Orla Devaney, BSc (Hons) in Computer Networks and Cyber Security
Name: Orla Devaney
School: Coola Post Primary
I have always had an interest in computers and how they operate. I would have taken PC’s apart and tried to put them back together when I was younger (always had a few extra screw’s). The idea of how computers communicate with different types of devices and technologies is fascinating and I wanted to learn more about how it all works. This lead me to enroll in ATU Sligo.
I really enjoyed the hands-on experience you get with all the equipment in this degree. ATU Sligo has well equipped labs where you get to learn real life skills that you can take with you when you graduate. The syllabus is well structured too. You study a common first year and get to experience many different subjects. You then have the opportunity to change specialty if you find an interest within a different area.
I have learned many skills while studying in ATU Sligo. The syllabus covered included very relevant topics and techniques that are used in the working environment. The modules that I studied were very hands on and gave you real life experience with equipment. Also studying a module like Personal development which challenges you in a different aspect gives you the opportunity to create a job specific CV, report writing and public speaking.
Operating systems was one of my favourite modules as this gives you a detailed look at all the internal components of a PC. Also Systems Administration and RPI were great eye openers as we were able to create a project based on our own ideas and research. This gave us freedom to really expand our knowledge in specific areas and provided the platform for us to be as creative as we wanted.
I started my IT career in a company called CBE in Claremorris. They are a Retail solutions specialist and work between Ireland and the UK. I was first line support which would include troubleshooting any type of hardware or software related issue. I then moved to ProCloud in Boyle where I currently work as a Cloud Technician. My role is providing support for a specific client base. We provide support for range of different areas such as hardware/software issues, Microsoft Suite, Microsoft Azure (including Intune and Windows Virtual Desktop). I am currently doing my MS-900 Microsoft Certification which will give me a more in depth knowledge of all things Microsoft.
My advice to current students and future graduates is to not be apprehensive about applying for jobs if you don’t have experience. Employers understand you have just graduated and you are starting out. You are not going to know all the answer but everyone starts from somewhere. Find a good environment where you can ask questions and there is room for progression. Always be upskilling yourself. The IT sector changes from day to day and you need to change with it. There are so many opportunities in this sector!
Don’t let your time in college pass you by. Embrace it and take it all in. They say it’s the best years of your life and I loved my time in ATU Sligo!
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