applications by designing and conducting research programs; applying knowledge of electricity and materials. Confirms system’s and components’ capabilities by designing testing methods; testing properties.

Generally, this is in industrial sized terms, housing is more domestic and small scale, so the next time you walk through a big fancy building it is an Electrical Engineer who has designed and evaluated the electrical system for it and tested it for our safety.

Most Engineers work in a design office, and that’s where I’ll be starting my Graduate Programme, but there is always an opportunity to work on site depending on what sort of experience you would like. My dad is an Electrical Engineer and he hates being stuck in an office, so he much prefers moving from site to site viewing the progress of different projects.

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Electrical Engineering as a Course

Now this is where I should come clean, Engineering was not some childhood dream I had when I was younger, I sort of happened across it, (like when you end up in the wrong queue in the supermarket and you just have to go with it). I had my heart set on being a power-house solicitor in a smart suit with chic heels. Engineering was not on my radar, because I thought it was for boys and I hadn’t taken physics for my Leaving Cert.

But after a brief epiphany in room B269 during the CIT Open Day it was moved to the top-spot of my CAO for CIT, and I got it. There I was landed into Electrical Engineering, 18 years of age and the only girl. I almost ran out of it screaming, but I didn’t, I loved the course content.

I will warn anyone contemplating Engineering, it’s all maths! Even the subjects they name something different, it’s going to be calculations based. But you know what the best thing is? Essays become a dreaded thing of the past, (until your final year project) and you get spend time in the lab building circuits and writing programmes.

The first year in Engineering is spent leveling the playing field, everyone is brought up to the same level in terms of maths and physics, and the electrical circuit analysis classes, you are all as lost as each other, believe me!

My Advice to Girls…

I was the only girl in my course, and it was lonely sometimes and quite daunting, and I second guessed my self a lot, I thought because I was the only girl I was going against some stereotypical norm, that maybe girls shouldn’t be Electrical Engineers, ( I was the only girl out of 48). But I was good at the course, I excelled with ease and got a First Class Honour, I was perfectly suited to Engineering.

So, with the CAO applications officially opening on February 1st, I implore you girls to consider Electrical Engineering, if you are into Applied Maths, Algebra, Calculus and you are highly analytical, a general over-thinker (like all girls, really), then maybe Engineering might just be what you’re looking for.

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But stay true to yourself, I didn’t and I got a bit lost along the way. I have a beauty blog, I’m a qualified Makeup Artist and I love having my nails, lashes and hair done. But I thought in order to be taken seriously in Engineering I should dim my light a little and wore tracksuits to College and didn’t put much emphasis on my hair and makeup, and that crushed me a little. It’s how I got side-tracked, decided a life in Engineering wasn’t for me because of this, which led me to a Business Masters where I could focus on my blog and marketing in general.

And guess what I got bored, I got so bored (not from the course I might add, the MSc in International Business is a fantastic add-on to my skill-set and I now have a very unique qualification at just 23 years of age), but nevertheless I was bored. It wasn’t until I was put in a group to design an APP for a sustainable energy in the Nimbus in CIT, (a team with a female Engineer), that I got to get to grips with a technical project again and I fell madly in love with the idea of Engineering.

Suddenly I wanted to be this stand out female engineer that incorporated all makeup artist, all beauty blogger and all Electrical Engineer. And guess what, I walked into a job, now don’t get me wrong, it took 5 years of hard work and dedication, but the minute I started being true to myself  everything fell into place.

We need more women in Engineering, because we were born to stand out.

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For more information about my course click here

And for an absolutely kick-ass female Engineer that inspire me daily; Authentically Ella

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12 Things I’m going to do when I’m finished my Masters

As most of you know, (generally because I tend to slip it into every possible conversation topic, usually surrounding how EXHAUSTED I am from it), I’m currently attempting to finish a Masters in International Business in CIT. And while the end of my Masters will draw six long years at CIT to a close, (a place I have grown up so much that I will indeed be sad  to say goodbye to), as I juggle an internship, a part-time job and a blog on top of my Masters, I can’t help long for the days where it won’t be all I think about.

So while recovering from a shoulder dislocation, awaiting probable surgery, (I’m really just here for the sympathy vote), I decided to make a list of all the things I plan to do when I’m finished. The majority of these will require tea, pj’s and Netflix.

1.Spend 72 hours under a blanket on the couch binge watching Gossip Girl, Riverdale and every other trashy teenage TV series on Netflix, (sorry Mam), with zero guilt.

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2.  Get up to date with Scandal, I’m only on Season 2, so no spoilers please, and if someone could point Olivia Pope’s stylist my way that’d be fab, I need to learn the art of Power Dressing for my big girl job in June.

