Why did you do BIS?
As secondary school came to an end for me and I finished the Leaving Cert, I was still very unsure of what I wanted to study in college. For the entirety of 6th year I had Genetics down for my first choice on the CAO form, but two days before the deadline in July I made the decision to choose BIS. Looking back on it now, it has to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.
I had always enjoyed Business Studies in school and my family owns a number of small businesses so I knew it was something I wanted to pursue as a career. The only reason I had Genetics down originally was because I liked Biology in school, but after learning about BIS from a close friend’s brother, Eoghan I was very happy with my choice. After talking to Eoghan, who had recently graduated from BIS and was already working with a large bank in London, I knew BIS had so much to offer me. Along with the great job prospects for graduates; the six month placement, getting a great mix of IT and business skills, and the friendly welcoming atmosphere of the course were things that really appealed to me.
What is the best thing you have got out of the course so far?
There is no question that my six month placement in New York has been the best experience of the course so far. I got the opportunity to work with Credit Suisse, one of the world’s top private investment banks in their office located in Mid-town Manhattan and it was truly an amazing experience. Having the opportunity to live and work abroad at such a young age thanks to BIS is really one of the biggest selling points of the course for me. I don’t think any other course comes close to the number and quality of the placement companies that students get to choose from and gain invaluable work experience at before they leave college. I gained great professional experience while living in New York and got to experience everything the city had to offer, as well as getting to travel to cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Vancouver, San Francisco and Las Vegas with my friends from BIS.
What’s the one thing that has surprised you most about the course?
The first thing that surprised me about BIS was how fast all the students become integrated into the course and how BIS classes tend to be much closer than other courses in UCC. From the beginning it was very easy to get to know people and make friends within the course and I believe this is due to the very welcoming atmosphere fostered in BIS.
Another thing that surprised me about the course is how many subjects are offered to students throughout the four years. If you do not like a particular aspect of the course you can start to shape the direction of study from early on to subjects you are interested in, whether it’s down the development path or business path. Another advantage of this is that if you are unsure of which path you want to go down you get a great mix of both aspects without limiting yourself to just one.
One more thing to add is how manageable the course was for me. The hours of lectures and labs, along with some projects/ exams, aren’t too bad compared to some of the other courses and I was able to work during my first three years of college to support myself during the college year, and got to travel during the summer months as a result.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I would hope to have had a successful start to my professional career and have myself well established in a good company with the ability to start to climbing the corporate ladder. I do not want to rush into the working life straight after I finish college as I wish to do some more travelling, but I can see myself returning to the US when I do decide to look for a job. I’m sure if I work hard enough for my final year and use everything that BIS had thought me I will have a great chance of being employed anywhere in the world.
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
The one piece of advice I have for anyone considering doing BIS would be to talk to anyone who is currently studying the course or has graduated from the course. After a talk with someone from BIS about their experience, you will get a really good feel for the course and everything it has to offer.