BIS graduate Shane McCarthy is Director of Marketing at Sandboxx, a military mobile app for service members to stay in touch with loved ones back home, and vice versa. Sandboxx was designed to align with today’s digital lifestyle while also focusing on the unique needs of the military community.
Why did you do BIS?
When I was in 6th year, I found it very difficult to decide on a course that I would spend the next four years doing. I chose BIS because I knew I would have good employment prospects after college, but still have a wide range of skills so that I wouldn’t be limited to a few roles.
What was the best thing you got out of the course?
BIS gave me the ability to bring value to almost every team that I work on. As long as you can create value, businesses will always be willing to pay you and there will always be doors open for your career.
Where did you go on work placement in 3rd year?
I did my placement in Agencyport in Boston. Agencyport is a 100-person software company that has a few BIS graduates working there. It was an incredible six months and a great opportunity to spend some time in the U.S. I worked as a software developer during my time there.
Where are you now?
I am now the Director of Marketing at Sandboxx, a secure communications platform for members of the U.S. Military and their families. I am based out of the Sandboxx HQ in Washington, D.C.
How did you get this job?
I met the Sandboxx team while I was on placement during 3rd year and I worked for Sandboxx during my final year in UCC. When I graduated, I moved to D.C. to work with the company full-time.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given relating to your career?
Advice has different significance depending on where you are in your career. “Always think bigger” has been with me since my placement in the U.S. There’s a great range of opportunities out there that we could never really imagine. It’s just a case of keeping our eyes open for them.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
When I started at Sandboxx, I knew very very little about the military. This is a big challenge when you have to become an advocate and salesperson for the product. People love to help though, so I took every opportunity that I had to talk to service members and veterans to learn about their training, deployments and life in the military. My knowledge of the military was previously a weakness, but is now one of my major strengths.
Looking back now, is there anything that you would have done differently?
It took me too long to realise the importance of having a balance between work and downtime. I got so much done in final year by taking time off regularly. It seems slightly paradoxical, but is really worth trying.
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
If you’re trying to make up your mind between BIS and other business or computer-related degrees, then I suggest that you do BIS. You’ll learn valuable skills and have so many doors opened for you.