“BIS gave me an appreciation for how everything gels together, IT and Business”

Niamh McCarthyNiamh McCarthy’s 3rd year placement has led to a permanent position as IS Business Analyst in Stryker. Here she tells us how this came about…

Why did you do BIS?
To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure what type of “job” I wanted in the future, therefore I decided to go with BIS as I felt it would be give me great flexibility and opportunities. I knew I wanted to do something business related, but when looking into the other courses available in UCC, they all seemed “too business heavy”, but BIS gave the right mix.

BIS was also recommended to by friends and past pupils with the same justification, “you’ll get a great job afterwards”.

What was the best thing you got out of the course?
I think BIS gave me an appreciation for how everything gels together, IT and Business. I got to see this for myself during my 3rd year placement, that was an extremely beneficial opportunity, and I believe this aided my approach to 4th year.

Where did you go on work placement in 3rd year?
I completed my six month placement in Stryker, in Carrigtwohill. While at Stryker I was given great exposure and boundless opportunities. There were no assumptions that I’d be fantastic in any particular area, Stryker gave me the flexibility to get a flavour of the different IT roles available. I was able to really see “the working world” and to be honest, it made me realise that the areas I was studying in UCC were worthwhile.

The placement program gets you ready, not only for full time employment, but made me really take my final year serious. I knew it was imperative to make every day count for my final year, as I wanted to be fortunate enough to secure employment with a prestigious company after graduation.

Where are you now?
I’m now an IS Business Analyst working in Stryker.

How did you get this job?
When I graduated from BIS, Stryker had been in touch about a position that would have been available later in the year. I wasn’t in a position to hold off – I was just finished college and was anxious to start working!

I was accepted into an 18 month Graduate Program with CoreHR, and had great opportunities here too. 12 months in, Stryker were in touch and I made the decision to opt out of the Graduate Program and return to Stryker. I had been working with Stryker for 12 months and was then made permanent.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given relating to your career?
It has always been said that you should “like your job”, and apparently this isn’t the case for everyone. Luckily enough, I do really like my job. It’s ok to walk away if you’re not happy.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
Career Wise – this would have to be my decision to leave a permanent job and take up a 12 month contract instead. It was a no brainer for me to go back to Stryker, but it was a risky decision leaving a permanent job when they are so hard to come by. My head and my heart were telling me different things – I guess the main thing is they now agree with each other! I’m with Stryker nearly two years now with a permanent position.

Looking back now, is there anything that you would have done differently?
Absolutely not.

If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
Do it, but be ready for a challenge! BIS is not an easy course, I struggled at times but it was worth it all in the end.

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