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3.Go for an after work drink without having the fear of not being in the library or reading for my impending Lit Review.

j law drinking wine4.Read something interesting without having to critically analyse, paraphrase and Harvard Reference. (Broke Masters Student, 2018.)

harvard referencing cat5.Stop buying handbags based on whether my laptop and college notes fit in.

giant-bags.jpg6.Base my year around events, concerts and trips and not report deadlines and project due dates.

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7.Travel, now I don’t mean bag-packing across Cambodia for 3 months, but a weekend in London would be nice or a three day stint in Iceland or Amsterdam would be great for the ‘gram.

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8.Buy magazines and chick-lit novels in Easons rather than educational reference books and stationery. Honestly, I am more into reading my horoscope than current affairs.

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9.Be an actual grown up. This is the real scary one, no longer am I classed as a student, which I believe still allows you to float around aimlessly, I will actually have to contribute to society, I will be transitioning from broke, exhausted Masters Student to broke, exhausted Graduate Engineer.

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10.Understand the concept of weekends again. I will no longer have to work weekends or pretend to catch up on coursework. I could do all of the things, like go for walks, roadtrips, go to the gym or meal prep for the week ahead. Or I could blow my wages in a less sensible manner by going out on a Saturday night without worrying about Sunday work hours.

saturdaY NIGHT

11.Start watching The Vampire Diaries again from the start, because, well, I can.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES

12.Contemplate applying for a PhD, (sorry Mam & Dad).

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Graduation in October seems like a good while off yet and it seems highly dubious to name me the Master of anything!

Until then,

Barbara

 

 

Acupuncture for Anxiety

So I haven’t blogged in an age, call it what you will, but I think I suffer from regular writer’s block. That, or I just do not do enough outside work and a Master’s to create interesting content. Like who really wants hear about the long hours I spend in front of my TV? Seriously though, if you do want a blog on that I can oblige…..

As some of you may know I suffer really badly from anxiety and when it flares up it’s crippling.

I could be out doing something completely regular or normal and a wave of paranoia will take over and suddenly this thick lump is in my throat and it’s choking me and tears prick my eyes and I need to leave, get out, and run as far away from my brain as possible until it subsides.

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And I was dealing really fantastically with everything until I went through a break up, a really bad, sudden one, the second one in a year, and I was embarrassed and heartbroken. Unfortunately this all culminated into a tragic mess that spiked my anxiety out of control to a point where I was suffering from daily panic attacks and insomnia. Add that to a diet of comfort eating and I was a hot mess!

Luckily I have the greatest friends and one of them suggested acupuncture, this was how I met Sinead Casey of Nea Acupuncture, a city centre based acupuncturist.

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My treatments with Sinead began in late August with a consultation surrounding food, lifestyle and treatment goals. At the time I could hardly speak to her without tearing up. I could hardly breathe.

But Sinead was fantastic, originally focusing on points to help with my anxiety as well as recommending supplements to help detox me and aid my erratic sleeping patterns. She used to check in after treatments to see how I was coping during the week. It was incredibly helpful to have someone else in your corner going through a difficult time.

Throughout the course of treatments she suggested removing dairy from my diet, removing any badness or toxins that would decrease my mood in any way. She sent on diet plans, recipes and app suggestions to help with meditation. Now I am the proud owner of HeadSpace Meditation App and my head feels clearer than it has ever been…

In the last few months, as hectic as my life has been, juggling work, a Masters and a blog, I can now zone out. Things that would have originally affected me personally or caused anxiety do not have as much of an effect. And as for diet I no longer crave sticky things like cheese and removing this has seemed to coincidentally regulated my hormones, clearing up my acne.

I’m braver now, because I feel in control of my anxiety and I can do more things, see my friends more and just LIVE more. It’s win win!

I would highly recommend anyone to give Sinead a visit for any lifestyle advice or treatments, as it has been such a natural yet effective way of helping me cope with my anxiety.

You can contact her at neaacupuncture@gmail.com, your mind and body will thank you for it!

 

 

Finding My Selfie

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A year ago I got lost….

Fresh from completing an honours degree in Electrical Engineering I decided to swerve and take the ultimate U-turn, and signed myself up for a Masters in Business. I was burnt out from the rigorous 4 year course I choose for myself as a naive 18 year old, so perhaps I mistook utter exhaustion for a distaste for my undergrad qualification, but truthfully I believe I just forgot who I was.

I had a successful Beauty Blog, I was good at makeup, I loved all things girly- so I got scared, I thought by plunging myself into a Masters with marketing and business that I would somehow fit the mould of the person I was becoming- I subconsciously let myself fall into this trap whereby I had myself convinced I couldn’t be all girly and all engineer.

But I forgot that as well as beauty blogger, I was the girl who grew up playing with lego, who built bikes out of knex, the hardest person in the world to argue with because I am solution driven I want to solve the problem rather than leave things hovering in some grey area.

