Final year BIS student Maria O’Sullivan gave us an insight into what BIS means to her, and what’s in store for her down the line.
Why did you do BIS?
I, like most other Leaving Cert students, had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do in college. Business was always a subject I was interested in in school since it was relevant to what was going on in the world, and so I knew I wanted to go down that route. It was my Business teacher in secondary school who recommended BIS to me. She said it provided a good mix of subjects and had great job prospects.
What is the best thing you have got out of the course so far?
As a final year student there have been so many standout moments throughout my time in BIS. However the highlight of the course has to have been my time spent on industrial placement. As part of BIS, 3rd years spend six months on a paid work placement. I was lucky enough to be one of the students who secured an internship in the United States. Before coming into BIS we were told about the opportunity to spend placement abroad. There are also opportunities in various locations in England, however I knew that the US was the place for me.
I worked with Fidelity Investments in Rhode Island as a software engineer. Here I got the chance to contribute real work to an organisation, while simultaneously improving my coding skills and learning about working in a professional environment. It gave me the chance to work with American colleagues and experience and compare their culture to ours. I also had the opportunity to travel along the East Coast during weekends off. Working close to Boston with your fellow class mates truly is a once in a life time opportunity which very few students are presented with. It will be a period of time in my life which I will always cherish.
What’s the one thing that has surprised you most about the course?
One of the best things about the course I find is the network within BIS and the relationship between the younger and older years. In secondary school I found that years are quite segregated. From the get go of BIS you are constantly integrating with the older years for various reasons. Every year, tutors for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year, are 4th year students, which creates more of a relaxed and friendly learning environment. A lot of a BIS student’s time is spent in the labs which gives us a great chance to get to know others in the class.
The BIS society also runs several events throughout the year including the BIS ball and the BIS cup which students from all years attend and participate in, and which is another chance to socialise with one another. Having friends in the year ahead is always very helpful as you can ask them about their experience since they have gone through everything you are and will be going through.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
It’s always a tough question to answer but after spending 6 months in America I am hoping I will either have spent more time in the States as a Technology graduate or will be travelling over there by that time. As to what role I will be in, I have yet to figure out.
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?-
If you have any interest in business or technology, BIS is definitely the course for you. However this does not mean that you need to have a background in either of these since all subjects are done from scratch in first year. Within the business side of BIS there is also a wide variety of modules to choose from including Accounting, Marketing and Management subjects.
One of the things that attracted me most to BIS was the fact that you are not confined to going down one career path at the end of the 4 years, unlike a lot of other courses. I personally feel BIS students come out as well rounded graduates with the skills ready to tackle any job that comes their way.