Mairead Whelan - HR Business Partner

Balancing Career and Education—and the Flexibility to Do it All

Mairead Whelan, a HR business partner, shares how she advanced her education while working fulltime at Intel.

Education has always been an important part of my career journey. I started at Intel in 2013 as a graduate intern in the hiring department. During my second year at Intel I transitioned to a permanent role, and I decided to advance my education as well.

Thanks to the support and flexibility that Intel provided, I began a master's program in work and organizational psychology at Dublin City University (DCU). Intel enabled me to flex my work schedule around lectures when and where possible as well as some time off for course work, especially coming towards the end when completing my dissertation. I completed my dissertation and am actively using what I learned in my master's studies in my current role at Intel.

After finishing my master's degree, I took an amazing extended holiday to South America. Intel values work-life balance and encourages you to do what you love both in and outside of work. Once you work hard, Intel will endeavor to support your needs.

After I finished my master's degree and returned from travelling, I moved into Business HR, which is a different side of HR than hiring. My current role supports managers and employees with any people related opportunities and challenges they have.

One of the great things about working at Intel is being on the cutting edge of the future of what's possible. Not just in technology, but what’s possible in your career, too. Your career can go anywhere. You can go abroad, you can specialize in an area, you can move around to different groups. You can have a full career, and do tons of different things, without ever leaving Intel.

Before my current role, I was really specialized. I knew so much about one topic within HR. But during my master’s studies and continued learning, I started to think about gaining some breadth in HR. I wanted to look at where I could go, within HR in Intel, that would give me that. A generalist opportunity arose in Business HR, with lots of breadth, I applied, and here I am today!

One great thing about my group is that we're partners, I can't stress that enough, we really are. We engage every single day with the business. My work is all about relationships and having a positive influence on employee experience, ensuring the full employee lifecycle is amazing, from when employees start at Intel to when they leave—and even after that. There’s the potential to come back in the future.

There are challenges every day in my job, but also the opportunity to constantly improve things. I feel like I’m making things just that little bit better all the time for the people that work here, even if it is just one person at a time. I’m still learning every single day!

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