“He who remains hungry will always have the appetite to succeed”

ken-osheaOn completion of his course, BIS graduate Ken O’Shea took up a role as a data analyst with Trend Micro in Cork. He shared his story with us…

Why did you do BIS?
I spoke to a friend that was the year ahead of me around the time the CAO applications were due and he gave me an overview of the course. However, it was when he showed me his VB 6.0 project that I knew I wanted to do BIS. Since then I have spoken to a number of students that were considering BIS and I have promoted the mix of business and technology that the course gives each and every student.

What was the best thing you got out of the course?
This is a tough question to answer as I feel that I have gained quite a lot as a result of completing BIS.  If I had to choose only one thing it would be that the course is held in high regard and companies view BIS graduates as “all-rounders” rather than just being pegged into a specific bracket. This really gives you the confidence to apply for any job.

Where did you go on work placement in 3rd year?
I worked for AXA-Equitable in New York/ New Jersey. My internship was spent in the Project Portfolio Management department where I was mentored by a business analyst. The role required me to work predominantly with SharePoint, Excel and the local PPM tool which was used primarily to track ongoing cases and projects at various stages. I created a user manual for the tool and built reports to highlight case productivity.

Where are you now?
I have been working in Trend Micro in Cork since July 2014 as a data analyst. However, I have also been doubling up as a resource for the BI team. This has enabled me to add a whole host of skills to my repertoire that I may not have had the opportunity to at another company. The company culture is fantastic and very welcoming to any new starter.

How did you get this job?
I landed the role on the back of completing my masters in BIS in UCC. I had been looking for entry level jobs in the data analysis and data science fields and came across the position on LinkedIn. After reviewing the job spec I spoke to a friend of mine that used to work for Trend Micro and he told me that it was a great place to work. A few interviews later and I had the job.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given relating to your career?
One of my friends once told me to remember how hard I fought to get the job, how much I wanted the position, and to treat the position with the same amount of enthusiasm every day. For me this has always been a source of motivation as he who remains hungry will always have the appetite to succeed.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
For me it is probably knowing when to pull back. I like to take on almost any challenge. While being enthusiastic can be a great quality, it can also lead to you taking on more than you are capable of due to time restrictions, and can sometimes run the risk of interfering with your personal life. I have been quite fortunate that I have my boss to remind me when I have enough on my plate and that sometimes it is okay to say no (I still hate saying it though).

Looking back now, is there anything that you would have done differently?
Not at all. Character is developed over time and I believe that mistakes or experiences shape you for the better over time.

If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
I feel that there is a lot of pressure on students to pick a course based on the number of points they get in the Leaving Cert. A lot of people I know who received very high marks felt the need to apply for medicine, dentistry or pharmacy. Then after completing the course or dropping out, they have then gone in a completely different direction with their careers. I would like to encourage people to follow their interests because if you choose a job you love you will never have to work a day in your life.

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