SERC student gets job offer from P2V Systems
Bronagh Keenan, an IT student at South Eastern Regional College (SERC), has secured a permanent role with Lisburn based IT company P2V Systems, having made a hugely positive impression during her time on work placement.
What is your role in P2V Systems?
I currently provide first line support to our clients through our service desk via telephone and email. This involves solving queries where appropriate and logging all jobs on a ticketing system. I’m one of the first points of contact for helpdesk enquiries, providing timely solutions as best I can.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background
I studied a Foundation Degree in Computing at SERC in Bangor and throughout school and college, I have always had a vested interest in IT and the many different opportunities that it has to offer. What I like about the IT industry is that it develops every day so there is always something new to learn. When studying, I was able to learn about a lot of different areas within IT, all of which I enjoyed. For the future, I am most interested in learning more about Networking and Security and will hopefully develop my career further in these areas.
How did you come to start working for P2V Systems?
The opportunity to undertake a placement came about through my course at SERC and I relished the chance to experience first-hand a role in the IT industry. I felt it would be the perfect way to further my knowledge whilst getting hands-on experience. I began to research local IT companies that could support my learning and development in a professional environment. Having read about P2V Systems growth and success, I decided to email my CV to the company. After completing a successful interview, I was offered a placement, which commenced in January 2017.
What attracted you to working for the company?
From my research, it was evident that P2V Systems is a growing company working with a number of exciting clients and IT partners. The company sounded like a pioneering and exciting place to work, especially in light of all their recent awards and accreditations.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I am responsible for handling client calls, requests and any issues they may have, and depending on the level of complexity, I either handle these myself or escalate them within the team. Even as a placement student, I was treated as very much ‘one of the team’. I was given key roles and responsibilities but able to benefit from additional mentoring, support and learning opportunities.
Getting to grips with the different technical terms and services was a little daunting however I availed of the support offered by mentors and colleagues who were always on hand to offer advice. I think a key part of being a placement student is to make sure you ask questions and shadow other more experienced colleagues – that way you quickly gain confidence in your work and integrate into the team.
What do you enjoy most about working in P2V Systems and IT?
The sheer value of the experience! Seeing how P2V Systems’ solutions are implemented and executed, from the infrastructure and networking stages to completion was fascinating. I was then able to apply this knowledge to my course and assignments at SERC, as I came to the end of my studies.
You started with P2V Systems on a work placement. What were the benefits of work experience for you?
I viewed this placement as an opportunity to step onto the career ladder while furthering my education. It allowed me to get exposure to life in a real workplace and discover what it takes to work in the IT industry. The fact that it led to full-time employment was an even bigger bonus. I now have technical, practical experience and enhanced confidence. A work or office environment can be a little intimidating at first, but working in a team environment is second nature to me now.
What challenges did you come across during your work placement?
Getting out of the classroom scenario and into a fast-paced working environment is challenging. You must strike the right balance between college and work responsibilities and be willing to use your personal time to revise for exams and complete coursework. Once you get that balance right, however, you can maximise a placement as the best possible platform to further your career.
What skills did you gain as part of your work placement?
Apart from learning new IT skills, my placement at P2V Systems provided practical, hands-on experience in the industry in which I want to carve out a career; helped me understand the world of business, and improved my confidence. I can now identify problems and know what to do in order to solve them, and have developed my interpersonal skills.
If you were speaking to someone considering a career in IT, what advice would you give them?
Go for it! Make sure you keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments. It is great to see an increase in pupils opting for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at GCSE and A-Level. It’s also really encouraging that the number of girls taking STEM subjects at A-Level has increased. Digital technology is creating growth in Northern Ireland, enhancing the way businesses work, so there are plenty of opportunities out there for anyone willing to grasp them.