Ahead of UCC’s Open Day on Saturday, October 10th we asked some BIS students about their BIS experience, what they’ve learned, what’s surprised them about the programme, and what the future holds in store.
First up in this series of posts is Ciara Mullane (22) who is final year BIS. Ciara did her six month paid work placement in 3rd year with Acadian Asset Management in Boston.
Why did you do BIS?
I think ultimately I chose to do BIS because I always had an interest in the business and I preferred these subjects in school, but I was also keen to improve upon my technical skills and BIS provides an optimal balance of the two. Also, once I heard there was the possibility of a six month internship in America I was sold!
What is the best thing you have got out of the course so far?
The best thing I have got out of the course so far has definitely been my six month internship in Boston. I worked for Acadian Asset Management as a Business System Analyst (BSA) and absolutely loved it. Having the option to do a six month internship in a real working environment is the best opportunity you can be given as an undergrad!
I got to see so many concepts that I learnt about put into practice, witness project lifecycles from start to finish, and develop so many new skills. I don’t think any amount of lectures could account to the practical, hands-on experience you receive. It is so beneficial for 4th year in regards to picking modules as you have a much better idea of the areas you are interested in, and placement lets you determine what path you may want to pursue after you finish. I was lucky that I loved my role and would be happy to work as a BSA in the future.
What’s the one thing that has surprised you most about the course?
What surprised me was how much you the lecturers genuinely actually want to get to know you. In 1st year you attend coffee mornings with Ciaran Murphy, Head of BIS and Patricia Lynch in small groups. It was a great way to get to know people in your class and also it was fantastic to have the opportunity to ask questions or voice concerns in a smaller group.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Where I see myself in five years’ time is a tough question to answer as I am not a 100% sure where I see myself next year once I graduate, but ultimately I would like to be a consultant or working on the client side interacting with different people, system and multiple teams. I would also love to be in a position where I have the opportunity to travel as opposed to sitting in an office eight hours a day!
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
The advice I would give someone considering doing BIS would be not to be turned off if you don’t do business subjects at school or wouldn’t consider yourself strong technically. All the modules start with the basics and provide you with a solid foundation on which you can improve upon. You would be surprised at how quickly you can pick up a new language or improve in a particular area from doing projects and attending labs.