Makers Apprentice Awards Spotlight: Irina-Georgiana Cirlan, a software engineer graduate at Elsevier

2 min readFeb 26, 2024
A photo of Software Developer graduate, Irina-Georgiana Cirlan
Irina-Georgiana Cirlan

“The Makers Apprenticeship Awards makes people aware that you can s witch careers at any age.”

What were you doing before your apprenticeship?

I was in hospitality. I did an undergraduate in hotel business management and master’s in tourism management. I worked in different hotel chains — mostly in the back end of things, in marketing and business development. It was a great experience, but during the pandemic I was put on furlough, so it gave me a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do in my thirties, because I was 28 at the time.

Why did you decide to apply?

A friend led me to software engineering. They are a software engineer so I found out exactly what they do and I started to study javascript and react myself. Then I saw the apprenticeship posted on Codebar. I knew about Makers and was tempted to apply for the bootcamp but when I saw this opportunity being an apprentice, I thought it was a great combination of learning while getting into the industry. At Makers the opportunities really are open for everyone.

A photo of Irina-Georgiana Cirlan
Irina-Georgiana Cirlan

What does life look like now that you've graduated?

Now I can actually think more about my path, and what I want to do next. One of the key highlights has been volunteering as a accessibility champion at Elsevier, where I encourage my team to think more about accessibility. Having this extra time, I have also been able to further my learning and take the time to do workshops with the team and take ownership of more things at work.

Has there been anything that surprised you about career switching into tech?

I think what was a really nice surprise was that you don't need to know everything and no one knows everything. You also have freedom and the ability to learn while you're doing the job.

What do you think of events like Makers apprenticeship awards?

The awards are great because it creates the awareness of the people who finish the apprenticeship programme and the opportunity to celebrate that. The apprentices can tell their stories and encourage other people to apply. I actually encouraged a friend of mine to apply to Makers, and he managed to get accepted.




Creating a new generation of tech talent who are ready to build the change in society and thrive in the new world of work.