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Nathan Tierney

Nathan Tierney

Company: Oracle Corporation

BA/BSc Business Information Systems

What I feel the benefits of a sandwich degree course are:

The main benefits of doing a sandwich degree course are that you get to put the knowledge you have learnt from your first and second years at university into practice. You learn how a real life business operates on a day-to-day daily basis and how the key different business areas communicate with each other as a form of support. I have faced real life problems that I have had to resolve rather than virtual problems, which would be a typical example in various modules and case studies at university. I have built on existing knowledge of topic areas and also created new areas for myself of which I knew nothing about before. This includes the use of software that I had never even heard of before.

One of the main benefits of the course that is specific to every individual is that during the placement, it has made me realize which direction I want to drive my career in the final year and as a result, which business areas I would like to go into.

How I feel I can use my placement experience in my final year studies:

The placement year will come in very useful during my final year studies, as I will be able to relate new knowledge I learn to that which I have encountered during my placement year. I will be able to reflect upon the differences and how it was done/not done in the business I was in. After realizing this, I would then be in a situation to give my opinions and views and this should make me understand the particular topic area a whole lot more. I will be able to use my business area to aid me in answering coursework questions if applicable and my business area will definitely aid me in completing my final year project.

The modules that I chose in my final year were chosen more effectively this time as I have realized during my experience what my likes and dislikes are as regards to IT and businesses.

How I feel the placement experience will help me in my future employment search:

The experience of the placement will definitely help me in the future employment search as I would have already had good expeience in working for a business and would understand how the core fundamentals of a business work. As I have had the opportunity to work for a market leader in the IT and database industry, this will be clearly recognised on my C.V. and will become an advantage for me if the future employer is seeking previous Oracle application knowledge.

However, one of the main benefits would be the interview process every business undertakes when taking on new employees. The placement office at the university helped a great deal in preparing me for 'mock' inetrviews, building up my confidence in interview question techniques and by checking my C.V for areas of improvement. This has perpared me in such a way that I now have a clearer idea than before of what to expect when being interviewed by a company.

How I feel the experience is preparing me for the work place:

I feel I have become a more confident person during my placement year as I have given certain responsibilities and roles where I need to reach goals by set dates. I have learnt to communicate with different people from different background cultures and timezones. This has certainly boosted my communication skills as a whole as I have to explain clearly to people who do not understand my views and opinions, especially when I am communicating by telephone and I cannot draw to illustrate my ideas and opinions.

I have been prepared for the workplace as I have been used to a students timetable for the past two years and when you have to be in work for a full eight and a half hour working day (including lunch), it is an initial shock but you soon get used to the working hours. Lastly, I am still preparing myself for the workplace as I have chosen modules for my final year that I feel will benefit me the most if I was to work back at Oracle again in the future.  

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