Sharon loved the experience of being a PhD scholar in WIT where she learned a huge amount from her supervisors, whose guidance was invaluable
Newtown School, Waterford past pupil Dr Sharon O’Brien graduated with a PhD from WIT in 2018. Here she tells how a part-time Masters in IT Carlow (where she now lectures) furthered her interest in research, leading to a PhD at WIT.
My PhD title
When and why are customer oriented service workers attracted to service organisations.
About my PhD in layman’s terms
Customer oriented individuals are people who enjoy working with customers and meeting their needs. Accordingly, they are considered important to service organisations and can make a real difference to a company's performance. The objective of my research is to understand more about how firms can attract these individuals. My research demonstrates the particular importance of role autonomy for high customer oriented workers vs. workers who are low in customer orientation.
Making a difference
My research adds to knowledge in the areas of: attracting front-line employees, furthering knowledge on the area of customer orientation and the importance of autonomy to front-line workers.
Related academic school/research centre at WIT
School of Business
Dr Susan Whelan
Dr Tom O'Toole
Path into research
After working in marketing and sponsorship for 17 years predominantly in Eir, I took time out to raise my family. After five years, I wanted to get back into the workforce, so I completed a Masters in Business part-time in IT Carlow. I loved the experience, particularly the research aspect and wanted to continue my education and research. In 2014, just after I completed my MB, I applied for a PhD scholarship position with WIT and was delighted to be accepted.
Current job title and employer
Lecturer IT Carlow
What are you doing now?
I am working in IT Carlow as a lecturer in Life Long Learning. I lecture on marketing. research methods, corporate governance, ethics and business. I am also working with Dr O'Toole in WIT on articles resulting from my PhD research.
How has your PhD influenced your career path?
My PhD has been hugely important in my career path. It was opened up a world of opportunities, it truly has been a life changing experience.
Anything else you'd like to mention?
I loved the experience of being a PhD scholar in WIT, I learned a huge amount from my supervisors, their support and guidance was invaluable. The wider WIT community could not have been more helpful and supportive.
25 years of PhD graduates was marked at Waterford Institute of Technology in 2018. The institute was one the first of Ireland's regional technical colleges to award PhDs in 1993.