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Student Testimonials


The testimonials below are from students who returned to the company where they completed their work placement when they graduated from CIT. Several of these students also completed their Final Year Projects (FYPs) with the same company.

Richard Costello – ERP Automation Engineer, Pfizer

3rd Year Work Placement, Final Year Project and Graduate position at Pfizer

I did my degree in Software Development and Computer Networking (retitled Computer Systems). The reason I chose this programme was the combination of different skills you learn from it. I have always loved learning new technologies and this programme enabled me to explore that interest. I believe that the vast combination of different subjects and technologies I learned during the course of my studies in CIT helped me develop a mindset of complete adaptability. Technology is constantly evolving and we have to adapt to keep up with it. I have had many different roles and had to adapt to many different things to succeed and thrive in those roles

I did my third year work placement with Pfizer in Ringaskiddy, where I worked mainly on plant support and infrastructure projects. However, the sheer variety of different equipment that is used on the plants in Ringaskiddy meant I was constantly learning new things. I was also introduced to control systems for the first time.

I was lucky enough to be asked to develop a plant monitoring system by Pfizer for my final year project. This led to me learning a lot about OPC and interfacing with control systems. The skills I learned on this project have contributed greatly to the success I am having now in my current role with Pfizer.

I graduated from CIT last year and completed the Extreme Blue internship with IBM. This was a 3 month internship where we were put in a team of 5 recent graduates and given a project to complete over the 3 months. Although I wasn’t involved in any development during my placement with Pfizer, I was quick to adjust to life as part of an agile development team thanks to the knowledge I gained as part of my programme in CIT. The project was also developed in JavaScript which I had never done before but again the programming skills I learned in CIT allowed me to adapt quickly to the new language and get up to speed quickly.

I am now back in Pfizer in a Graduate position and my current title is an ERP automation engineer. My current role involves SAP and MES support to the plants as well as software development on a critical systems upgrade project.

Ultimately, industry can be quite different to college but I learned a lot at CIT. The third year placement program introduced me to Pfizer, where I am currently employed, and I would not have had that opportunity had it not been for the industry placement program at CIT.

Robert Gabriel – Lead Software Engineer, Teamwork

Robert joined Teamwork for the Work Placement Programme in 2015 and he is now a Lead Software Engineer in the company. The video below tells Robert's story.

Shane Goulding - IT Service Operations engineer, EMC

In March 2014, for my Work Placement, I started with the Private Cloud Infrastructure Group (PCIG) in EMC. This group was responsible for the internal cloud/server offerings for the business. I was working with the team in two main areas. The first area I worked with was Syncplicity, this was EMCs internal Enterprise File, Share and Sync tool. This was rolled out to approx. 40,000 users. The other area I worked with was with the Remote Sites. Here I worked with provisioning servers for the EMC sites where there was no Data Centres in that office or country.

EMC offered great support and learning opportunities while I worked there for my placement. I got to complete VMware certification and also be member of the Co-Op society. The society was a great way to meet others of your own age who were also completing their placement.

After a great 6 months of work with the team and after learning loads, it was time for me to head back to my final year of college. About 7 days after finishing, I was asked by my previous team would I be interested in a part time role while finishing college. I jumped at this opportunity as I really wanted to go back and continue the work that I started. This took up most of the college year, but never effected my college work. Then towards the end of the year, I took on another task, to complete a proof of concept from Mozy, an online cloud back-up tool.

During my final year, I also needed to complete a Final Year Project. From what I learned in EMC, I had to do something cloud related. After a bit of research, I decided I was going to build a full cloud platform with two nested ESXi hosts running VMware Horizon with full High Availability. I got a great mark in this project and I really enjoyed completing it.

During my final year I had my sights set on one and only one role. I really wanted to join EMCs IT Leadership Program. The program is 2 years long and consists of 4 6-month rotations in different roles. Getting this was a great relief and a weight off my shoulders before starting my final year exams.

Since starting the program I have worked in 3 roles, initially as a Business Analyst, then with the Cloud Consulting team and then the Unified Messaging team. This team is responsible for Email and Skype for Business. This is something I would have always had an interest in. My main attraction to this team would have been working with all the exchange servers and also the amount of scripting. Scripting is something I loved in college and I was delighted to be able to script in my role. For my next rotation, I requested if I could remain in the role and this was granted! I was delighted. I now have completed 12 months in the role and I will be soon rolling off into the team.

Cathal Harrington - Senior Service Technician, i-Connect

My work placement was with I-connect in Wilton, an Apple authorised reseller and repair center. This was ideal for me as one of my main interests in IT is computer hardware, which was a module in the 1st year of BSc in IT Support (since retitled BSc in Information Technology). In my own personal opinion, the work placement module was the most important as it gave me experience in dealing with real people in a real workplace, a skill that cannot be taught, only learned through real world experience.