And so, unlike others who need to travel the world to find themselves all I had to do was a Business Masters, which was possibly the best decision I will ever make, where I met the best people in the world who helped my find myself again. Someone who, honestly has been missing for a long time.

Someone who quickly discovered that I should never have attempted to disregard my degree, but yet stand beside all the other strong women, the ones who were laughed at in school for picking “manly” courses, the ones who ignored everyone who said we couldn’t do it and delight in the shocked responses when people find out you are an engineer. 

While my career path may still be a little foggy as I enter my second year of my Masters, but one thing’s very certain, my name is Barbara and I am an Electrical Engineer and a Beauty Blogger.

May you never try to only choose parts of who you are, because who said you can’t be both!

 

**This Blog was inspired by Engineers Ireland’s Women in Engineering https://youtu.be/wK-ktil4wic **

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The Cork Rose Centre is like Carlsberg- Probably the best in the world.

I never really told anyone the real reason I entered the Cork Rose of Tralee, while of course I have always wanted to enter and I really did want to make new friends coming from an all male Engineering class, that wasn’t the whole story. So let’s put this image in your head, it was late March, hair was greased to my head, eyes were red and puffy from 72 hours of straight ugly crying as my disastrous relationship had ended for the final time and I was curled in a mess attempting to recover fragments of my sanity.

And then like a sign from some greater power the Cork Rose of Tralee ad appeared on my Facebook and I swear all it took was 20 seconds of courage mixed with pure Irish thickness in a very mature “I’ll show him” manner when I downloaded the form and entered it. I might add that the photo I attached to my application form was an earlier more flattering representation of myself. I pressed send and forgot all about it.

Until suddenly hours before my final exam, I was contacted by Denis Griffin, the coordinator and everything became real and the panic set in. It seems funny to remember the fear of meeting most of the girls for the first time back in Silversprings, I couldn’t even catch my breath. I don’t do well in social situations so this was me living way outside my comfort zone, practically paralyzed in an anxious incoherent bubble.

And yet this was single-handedly the best experience of my life and I was skeptical, when referred to as the Cork Rose family I felt pessimistic, how could 51 girls in competition ever resemble a family? And yet that was exactly what we were.

I felt people had this perception that the Cork Rose of Tralee was a “lovely girls competition” and yet when I reflect on the people I met in this competition I am so humbled by the strong, intelligent women that I got a chance to know, I was among PhD students, engineers, nurses, teachers and a few not-so-boring accountants with a few girl trained in martial arts. Girls so confident and self-assured that they could put themselves out there and allow themselves to be judged, to get up on stage and take on a crowd and do it high heels and a dress!

It was the loveliest experience from getting to meet the Cork Rose centre team and Denis’ Facebook videos and Will’s snapchats, to getting a bit too used to being helped off the bus by an escort in a suit. I had to hold back tears for the final selection night as I was so overcome by pride for the girls and how far we came together on this crazy adventure.

Ladies and gents you will never realise how much of an honour it has been to meet each and every one of you and Despacito will forever remind us of the summer we all became roses and escorts. To Aishling, our 2017 Cork Rose, you are an absolute lady and I can’t wait to cheer you on in Tralee….

Oh to oh to be, oh to be a CORK ROSE!

 

Monday Makeup Madness- All about the base!

I’m struggling today, this Monday lunchtime, I’m currently tucked behind my desk gazing out at the blue skies and stunning weather as I attempt to motivate myself to begin trekking through the mountain of Masters work in my path, and sure enough, both the creative and procrastination juices have started flowing and I found my long lost urge to blog….FINALLY!

I decided I wanted to introduce a new segment into my blog, Monday Makeup Madness, where I create a wish-list, or a review on a specific product or range I have been loving. This weeks blog is all about bases and the ones I have been using for a while!

First things first a ‘lil skin back story, I suffer from acne so anything I do tend to use is full coverage and my skin is super sensitive as well as dry/combination, so the sheer hint at something heavy and scented and my skin breaks out! So anything I do use should also be perfect for my sensitive skinned sisters out there!

My main foundation of choice is under €15 and it is one of the best foundations I have every used, and trust me there’s been a lot! NOTE Cosmetics was recently launched in Ireland late last year, with Tara O’Farrell of TARA Makeup representing the brand. I was first introduced to it when I luckily won a competition to be a model for one of her makeup masterclasses.

