This month, we’re chatting to Senior Technical Executive Karen O'Brien about everythign from Roman ruins to fizzy jellies and working towards that black belt.

Tell us about yourself — what has your career path been to date, and how did it lead you to where you are today?

I studied Nutrition and Health Science in Cork Institute of Technology for four years. During my third year, I came to Nutritics to carry out my four-month internship. I loved it so much I stayed on for the summer, and continued to work part-time throughout my final year in college. I haven’t looked back since! I’m currently completing a MSc degree, part-time, so I’m still part of the CIT family, too (now known as Munster Technological University).

How long have you been part of Nutritics?

I’ve been part of the team for over five years now.

What attracted you to the company?

I loved using the software for some of our modules in college, so I decided to do my internship here. The team was so friendly and passionate about nutrition and technology, and I felt right at home.

What’s your current job title, and what does your role entail?

My title is 'Senior Technical Executive: Integrity & Compliance’. Our team ensures the credibility of the system through the delivery of robust and transparent food data.

What do you like most about your job?

I love having the opportunity to challenge myself and learn something new. 5 years in and I’m still learning every day!

What’s your favourite thing about working for Nutritics?

The people. We have a really great team here and it’s a pleasure to work with such fantastic  people.

How do you define success?

I see success as setting out your goals, and consistently working to achieve them — and being happy while doing that!

Tell us one thing you’ve learned in the last month — work-related or otherwise?

I just got back from a long weekend in Rome with my family. We visited the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Our tour guide said that they have only been able to save 20% of the original structures, as new buildings have been built over the other 80%. We’ll never know what’s left under there. So interesting.

What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?

Admit when you've made a mistake and don’t try to hide it. Reach out, ask for support, fix the problem and learn from it.

What do you like to do when you're not working?

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I love to travel and always have to have some sort of trip booked to look forward to! I also watch Formula 1 every Sunday. It’s my dream to go to a Grand Prix.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

My Kindle. I’m reading Shoe Dog at the moment. It’s about the creator of Nike, and it's so motivational.

Where’s your favourite place in the world?

I should probably say one of the more exotic places I’ve visited, like Vietnam or the Philippines, but Ardmore Beach is my favourite place in the world.

What are the three words that describe you best?

I asked my mum to describe me and she said ’diva’ — but I’ll say enthusiastic, thoughtful and easygoing!

What’s the one food you cannot resist?

Jellies! I love the fizzy ones.

Tell us a fun fact about you that not many people know.

I started shotokan karate last year and am really enjoying it. I’ve got my first two belts already and I'm aiming for that black belt!