Aoife Tierney and Ian Dooley join UCC Academy's 2020 Graduate Programme

30 Jul 2020

Launched in 2019, UCC Academy’s ambitious Graduate Programme offers successful applicants the opportunity to have their voices heard while working on projects that are strategically important University College Cork.

Following a rigorous selection process, in which high calibre graduates from each of UCC’s four colleges applied, UCC Academy offered graduate positions to Ian Dooley and Aoife Tierney, a Quercus Scholar and graduate of the BSc. Government programme at UCC.

Having studied education policy as part of my degree, I wanted to work in an education setting. That’s what appealed to me about the graduate programme.

As a student, you don’t really get to see how the University functions behind the scenes.

So much happens at UCC beyond teaching and learning, and I want to get some exposure to that.

Likewise, as an ambitious student BSc in Business Information Systems, Ian Dooley was also interested in pursuing a career in the education sector.

Having won the Google Creative Technology Award as part of the BT Young Scientist Awards in 2014, Ian is naturally curious about IT infrastructure and digital transformations and recognises ways in which the education sector can adopt information systems to promote learning.

Although he initially imagined that the education sector would undergo an incremental digital transformation, COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown have accelerated the employment of technological solutions.

I’ve read a lot about the prevalence of massive open online courses and the digital tools used to deliver learning content.

Because of the changes that are likely to occur over the next 10 years, I think the education sector a really interesting space to work in.

The flat structure employed by UCC Academy also attracted me. Starting in my career, I want to maximise my learning opportunities, particularly in project management.

Over the course of the next two years, Aoife and Ian will work with UCC Academy’s highly experienced project and programme managers, internationalisation specialists and subject matter experts to help define, develop, drive and deliver key projects that further UCC’s strategic goals.

As part of their developmental journey, they will also take part in a training programme with the Irish Management Institute, which will include a mix of classroom based modules and personal coaching sessions. A feature of the Graduate programme that appealed to Ian.

I never wanted to be a software engineer. Since winning the Google Creative Technology Award, I have begun to appreciate the entrepreneurial and creative side of the tech.

I want to be able to get involved in a variety of projects at UCC Academy and soak up as much experience as possible to expand my knowledge about the application of tech in the education space.

Similarly, although Aoife had initially planned to travel after graduating, the development opportunities provided by the graduate programme ultimately changed her mind.

I first came across UCC Academy when I was looking for placement opportunities during my degree programme.

At the time, I thought it was an extremely interesting organisation that combined a lot of what I was studying with the business fundamentals that I had not been introduced to.

So when I saw the graduate programme being advertised, I knew that this is where I wanted to go.

Having joined the UCC Academy in July, both Ian and Aoife have been assigned to different projects, which will in turn act as a means of introducing the new Graduate Project Analyst to clients, stakeholders and senior management.

UCC Academy

UCC Academy DAC, University College Cork, Western Gateway Building 2.02, Western Road, Cork. Registered Charity Number: 20141431 ,