BIS graduate Laura Kennedy recently returned to UCC to speak to students at the Autumn Open Day. We had a chat to her about her BIS experience, and how it has led to her current role in Global Markets IT at Credit Suisse, London.
Why did you do BIS?
After deciding I didn’t want to pursue a career in acting or theatre, I went looking for the right ‘business’ course I wanted to study. I heard about a course that offered a mix of business and IT and it sounded really appealing. I hadn’t a clue about computers or anything ‘tech-y’ (we still had dial-up internet at home), but I was fascinated by how the internet could connect us to people on the other side of the world in real-time and I was keen to learn more.
I attended the BIS talk at the UCC Open Day and there were two graduates speaking who were now working in San Francisco and from that point on I was sold. One other reason that I chose BIS was at the time I figured technology was only going to become more prevalent and play a more significant role in terms of how we get things done, how we go about our day to day lives, and so I figured it was a good area to build up some skills and knowledge.
What was the best thing you got out of the course?
Two stand-out things – the lifelong friends I have made, and the transferrable skillset.
Where did you go on work placement in 3rd year?
Credit Suisse, London, working as a business analyst on a Monte Carlo Risk Simulation.
Where are you now?
Credit Suisse, London. I am in my 3rd business analyst role here now. I have worked in Operations IT, Risk and Finance IT, and I’m now working in Global Markets IT looking at algorithmic trading of equities and FX.
How did you get this job?
Surprise surprise as I’m still here since placement, I got this job through BIS. I had my first introduction to Credit Suisse in 1st year when I attended a lecture by a senior female director from CS. After that, I was determined that I was going to get myself to London and into the company. In 2nd year I applied for their IT Spring Week Program after attending a networking event hosted in UCC by CS, and my application was successful. Following the one week spring internship in London I was fast-tracked onto their placement program hence completing my 3rd year placement here, and subsequently I was offered a graduate role off the back of my placement.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given relating to your career?
I once heard someone say “hold yourself to a level of understanding” and that’s really stuck with me. If I don’t understand something I’ll ask and ask again. I would also say that building a network of contacts, as opposed to acquaintances, is really important and its advice I’ve been given by many people.
Looking back now, is there anything that you would have done differently?
I don’t’ think so. If I could go back to being in the labs again for the laugh we had, I’d be there in a second!
If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
Go for it! BIS is a fantastic course with global opportunities and multiple career possibilities – you won’t regret it!