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What attracted you to study at Waterford Institute of Technology?
As I am living in Waterford, WIT was always going to be my first choice when returning to education. I also had many friends who previously spoke of courses which they completed in WIT and couldn't speak highly enough of the content and possibilities after completing courses.
What was your motivation for choosing this course?
I had previously completed a BSc in Information Technology part time at Waterford Institute of Technology which I really enjoyed. I wanted to continue with my education and reach my desired level 8 qualification.
After exploring both the level 8 Hons BSc in IT and the HDip in Computer Science, I felt the HDip was more in line with areas that I was interested in within the IT industry. The option of also taking this course online allowed me to have the flexibility to manage studying around my day to day family and working life without having to be tied to particular days and times.
What have you done in life prior to studying here?
Before studying in WIT, my most recent employment was in the aviation industry where I was employed for 11 years. Here I was part of airport operations, security and airport fire service. My main reason for returning to education was due to my current position where I was placed on short time working hours as well as being temporary laid off, therefore I decided to return to education to change the course of my career.
What words of advice do you have for new students?
As this course is pretty much all online with the exception of the onsite days, I would encourage all participants to actively engage on the course communication tool (slack in our case). This can be a great space to get to know other students and seek any help required during the course.
At some stage we can all get stuck on a subject and failing to reach out to other students could make you feel isolated with the feeling that you are the only one struggling while others are flying ahead and usually more than often once you reach out for help or support you will find that someone else is also stuck on the same problem, which can be a relief.
From an early stage I would highly recommend planning your time to ensure you do not fall behind. Ensuring you stay up to date will allow for extra time to explore each module more deeply giving you more in depth knowledge of the modules. As the cliché goes, the more you put in the more you get out of this course.
What have been the highlights of your college experience?
During the course I applied for a graduate position at Red Hat Waterford and I was successful. I am now working as a graduate app dev consultant at Red Hat and since being employed there, I can fully see how current this course is. I would say pretty much everything we have covered in the HDip in Computer Science course, I have come across in my current role. This has been a real highlight for me knowing that everything we have covered is so current in the IT industry.
Outside of work, highlights have been the onsite days, where those currently in the industry often come in to give talks about roles currently on offer. There is great support from both fellow students and lectures which really helped in my progression throughout the course.
How did you manage your work life study balance?
I won't lie this wasn't the easiest at first. Due to family and work commitments I would often push out lectures and lab work which would then lead to having a lot of work to do when time was against me. I decided to take control of this and block book time with myself to dedicate time for studies.
I would pick two evenings a week and the odd Saturday morning and dedicate time to both the lectures and labs which we needed to complete which made it a lot easier.
How has this course helped your career development?
Highly beneficial. The content of the course is very relevant to my current role, every day in my current position something which I have covered in the course pops up. Having this insight from modules in the course have made my day to day role a lot easier.
How did your experience at WIT help get you to where you are now?
I attended many of the WIT career days both on and off site. These were highly beneficial as it allowed me to explore what skills recruiters are currently looking for, this allowed me to plan a career path and hone in on the skills which I was interested in and those of which recruiters were interested in.