“You never know what one little conversation will lead too.”

stephen-laneA short conversation with a lecturer when in 4th year lead BIS graduate Stephen Lane to his role today as a software developer on the PiNPoINT research project in the Infant Research Centre in UCC.

Why did you do BIS?
The reason why I did BIS was both straightforward and complex at the same time. I was in 6th year and had no idea what I wanted to do and was being told do things I had no interest in. When it came to filling out my CAO I knew a little about BIS because my sister had finished BIS so I thought why not give it a go considering I loved technology. A decision I have never looked back on.

What was the best thing you got out of the course?
The best thing I got out of the course was an invaluable well rounded skill set and friends for life. Having both family and friends that have done different courses both in UCC and other colleges, there are very few who can say they have friends for life from college, let alone a skill set that allows them pretty much do anything they want, wherever they want.

Where did you go on work placement in 3rd year?
For my work placement, I chose to stay in Cork and got placement in Core HR in Ballincollig. This was a great experience where I developed my coding skills further and learnt new skills I didn’t even know I needed.

Where are you now?
Currently I am working in the Infant Research Centre in UCC as a software developer on the PiNPoINT research project.

How did you get this job?
It’s a very interesting story. It goes back as far as a conversation I had with a lecturer before a lecture one day when he asked what I was doing job wise after 4th year. We spoke briefly about me wanting to stay in Cork and he said he might know someone who might be interested in having a conversation me. This was the start of my career to date.

This conversation led me to work in an edTech research and innovation centre in a small multinational company in Cork which had a very strong relationship with BIS. I worked there for a year as a software developer until an opportunity arose for me to complete a full time funded research masters. This was an opportunity I had always wanted and when it came along with the opportunity for my boss to be one of my supervisors I grabbed it and ran with it.

Whilst completing my masters, my old boss, and now supervisor, was working on a connected health research project in the Infant Research Centre in UCC and the opportunity arose for me to work part-time on this as a software developer whilst completing my masters. It is this that lead me to my current job, as when applying for the job it made the whole process easier.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given relating to your career?
Network! You never know what one little conversation will lead too. I put my career to date down to one less than 5-minute conversation.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have faced is learning to say no to people. Overcoming this is not easy, however I have learnt to prioritise the really important things over somethings that I don’t need to do.

Looking back now, is there anything that you would have done differently?
Looking back at the last few years there is very little I would have done differently as where I am right now I am extremely happy with.

If you had one piece of advice to offer someone considering doing BIS, what would it be?
Just go for it, you will not regret it. What you will learn and the friends you will make will make it worthwhile.