From SciFest to Intel

From SciFest to Intel

From SciFest to Intel: Oisín O’Sullivan’s Journey in STEM

The following blog was published on the website on 4 April 2024, click here to view.

Oisín O’Sullivan has had a lifelong passion for technology, cybersecurity, and paying it forward through STEM education. That journey has included Intel at almost every step, from winning a national Irish STEM competition sponsored by Intel, to receiving the Paul Whelan Scholarship, to his current work as an intern on the Digital Verification team. Through it all, Oisín says he’s learned from industry experts and now hopes to use Intel’s global platform to inspire younger students in STEM.

We spoke with Oisín about his journey to Intel, his passion for engaging the next generation, and his plans for the future.

What led you to Intel?

My interest in computer hardware and security started in my early teens. I used to create YouTube videos explaining security vulnerabilities and, at 14, I discovered a vulnerability in my school network that sparked a long-term career interest in hardware security. Throughout high school, I participated in STEM competitions around Ireland. My participation in these competitions culminated in a national award at the 2019 SciFest competition, which is sponsored by Intel. Thereafter, I discovered Intel Shannon’s Paul Whelan Scholarship while studying Cyber Security & IT Forensics at the University of Limerick. The scholarship includes an integrated internship at Intel, and I jumped at the opportunity to apply.

I’m currently in my third year of undergraduate courses and on my second internship at Intel. I have never looked back. In fact, sometimes I pinch myself as a reminder that this is real life. As a lifelong fan of Intel, it is a dream come true.

Your community involvement includes mentoring younger students in STEM. Can you say more about this?

I have received support and guidance from kind people along my career journey, many of whom are Intel employees, and this inspires me to pay it forward. Last year, I was offered the chance to return to SciFest as a judge, where I got to see some familiar faces. It was great to give back to an organization that has been so great to me since I was a youth, and I hope to return annually forevermore!

I am so thankful to everyone who has helped me thus far, and I feel it’s my responsibility to transfer that knowledge to future students to promote a pipeline of kind-hearted, smart, enthusiastic IT professionals. As a teacher, I love witnessing the unique insights that young students have. It is a privilege to help them unlock their true potential – academically and personally. Through them, I, too, am constantly learning.

How has volunteering contributed to your personal and professional growth?

Teaching and volunteering have pushed me out of my comfort zone and instilled in me a sense of curiosity and fearless innovation, which I apply daily at Intel. Thanks to these experiences, I feel more confident presenting my research and engaging with experts in the field. I constantly question the status quo and hope to pass these learnings on to the next generation of students in STEM.

How do you hope to continue giving back to your communities, in Ireland and beyond, as you progress in your career journey?

I am actively involved in a few of Intel Shannon’s community projects, including the sports and social committee and the STEM education program, which introduces young people in Ireland to the work that Intel is doing. In the future, I plan to support the company’s Mini Scientist Competition where I can gain more experience mentoring and fostering younger people’s love for STEM.

My goal is ultimately to pursue a PhD and return to Intel, where I can continue my work driving Intel’s security-first policy while hosting workshops, hackathons, and other events to engage younger, like-minded individuals in corporate social responsibility. I would love to use Intel’s global platform to foster the next generation of security professionals.

31 2024
SciFest@School in Loreto College, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
08 2024
SciFest@School in Sandymount Park Educate Together Secondary School, Beech Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4
29 2024
SciFest National Final
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