“I had the incredible opportunity to live and work in London for six months”

sarah-mcnamaraFinal year BIS student Sarah McNamara shared her BIS experience with us, from choosing the course to what the future holds…

Why did you do BIS?
I was not too sure what I wanted to do in college. I knew I had an interest in technology, but never really considered doing a course in that area, but that changed after I attended the open day in UCC in 6th year and sat in on the BIS talk. I heard stories from past and present BIS students. They told us about their college and placement experiences and the job prospects after graduating and it really appealed to me. So, I decided to do it!

What is the best thing you have got out of the course so far?
There are so many highlights of my past few years in BIS, but the obvious choice is the opportunity I had to go abroad on placement for six months.

I had the incredible opportunity to live and work in London for six months. I was working with Credit Suisse Investment Bank in Canary Wharf. I was working as a Business Analyst in a Global IT team in the Risk and Finance division of the firm. Over the six months, I received a substantial amount of invaluable industry experience that will stand to me greatly in my future career. A stand out memory was when myself and Emer got to go down and watch the manic unfold on the trade floor on the day the Brexit vote – it was very surreal.

Work aside, living in London was amazing. There was so much to see and do, and we had a few weekends away around Europe. There were six of us over there and we had one of the best experiences of our lives. I would go back in a heartbeat.

What’s the one thing that has surprised you most about the course?
BIS definitely has a name for being a bit of a clique (in a good way!). I did not expect to become so close with so many people in my year as well as with people in other years. That is just the way BIS is.

As we spend so much time in the labs working on group projects everyone gets to know everyone from first year on which is important from a college experience perspective.

Also, as the fourth years tutor the years below them it creates a more interactive and relaxed learning experience for the younger students and gives them the opportunity to talk to other years about their experience.

Our ball is also very good every year – so thank you to the BIS Society who organise that!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
The job prospects that are available to BIS studies are extremely varied, from application developers to analysts and consultants, many of which offer you the opportunity to travel. These careers can bring you all around the world and I hope that in five years I’ll be working abroad in one of these roles. I would love to go to San Francisco.

If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
If you have any interest in technology and you like working in teams on projects I would recommend you do BIS! You do not have to be overly tech savvy, but having an interest in how things work, innovation and the industry itself is a great start.

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