2 November 2023
By Tom Collins
A breakfast to honour the Business Information Systems (BIS) Class of 2023 has taken place at UCC. The unique event for students and their parents ahead of the official ceremony has been running since the first intake of BIS students graduated 26 years ago. That year the keynote speaker was the then Minister for Education and Science Micheál Martin TD and over the years close to 3,000 graduates and families have attended the event.
This year 146 students graduated from Business Information Systems. The breakfast was attended by more than 300 people including students and their parents, UCC President Professor John O’Halloran, Professor Thia Hennessy, Head of the College of Business and Law, course and department leaders, lecturers and members of the BIS Industry Advisory board. Professor Nancy Pouloudi from Athens University of Economics and Business who is the President of the Council of the Association of Information Systems (AIS) was also in attendance.
The top performing graduates were recognised during the event. Orlaith Cashman was named the Bank of Ireland BIS Graduate of the Year 2023. Henry Cullen was named the BIS Citizen of the Year and Sean O’Mahony was awarded the Final Year Project of the Year.
Keynote speaker Clara Walsh is Head of Customer Operations & Support at Workvivo. She graduated from UCC in 2014 and joined the Cork-based start up as its first employee in 2018, working across many areas of the business. The leading employee experience platform was acquired by Zoom in April this year.
Clara Walsh said, Clara Walsh said, “BIS definitely launched my career off in the best possible way. Working in a start-up has given me an opportunity to experience many different roles and I would encourage graduates to make the most of every opportunity. Work on projects and roles even if they are outside of your area of expertise. I’m a generalist at heart and have loved the variety of jumping into many different areas across the business. I’ve always enjoyed trying different things because it helps me to figure out what roles suit me best, the key is to never stop learning. Today’s graduates are also joining a very special network of UCC BIS alumni who have excelled in roles across the world and I hope they will make full use of it.”
Professor Frederic Adam, Head of Department of Business Information Systems added, “Today is a special day to recognise our students and all that they have achieved over the last four years. It has been a long and a challenging road but they have made it and it’s important to mark this milestone. Clara Walsh is the perfect example of the kind of successes that lie ahead for the class of 2023 and I look forward to seeing them excel in their individual careers. The world is moving incredibly fast, however, our graduates have developed the necessary skills to enable them to thrive, especially in the application and deployment of emerging technologies.”
Business Information Systems is part of Cork University Business School and is a practical course combining business subjects with information technology. It provides students with a diverse set of skills and a broad understanding of business problem domains and emerging technologies.
Graduates are employed in diverse roles including Data Analyst, Risk Assurance Associate, Trainee Accountant, Technical Support Engineer and HR Operations Administrator across the financial services, pharmaceutical, logistics, IT, health, education, agriculture and semi state sectors.
A 24-week paid placement at the conclusion of the third year of study is central to the programme