AstraZeneca Student of the Year Awards


Northern Regional College IT student Amy Chan has been shortlisted for a Career Ready STEM Student of the Year Award. The Career Ready STEM Student of the Year Awards, sponsored by AstraZeneca, recognise students who have made the most progress towards a career in a STEM related industry. A winner and runner up will be selected for the each category of Science, Technology and Engineering.

Amy, who is from Ballymena, has been selected as a finalist for the Technology category and will now join other finalists from all over the UK for the National Judging Day in London’s Canary Wharf on March 28. As part of the judging process, finalists have to give a 10 minute presentation on their Career Ready experience and be interviewed by a panel of judges.

Congratulating Amy on reaching the final stages of the competition, Gemma Goodrich, Career Ready IT Programme Manager at Northern Regional College said it was a great achievement and recognised the extraordinary progress Amy had made on the Career Ready programme.

“Career Ready gives students the necessary employability skills and support they need to get on a good career path. Amy has done brilliantly to get to the National finals.  This is an acknowledgement of the extraordinary progress she has made on the STEM Career Ready programme and we wish her every success in London.”

Last summer Amy completed her six weeks Career Ready internship with Plotbox, an award winning Co Antrim company based in the Ecos Centre in Ballymena. She impressed so much that she was offered a part-time job with the company which she manages to fit in around her classes at College.

Plotbox has created a modern solution to the age old problem of mapping cemeteries by using drones to create more accurate maps and bespoke software to collate the new information and migrate data from existing systems. The company’s innovative and creative use of new technology has allowed it to expand rapidly, both nationally and internationally. Today Plotbox operates throughout Ireland and the UK and has customers in India and Dubai. It also has offices in both Boston and San Francisco to service clients on the east and west coasts of North America.

Stephen Hardy, Chief Technical Officer at Plotbox said Amy’s success illustrated how the Career Ready programme can benefit both students and local companies.

“Plotbox has expanded very quickly and we are continually adding new features to improve the company’s bespoke software. Amy is very capable and able to help with collating databases and testing new software. She is very competent and confident in her own ability and is not afraid to ask questions or challenge something she thinks isn’t the way it should be, which is good for all us!”