‘Syntec Team’ blog series – Grainne O’Dowd

Team Syntec

‘Syntec Team’ blog series – Grainne O’Dowd

Welcome to the first in our new ‘Syntec Team’ blog series. 

Our team is at the core of everything that we do and plays a vital role in ensuring that each and every customer receives the highest level of service and support.  

Each month we will bring you an interview with one of our team of experts. First up, we sat down with our QA manager Grainne O’Dowd.

Black and white photo of Grainne

Hi Grainne, thanks for sitting down and answering our questions, we know how busy you are and appreciate your time!

So, first questionHow long have you been at Syntec and what does a normal working day look like for you?

I have been at Syntec since November 2014 so that is just over 6 years – wow time flies!   

I look after finance, customer billing and customer reporting. If it’s not month end, you will find me testing and developing SQL code to improve reports and finance software. 

What was your last job before you joined Syntec? 

I worked at Teletext Ltd for 13 years. The job varied over those years, initially it was in Service Desk Management and Support and then I progressed into the Management Information team where I developed my SQL skills for Datawarehouse reporting and finance billing.      

What do you do to maintain work/life balance? 

During the Covid pandemic I have kept my office space separate from my living environment and I avoid reading emails out of hours unless prompted by a direct alert. Also, I try to do a quick run during lunch breaks when possible. Exercise is so important for both mental and physical health.

If you could add one thing to Syntec’s office, what would it be? 

People – Covid has restricted that these days and I miss the social interaction. 

When you are not working, what are your favourite things to do?

My main passion is being outdoors in the mountains, trekking or climbing. Before Covid I would climb whenever I got the opportunity (weather permitting!) – I climb in the UK in summer and generally go to Greece for a few weeks in October when the weather is cooler. In Norway there are fabulous waterfall ice climbs for a winter escape so I’m lucky the sport allows me to climb all year round. 

However, since Covid I have moved out of London and taken up running. It surprised me how much I am enjoying running and it has given me an added bonus in getting to know the local countryside faster.

What is your favourite tech toy — for work or play — that you can’t live without?

Hmmm… Not sure you’d call them toys as such but with Covid and everyone working from home I have to say Slack messenger service and Zoom have become very useful when working remotely. I have also found an OS maps app recently that is great for planning and tracking new running routes. It’s easy to get lost in the woods where I live.  

Which famous person in history would you like to spend the day with? 

Jessica Ennis, former track and field Athlete. I watched her become Olympic champion in 2012 and was in awe of what she achieved.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I’m very happy where I am now, next door to the Chilterns and the variety of weather the UK offers. But to be fair I haven’t travelled outside of Europe much so that’s a tricky question… 

What would be your dream meal? 

A nice hearty beef pie and glass of red with friends after a tiresome day’s climbing or walking together.  

What is your favourite quote? 

Eat, drink and be merry. For tomorrow we may die.  

Thanks again for sitting down with us Grainne and for all of your great answers! To find out more about other members of our team, keep your eye out for the next in our ‘Syntec Team’ blog series.