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Meet Sarah

Nicole HannDunbavin
Feb 22
 - In 

What do you do at Lookahead and how long have you been working with us?

I am a technical recruiter and have been working here since December last year. Haven’t been in the role for too long but I can tell you that I’m loving it so far. Definitely met my expectations.

What’s your background? Where were you in the tech industry before joining Lookahead?

Well, my background is slightly unconventional but I feel like that’s part of the reason I was hired for the role. I’ve had a few different careers but they all have a thread of commonality. I started off working in advertising in account management at M&C Saatchi in Sydney, on their biggest account, CommBank. It was a great place to get my first taste of client services - fast moving, a lot of pressure but also incredibly rewarding when, for example, you see the ad you’ve been working on air on TV. I then moved over to London to do a double Masters in Global Media Communication at the London School of Economics, before I got a role at Havas, a French ad agency, again working on one of their biggest accounts, Reckitt Benckiser.

A couple of years passed and I found myself wanting a new challenge, so I started coding on the side and then enrolled full time in a 3 month intensive bootcamp, run by Flatiron (a WeWork subsidiary). Learning to code was so incredibly challenging, and truthfully, it forced me to work a part of my brain which had probably become a little more dormant. It was rewarding though, and before I graduated, I was offered a role to become a Software Engineering Coach - teaching students a stack of Rails and React. Not long after, I moved into a managerial role and that was the real sweet spot for me as I got to leverage my newfound love for code, and also the skills I’d acquired in my previous career. I moved back to Sydney late last year, accepted an offer from Lookahead and the rest is history.

What do you like about Lookahead?

The people are undeniably awesome. Just like myself, they each have rather unique backstories and I just love everyone’s ability to connect with people. The team at Lookahead genuinely care about finding people the right roles, and vice versa, the best people for our clients. From the get-go it’s been apparent that this company cares about helping others.

What are you passionate about?

I’m pretty passionate about continual learning. It’s really amazing how there are so many ways you can learn these days - books, podcasts, talks, intensive courses and the list goes on.

What was the last book you read or podcast you listened to?

Currently, I’m reading two books. One is “Thinking Fast and Slow” which is a great book on how the brain works, it talk about the systems behind how we think: one is fast and impulsive and the other is slower, more logical, more deliberate. The other is “Where the Crawdads Sings” and it’s a nice, easy read for the beach.

If you were not at Lookahead where would you be working or what is your dream job?

If I were not at Lookahead, I’d maybe be in some sort of a teaching role. Beside teaching students to code at Flatiron, I tutored all through my undergrad degree and always found it rewarding work.

First Car?

My first car was a beautiful Mini Cooper. It had a lightning blue base and a white roof and was everything I needed. Such an amazing first car because since it’s quite tiny, I never struggled to find a park! I could squeeze into the smallest of spots.

Hidden Talent?

I’d say I’m a fairly decent artist and when I was in lockdown in London last year I found myself getting back into sketching again. Portraits are what I like doing the most, but occasionally I’ll dabble some abstract acrylic painting. Painted a piece for some friends of my parents’ recently, it was a fun weekend activity to do.

Proudest Accomplishment?

That’s a good question. I’d probably say the fact that I have 4 degrees and have been to 5 universities. I wasn’t joking when I said I really love learning.

Graduating with a Double Masters from the London School of Economics

What piece of technology seems like magic to you?

I love this question. I think I’d have to say Siri, or really anything machine learning-based. If you haven’t yet asked Siri ‘What is zero divided by zero?’, you need to do that immediately as it will make your day.

What makes you weird?

I love studying and I actually like taking exams.

Guilty Pleasure?

I am a caffeine addict. At minimum I would have three - four a day. But, in my defence, coffee doesn’t really seem to have an affect on me, I can have one right before bed and it won’t stop me from having a great night’s sleep.

A bowl of coffee in Frankfurt, definitely something I could get used to!

What’s on your Bucket List?

I’d really love to see the Northern Lights. I’m pretty gutted that I lived relatively close for 5 years and never got there. At least it’s something to look forward to, once travelling becomes possible again!

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