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Andrea Corey

I would encourage women to try new things that are just beyond the reach of seems possible. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you take the plunge.

Andrea Corey graduated from Queen’s Applied Science in 1998 with a degree in Engineering Physics. She has been working in software development since graduation, initially as a consultant developing custom applications for the Banking and Telecom industries. In 2000, she joined Eloqua, a Toronto-based startup, as the first software developer. She developed many of Eloqua’s core marketing automation features, and she has since held leadership positions in Database Development, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Operations and most recently, VP of Quality Assurance at Eloqua. Eloqua was acquired by Oracle in early 2013, and Andrea remained at Oracle until February 2014, when she decided to take a short sabbatical before joining a technology startup.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your current job?

I’ve just recently left Oracle, and my most recent position was VP of Quality Assurance, where I was responsible for the overall quality of the Eloqua Marketing Cloud software releases – up to four major and 20 minor releases per year. After a short break to spend time with my family and travel, I’ll be returning to the startup world in a technology role where my role will be likely be more broad and less structured.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

I’ve always been interested in understanding how things work. My parents, a civil engineer and a math teacher, encouraged me to study something that interested me, as opposed to something that would lead to a “good job”. In high school, I really enjoyed physics, and engineering seemed like a good balance between the scientific theory and the more tangible elements of designing and building.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I love solving difficult problems. There are several elements to this: I love using data to gain insight into a problem. I love discussing ideas and solutions with team members and being challenged on my perspectives by others. I love introspection — pondering options that might be beneficial (or not). I love iterating on solutions to continually improve software features and processes.

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month?

I try to make time to share articles and news about engineering, technology, and advancing women in these fields throughout the year. At this time of year, I am happy to see engineering promoted, and I notice that the message gets out to others who are not close to the industry. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to participate in the activities geared to girls.

What advice do you have for young women who hope to pursue a career in your field?

I would encourage women to try new things that are just beyond the reach of seems possible. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you take the plunge. On a day-to-day basis, try to understand problems from several different angles, by asking questions and being open to new ideas, and speak up!

How would you describe the relationship with your mentor/mentee?

I’ve had several mentor/mentee relationships over time, and my insight is that these relationships can be very beneficial to both parties if the fit is right. Finding the right mentor is often best done organically, where both find themselves sharing ideas, and it develops into a mentorship. If you are unsure of where to start to find a mentor, look for someone you respect and whose work interests you, and ask them if they have 10-15 minutes to simply answer a few questions about their work. This can be a great stepping stone to a good relationship, but it won’t happen overnight.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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