My role in the work experience was as a service technician, basically troubleshooting software and hardware problems, and implementing a resolution (Replacing parts or resolving software issues). Quite a lot of the modules covered in the BSc, for example learning bash commands to resolve permissions issues in Mac OS, Troubleshooting and Computer hardware to recognise basic hardware issues. Mac OS is quite similar to Linux, so all the work that was done on the operating system was really useful when using terminal commands in OS X, when an issue can’t be resolved in the operating system.

Since completing my course in CIT, I stayed with i-Connect and became the senior service technician, where I am now an Apple certified Mac and IOS technician. My main role is to ensure that all repairs carried out are up to Apple’s standards, as all repairs carried out are under Apple’s limited warranty. I really don't think I would be in the position I am today if I didn't choose the course I did in CIT as the support that is provided is unreal and all the lecturers are incredibly friendly. Due to the small class sizes, each student is given all the help they need, and lecturers recognize when someone is struggling, which was a great help!

Michael Healy - Software Engineer, EMC

My first professional employment was with EMC while I was a third year student in the BSc (Hons) in Software Development and Computer Networking (since retitled Computer Systems). During my time in EMC, I worked as part of the Global Hardware Technology Solutions team to develop diagnostic software that test EMC solutions in Hardware Engineering. While there I learned valuable development skills in C# and ASP .NET. Previous college work in Java and learning MVC and other design patterns enabled me to to pick up these new skills quickly.

The skills I learned during placement earned me a position on IBM Cork's Extreme Blue team which I started on immediately after final year of college. As part of this team, I worked on security applications for Android/IOS which could detect and prevent malicious communications between users phones and the outside web. I also had the chance to present the work our team did at IBM's European Conference.

After this I was contacted by EMC and offered a position of a Software Engineer where I developed software for various Dell EMC platforms. 

Michael has since returned to full-time study to complete a PhD under the supervision of Dr Paul Walsh, SIGMA, CIT.

Sinéad McDonnell - Intern at Pivotal (currently still in 4th year)

I started my internship with Pivotal in March of 2016 as part of my Web Development Degree. Although the industry wasn’t specific to my Degree the experience that I would gain over the next 6 months would become invaluable to be. My initial start in Pivotal involved training and settling into the company. I did a Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) Immersion course which taught me the basic fundamentals of PCF along with numerous other training course that Pivotal provided me with in order to learn the product and enable me to perform the job.

Within a few weeks I was then taking tickets for Pivotal Web Services (PWS) customers. These are the customers that use Cloud Foundry as a development environment or as a test to see if PCF would suit them. These tickets ranged from anything from not being able to login into their account right down to their application crashing. To solve the tickets required reviewing logs that were sent in by the customers, or researching the errors that they were receiving. Each ticket was different and brought with it a new challenge. Whenever I struggled with a ticket my colleagues were on hand to help out and explain anything that I did not understand. Ultimately I was there to do a job but I was also there as an intern to learn and as my manager Eugene kept telling myself and the other interns at the time, learn as much as we could within the 6 months as it would be invaluable to us going back to 4th year in college.

After I had completed 3 months in the job myself and the other interns were given a project to work on. We were asked to develop a ticket assigner application in Spring with Cassandra DB as the backend and AngularJS as the front end. Considering I was studying Web Development I jumped at the chance to develop the front end of the application, although this could not be done until we had the basics of a Spring application set up. We divided out the tasks that needed to be completed in order to get a basic application up and running. We developed 2 micro-services, one was the main service and the other was a poller service that connected the database to the main service. By dividing up the project this way we all got exposure to Spring and Spring Boot. Once we had the basics set up I was then able to focus on the front end and teaching myself Angular2. To do this I signed up to a Udemy course and when needed asked for help from other colleagues in Pivotal that may have dealt with Angular or at the very least JavaScript. As always everyone was willing to help. I must admit that I found Pivotal a great learning environment. Questions were always welcomed and in some ways expected, which was great as how else are you going to learn.

Along with the development of the application I was also involved in giving a presentation on PCF and PWS. It was a general overview of what each of these were and we gave it to a number of  staff in Pivotal. We also presented our finished application to both the PaaS team and the Data team and we were  invited back by Ciaran and Michael Holgate to give a brief presentation in the management meeting to show what we had achieved as interns. Having to present to both my colleagues and to management was tough but it was invaluable experience, as when I went back in 4th year I had a number of  presentations to do, the most important being my final year project.

Overall my time in Pivotal was one of the best experience’s that I had in my time in college. It gave me something that college by its very nature could never do, industry experience. It gave me the confidence going back into 4th year that I needed to complete the year. As it turned out my time in Pivotal was to be more than just an internship. Since completing my degree I have returned to Pivotal full time as an Associate Customer Engineer. I enjoy the new challenges that face me everyday and also the atmosphere within the company. It is a high pressured job but done in a relaxed environment where group discussions about tickets and issues are welcomed and everyone is always learning. It’s a fast moving industry where new challenges present themselves every day.

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