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#takeNOTE

NOTE cosmetics have a few different foundations in their range from compacts to mineral foundations, but this one is my favourite! The Detox & Protect foundation contains an SPF15, which is vital and it is full coverage. Similar to MAC Studio Fix Fluid and Studio Sculpt, for only €13.95 it is an absolute must-have for everyday wear, I am quite pale but I wear the shade 02 Natural Beige and it matches perfectly. In Cork I picked this up in Sam McCauley Chemists, but it can be bought online here

My second favourite was the very first high-end foundation I have ever owned and I return to it time and again, MAC Studio Fix Fluid has a cult following and it is worth every penny! At €32 (excluding pump) it is a long-lasting, oil free foundation with the fullest coverage MAC offers. Some people love it and some people hate, it is not suitable for those with very dry skin but suits those with normal/combination as it clings to the skin for an all day flawless finish. It has a matte finish to it, but this can be mixed with MAC strobe cream for a dewy glow or you can just use it as an excuse to overload on the highlight!

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MAC Studio Fix Fluid

Again I wear one of the lightest shades in this, NC15, the C stands for cool tone, meaning it’s yellow based to dispel any redness originally in your skin tone, which I would have from acne. I would recommend getting a professional colour match for this as there is a MASSIVE colour range and it’s totally skintone dependent. Once you know your colour you can buy online here P.S there’s a free gift with purchase RIGHT NOW!!

Last but not least is from YSL, now before anyone gasps with shock at the price range for YSL, this foundation was €35 from Cork Duty Free, it retails at approx. €42 in store but it lasts a really long time and the packaging is as beautiful as the product inside. Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation replaced its iconic, dewy light to medium foundation previously released by YSL. And I was so happy they did!

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YSL Touche Eclat Le Teint

Their new formula is a medium to full coverage foundation that STILL gives a dewy all-round glow! This foundation would suit a multitude of skin types, obviously if you have incredibly dry skin then you do need to be careful, but it incorporates to longevity of a full coverage foundation with the brightness and demi-matte (dewy glow) appearance of a lighter coverage base. It ticks all the boxes for me! I wear Bd10 in the summer when I’m slightly darker but generally I wear the palest shade B10 and I bought from Brown Thomas Cork and it’s also available on their site here

But the most important thing about choosing your foundation, after assessing your skin type, is to choose the correct colour, firstly it’s best if you can identify what tone your skin has…

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Skin Tone Matching for Foundation

By checking the back of your wrist you can check what colour your veins appear to your skin, blue veins are cool-toned (which is the colour category I’m in), a greeny-blue colour is warm-toned, usually with a pinky-golden tone to your skin and a purple-green colour is neutral. C on a foundation usually signals cool-toned, with W meaning warm-toned and N being for neutral, there is also a lot of drugstore brands that range their foundation shades this way.

The best place to check a foundation colour is by checking it on your jawline and you should test the best out of three shades, just like below:

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Foundation matching is best on your jawline.

The colour that disappears on your face and neck is your perfect colour, you may not find your exact colour but the idea is to choose the closest shade. The foundation should only be darker than normal if you are planning to wear tan- it is not to give your face some colour, that’s what bronzer and blusher are for!

Now that I’ve wasted enough time away from my coursework I better get back to it!

Have a Fab Monday X

 

 

Afternoon tea with Eimear Varian Barry

On Sunday I met one of the most fabulous people, the most down to earth, friendly and inspiring person. Did I mention she is also a super fabulous, accomplished blogger?! Eimear Varian Barry!

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EVB speaking with IrishFashoholic, Emer O Mahony

Corkonian Eimear started out in RedFm after studying film making, but her love of life and travel has taken her all over the world, not that you’d think it though as she hasn’t lost bubbly cork accent! An inspiration to all of us she started out taking photos of her new life as a mother and turned it into a career- her Instagram feed is the stuff of dreams filled with beautiful thematic images representing her iconic brand. It really gave me the kick up the arse I needed!!

The mother of two spoke so eloquently for 2 hours alongside Lockdown & IrishFashoholic’s Emer O Mahony, who, is probably more stylish pregnant than I may ever be in my life! The talk was held in Cork’s newest Afternoon Tea venue, Electric, where the prosecco was flowing along with gorgeous savoury and sweet nibbles.

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Sweet Tray from Electric Cork

Eimear’s message was simple to us aspiring bloggers in the audience, if you want it, work for it. It is clear that while she has an eye for fashion and photography, Eimear Varian Barry has balls! She made her blog work because she had to- and everything in her life has brought her up to this moment. She didn’t sit at home waiting for her following to grow and for collaborations to come knocking, she went out and asked for them, she made it happen- all this while staying true to the brand she wanted to create, she now collaborates with the likes of Julian MacDonald!

The Afternoon tea was incredible, from Electric’s new menu launch and I already can’t wait to go back!

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It was the loveliest event I have been to, such a different, relaxed atmosphere filled with a wealth of inspiring knowledge about improving my blog and succeeding in a digital environment. So here is to taking chances, putting myself out there and making it work!

live-boldly