Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked John Smith from Intel to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

John Smith

Engineer - Process

Intel

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  John Smith
On a personal level you need to be a good team player, good communicator and organised. From a technical viewpoint a background in physical sciences or engineering is essential. A PhD in semiconductor related field would prove extremely beneficial. The opportunities are vast within a company the size of Intel so you do have the option to change career direction if needed.
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Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Dr Joseph Roche - Research Projects Coordinator

Dr Joseph Roche, research projects coordinator at the Science Gallery in Dublin, talks to Smart Futures about him being short-listed for a one-way trip to Mars.

Describe your typical day?

There is no such thing as a typical day. It varies between science research, education and outreach, media work, and travelling. On an average day in the Science Gallery , I attend meetings about research projects, and give talks to students and tours of the exhibition. If I’m travelling I attend meetings, give talks and teach workshops.

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

The variety! It allows me to do so many things. Before I took this job, I was extremely close to becoming a management consultant. Luckily, this job in the Science Gallery came up and allowed me to do all the things that I wanted to do.

What are the main challenges?

A lot of my work is coordinating research projects that span several European countries. They are funded by the European Commission and require a lot of admin work.

What subjects did you take in school?

Towards the end of school I realised that physics was my favourite subject. At the last minute, instead of going into art, I went into science.

You’ve been shortlisted by Mars One to travel on a one-way trip to Mars.
Why do you want to go?

When I first heard about Mars One, I thought it was a ridiculous idea. It’s a not-for-profit organisation in the Netherlands trying to get into the field of space exploration, in particular exploring Mars. There’s a big obstacle to space exploration when it comes to Mars: the return trip. We know the technology exists, in theory, to put humans there but we haven’t figured out how we’d get someone back. Mars One removed that obstacle from the equation.

They looked for people who were willing to spend the rest of their life on Mars. For some people that seems like a difficult thing to do. However, for someone who has spent over a decade studying science and astrophysics, the opportunity to be the first interplanetary scientist is something that I wouldn’t be able to turn down.

What advice would you give to wannabe astronauts?

For years, the only way to become an Irish astronaut was to go through the European Space Agency (ESA) . When Mars One came along I had to apply. It seems I might have got on the shortlist due to my background in science so, my advice to anyone thinking of a career path like this, is to study science.

Article by: Smart Futures