Siobhan Tierney

I’ve always had a keen interest in STEM subjects and there was never any doubt I would progress into a STEM career, I studied Biology & Chemisty at A-Level so that I could do Medicine at university, however after some very interesting work experience on a geriatric ward I decided Medicine wasn’t for me!

Without a clue what I wanted to be when I “grew up” I studied Biology at Warwick University. I graduated in 2007 and after travelling amid the financial crisis I returned to a temporary job to work as a project coordinator where I learnt about infrastructure, PCs, networks, interactive whiteboard and projectors. I really loved the company and the people and applied to their graduate scheme where I became a project manager. My first projects were to deliver the Tesco for Clubs & Schools scheme and to introduce LEGO Mindstorms robotics into schools within Oxfordshire which was a joint venture with LEGO Education. Both of these projects really made me feel like my job was allowing me to “give back” by supporting the next generation of children with their STEM opportunities. I also worked on new product introductions which got me back into the nuts and bolts of PCs, servers. I was mentored by two amazing strong female project managers who taught me how to get the best out of people and how to use my skills to always get the job done. I will never forget the impact they had on my career especially as they encouraged me to always try new things and push myself to go for new and exciting opportunities.

Later, I moved within the same company managing the delivery of all IT into brand new schools and academies. It was awesome! I was on building sites in a hard hat and boots, writing and deploying patching schedules and doing whatever was needed to get the job done and ensure that a new school could open on time. I loved this job, however, I wanted to progress and try new things, so I moved to a company offering similar IT solutions in the B2B sector as well as education. I got to hone my customer management and stakeholder skills with businesses with totally different requirements and needs to those in education. I was really fortunate to work with new technologies and some very big companies which gave me new experience in a corporate world I hadn’t been introduced to until then.
In 2012 I decided I wanted a new, bigger challenge and applied for a role at Vodafone as a Senior Project Manager, having never delivered a software delivery project, I was thrown into the deep end on their CRM & Billing transformation programme where I had a portfolio of projects delivering archive management and single sign on capability amongst others. I worked very hard demonstrating my ability to deliver and my track record and ambition led me to persuade the programme director to allow me to manage the next two concurrent releases with over 25000 man days worth of development. It was like a drug! I knew I loved programme delivery, it was fast-paced and exciting and I got to learn from some of the most experience professionals in the industry.

Following this I moved to Vodafone Group managing global retail demand and engagement and working on a retail-led omnichannel strategy which led to an opportunity at Telefonica UK (O2) where I was offered a role to deliver their omnichannel transformation programme and I snapped up the opportunity. I have been fortunate enough to have a wide variety of roles within O2, often being asked to pick up challenging programmes. I led the agile Online delivery team alongside delivering customer-facing programmes such as O2’s industry leading Custom Plans, GDPR and the Apple Watch on O2. Last year I started a role managing O2’s Enterprise and Business IT portfolio and Salesforce platform taking me back to my roots with the types of projects I was delivering to B2B customers around 8 years ago.

Earlier this year, I was asked to pick up the customer migrations for O2’s Accelerate billing and charging transformation programme due to my previous experience. This is a highly challenging and complex programme that requires a significant amount of time and energy. I feel like I am learning something new every day and reaping the benefits of the scale and importance of the programme with my own career development objectives.