Dylan O’Brien from the BIS Class of 2015 is closing in on his first year with VMware as an Application Support Analyst; a role which combines a mix of skills acquired over his four years with BIS.
Why did you do BIS?
The ‘Dreaded CAO’ is every student’s nightmare, as it is truly the first time in the lives of the students that the destiny of their education is in their own hands; and responsibility is a scary predicament!
BIS was introduced to me through our school career guidance counsellor. It was the open ended nature of the course which was the real appeal. With BIS, you are the master of your own destiny in terms of your career path, and having spoken to past pupils of BIS ranging from Business Analysts to CEOs of impressive start-ups, to secondary level teachers, I was really impressed by what the course had to offer, looking long-term.
What was the best thing you got out of the course?
To pinpoint one specific area or set of skills which benefited me the most is difficult as what I learned in my time with BIS was so vast. I believe on a personal level for me, my 6 months in Boston on work placement was the most beneficial to me in my career. It allowed me to mature the skills I had learned to date with BIS and showcase them on a truly global platform. Being thrown out of your comfort zone is something no one can entirely prepare for, but being allowed to take the first steps, albeit it baby steps, of my career within the environment in which I was allowed to do so, leveraged me to a great position going forward in my career.
Where did you go on work placement in 3rd year?
I was lucky enough to be chosen along with four of my classmates to work with Eaton Vance investment management firm in the financial district of downtown Boston. That year, there were 35+ students working in companies right across Boston, North Carolina, New York and Rhode Island. It was an unforgettable experience for all!
Where are you now?
I secured my graduate programme in November of final year with cloud and virtualization software company, VMware, based in Ballincollig, Cork. VMware employs approximately 900 employees in its Cork office, and upwards of 20,000 worldwide. I am closing in on my first year here with VMware as an Application Support Analyst; a role which combines a mix of skills acquired over my four years with BIS – from SQL database management to FRD creation, and most importantly working as part of global team (USA, India, Costa Rica, Ireland).
How did you get this job?
The job was advertised through BIS to our class in November of our final year. The role appealed to me for many reasons, but none more so than the global aspect to the role. The interview followed a standard three step procedure with psychological assessments, behavioural interview on-site, and finally a video conference interview with members of my prospective team to assess my suitability for the role and adaptability with the existing team. The process from application to contract signature took approximately three weeks.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given relating to your career?
Always deliver more than expected.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
In my current role, we undergo a process known as quarter-end whereby four times a year there is an enormous rush to push through vast amount of data through our ERP applications by hundreds of users. In my brief time with VMware I have been part of the quarter-end team on three occasions. I have had orders valuing millions of dollars stuck in process and an incredible amount of pressure from management to push through these deals.
I have learned that there may not always be an immediate solution, but there is more often than not an immediate workaround; that is vitally important in my current role. You may be the most skilled data technician in your company, but unless you can disengage for the technical aspect at critical times, problem solve, and find a solution that works for all parties, you will always be at a disadvantage.
Looking back now, is there anything that you would have done differently?
Sure – I mean you’re only human to experience some form of regret in life be that at home, on the sports field, in the classroom, in work; wherever. I have been told, that hindsight is a glorious thing and I believe that to be 100% accurate. It provides an individual with a benchmark to better themselves; a catalyst for improvement.
Over the course of my four years in BIS could I have studied harder? Yes. Could I have produced better work? Yes. Could I have applied myself more? Yes. But would I change anything? Absolutely not.
Regret is a powerful tool, but you should never let it consume you. I find myself in the position I am today as a result of a combination of all the positive and negative events which have happened in my life, be that in college, home, work or elsewhere; and I could not be happier for it!
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
BIS is unique. It does not follow the one-dimensional path of the conventional third level course of 2016. BIS can be the course you want it to be, and with its broad spectrum of relevant topics ranging from the very technical to the very functional, each student is allowed to pursue their own particular interests, carve out a career path which interests them personally, and all in a very high-paced, transparent and supportive environment. It really has that something special.