'WIT are excellent in how they integrate and link up with local industry, this keeps them in tune with the requirements of industry as it develops and changes with the economy'
Michael Healy is a past pupil of St Augustines, Dungarvan and completed two Post Graduate degrees in WIT.
Time at WIT
On which WIT campus were you based?
Main Campus on the Cork Road
Why did you choose your course in WIT?
My original decision to study at WIT was for my MBA. Being from Dungarvan, WIT was an obvious choice, but on research of the EMBA, the feedback I got on the strength of the delivery of the WIT course was very positive.
The MBS in Lean practice whilst being one of the most developed lean courses I had seen in the country at the time, was also influenced from my experience of the EMBA and the rigor applied by WIT staff, their helpfulness and general support. That was copied, and even amplified on the MBS.
What was your experience?
My experience on the MBS was an enjoyable one. From the strength of delivery of each module to the interaction in class with my peers and the group work. Academic development can be unsettling, even lonely sometimes as you go through the 'stretch zone' of learning to learn. But the group work always kept us as a tight unit where everybody has a worth and something to give and receive.
I always enjoyed the guest lectures from industry, the applied project where we got to do something tangible for a real organisation and their associated feedback. And finally the honesty of the lecturers and their commitment and trust that they built with us to enable us to withstand their critique and use it to develop our thinking. The confidence that comes from that learning and ironically the humility that develops due to the understanding of much more I need to learn that grows from all of the above.
Can you recall your feeling when finding out you were offered a place in WIT
My initial feeling in 2008 when I was offered the place on the EMBA was exciting but soon turned to anxiety and doubt as the challenge presented itself. This overtime becomes less and less. In 2013 when I was offered the place on the MBS I was once again excited, but this time more confident with a curiosity of what was coming and a hunger to get on with it.
What advice would you give to students considering your course?
My courses were both post grads and more for my own personal development and thought development, than getting a mark. For that reason I approached them to develop my thinking rather than just learning to complete an exam and get a qualification. Because of that I liked what I was learning to past experience to understand why and how I think like I do. When I figured that out I can continue to utilise these skills on an ongoing basis to make me more effective at life and work.
Whilst exam results are very important, if you can't relate the material to your behaviours and experiences to your everyday the learning tends to be short lived. My point is if you can understand what you are reading and can either agree or disagree with it depending on your perspective, the course will serve you well and the academic mark generally follows. Also start early, I would have started scoping projects within a day of getting them to give me the time to develop and reflect on them and generally finished in plenty of time for submission. Don't leave everything to the last 3-4 weeks and cram everything into a bottleneck! The quality will suffer and it’s not fun!
If your course included a work placement, what was it like and how has it been of benefit?
We didn't have a work placement but we did do an applied project with a big organisation in Waterford. Whilst being hard work it was hugely rewarding, partly due to having to deliver a presentation on our findings to the client, but more so the learning from each team member contributing. I still widely use the hard skills I learned from that project on a daily basis.
When and where was your first job after graduating?
As a result of my time in WIT I was immediately able to move into manufacturing having previously being in the construction sector for over 20 years as a general manger in Nutriscience. This was an animal supplement manufacturing plant in Waterford owned by a Belgian company.
Where are you currently working? What position do you currently hold?
I am currently general manager in CET Connect Ltd. This is a Data Comms infrastructure company based in Clonmel with projects across EMEA.
How has your studies at WIT helped you to get where you are today?
Apart from the academic qualification which is obviously needed to be considered for any position now, the learning I have received from high level leadership and strategic thinking in my EMBA, to the ability to drill down into issues and root cause analysis from my MBS.
These skills are transferable and have allowed me to successfully move across industry sectors from manufacturing, pharma and data comms, in leadership roles and deliver value to my employers.
How did your experience at WIT help get you to where you are now?
My network obviously increased as a result of my WIT experience. This has numerous benefits ranging from my own career development, solving a problem at work, or talent acquisition for the organisation I work for. I continue to support, and be supported by that network both from a faculty perspective who are always there if I need them and also the extended network of my class mates, host companies, and local and regional industry partners.
WIT are excellent in how they integrate and link up with local industry. This keeps them current with their program development and are very in tune with the requirements of industry as it develops and changes with the economy.
Tell us whatever you want that we haven't asked about
Since finishing in WIT I have engaged them for some of the organisations I worked with to develop solutions to various problems that might have arisen. This was in the form of the students doing applied projects for us and the standard of the resultant research and applied thinking done on our behalf was exemplary. It was of the standard of professional consultants minus the €000's it would have cost.
I have also engaged with them for work placement students which has also being very successful. Being part of the WIT Alumni continues to be a rewarding experience.
I drove from my home in Dungarvan. An easy commute particularly as it was generally off peak hours.