Jacinta the Business Development Manager
My name is Jacinta. I hold Member grade of the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR). I am a Director of ACRIB and I am also active on the IOR Education Committee, IOR Women in RACHP Steering Group, STEM Ambassador and involved with the SkillFRIDGE and World Skills competitions.
After finishing secondary school age 17 I left home and moved to Dublin, in 2009 I moved from Dublin to the UK.
My first job was working in a local cash & carry on a Saturday and during the summer holidays.
I currently work as the Technical Director of USystems, a manufacturer of cooling solutions, cabinets and containment solutions for the Data Centre and Micro Data Centre Industry.
How did you start working in the RACHP industry? Aged 22 I gave up my job and decided to pursue something I always had a keen interest in. A big but easy decision for me, I applied to various refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) contractors for an apprenticeship. I was registered for the 4 year scheme by a RAC contractor in Dublin.
What attracted you to the industry? My family have RAC, electrical and haulage businesses. Throughout my whole childhood I was immersed in the operation, service and maintenance of trucks, trailers, plant machinery, endless variations of white goods, catering, commercial and retail RAC equipment etc. I was instinctively attracted to all of it however my 3 sisters did not share the same enthusiasm so that says a lot I guess!
What do you specialise in now, or what kind of projects do you work on?
Working for a leading provider of sustainable, energy efficient cooling solutions for the Data Centre and Micro Data Centre sector allows me to be involved with some of the most revolutionary projects in the industry which I find extremely exciting. Many of our customers have won prestigious industry awards pertaining to innovation and energy efficiency because of our products.
How different is it to your previous role? My previous role was also in the Data Centre sector and revolved mainly around the business development function. Currently I am in a technical, managerial role with a cooling specialist in the same sector. Working so closely with a manufacturer means I also see products develop from conception right through to being appreciated across the globe.
How has being in different roles been of benefit to you ? Having started out as a hands on RAC apprentice and held mostly technical and sales oriented roles for various suppliers, manufacturers, service providers and contractors which has given me an all round greater understanding and appreciation of customers and the industry.
What do you enjoy most about your job, and what are the biggest challenges you face? I get a kick out of working with knowledgeable, creative, inventive, dedicated, and motivated people. Our customers are always looking for new ways to become more green and more efficient, particularly with the amount of power a DC consumes, being able to offer a solution that has a significant impact on our customers CapEx and OpEx is rewarding.
Any general career highlights? Being voted by the Members of the IOR to represent them on the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors for ACRIB are highlights, I also won the ACR Woman of the Year Award and a Top 50 Women in Engineering Award (Current or Former Apprentices) through the Womens Engineering Society in 2019. In 2020 I won the Hampshire Refrigeration Society World Refrigeration Day Award.
Where do you see your role progressing in the next few years? I see my role and the technical department growing alongside my employer's which is exciting. USystems are at the forefront of revolutionizing the cooling solution in the data centre industry, already working with key, likeminded customers our history, knowledge and experience we have in the sector will continue to be appreciated by our customers and the wider industry.
What advice would you give to young people who are just starting a similar career to you? Consider an apprenticeship, it will provide an invaluable foundation for your career in RACHP. To get the best out of an apprenticeship it is important to also research potential employers, this is to ensure that you are exposed to the varying areas/aspects of the industry that you are interested in as well as important for your studies. An apprenticeship is there to benefit all parties. Listen and learn as much as you can, keep asking questions. The industry needs smart, diligent, skilful people with a good work ethic and initiative. If you have those this greatly increases your earning potential too. Unfortunately we are running out of quality and interest within the industry, which is why being a STEM Ambassador and my interests with the SkillFRIDGE/WorldSkills competitions are important to me.
How has being a member of the IOR helped your career development? To be able to develop as a person and professionally it is important to always learn and be open to learning. With a wide variety of companies and people associated with the IOR it has allowed me to make the most of their meetings, networking events and talks etc. Being on the Board of Trustees allows me to have more of a direct involvement and influence which has its benefits.