Tom Meade- Digital Director (CIO) at the Registers of Scotland
Since graduating with a Degree in BIS from UCC in 1999, Tom Meade has gone on to a forge a successful tech career in Scotland. His role as Digital Director (CIO) at the Registers of Scotland has led to accolades including CIO of the Year at the UK IT Awards and the Digital Leader Award, Scotland’s most significant public sector honour. Tom has also recently been named one of the Top 100 CIOs in the UK by Computing Magazine. He talks to us about his time at UCC and how he asked out his future wife in the Old Bar!
Course/subjects studied in UCC
I studied Business Information Systems from 1995 to 1999. I think we were the third year of the course.
Best memory of UCC
Life in UCC was a great experience for me. I loved the music scene, quarry cup, Rag week etc. and I had a great class and friends. However, I think what’s most special for me is I started going out with my wonderful wife in final year. I asked her out (and she said yes) over one of the amazing rolls that people would kill for during lunchtime in the Old College Bar. I don’t think she knew she was really being asked out! I had spent months figuring out what time she went for lunch with her friends there on a Friday and made sure I was there (to the cost of my Statistics class). Our second date started with meeting up outside the library at a particular time … this was pre-mobile phones, so there was great excitement in hoping the other would show up. So UCC is a really big part of what’s been a wonderful adventure for us.
How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?
The BIS course was great - at a time when IT was really coming to the fore. The work placement that we got (I was one of the majority of our class that went to work in Boston for 6 months) really was such a great experience. Being able to spend time in a great city while learning so much in real work and with your friends. It was terrific. It isn’t until later looking back that I understand the value of work placement as I went on to hire people. It made such a difference to me starting my career and opened many doors that I didn’t realise would be closed to people with less experience.
What is your advice to current UCC students?
While it’s important to get a final degree, enjoy yourself on the way. The fiends you’re making now are friends you’ll have for life - enjoy your time with them.
What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?
Ciaran Murphy who was the head of our department was terrific. He spent so much effort in getting great placements for us, guest lecturers to speak to us, the best of facilities from very humble beginnings and designing a great course. Above all this, he knew each of his students personally. He cared. I briefly lectured in the department after graduation and saw the compassion he had for students in difficult situations and the efforts he made to support them.
Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?
Not as much as I should. I was active in the Live Music Society as I played in a band, and really enjoyed the craic with other bands and getting gigs organised etc.
Favourite UCC legend or superstition
The thought of crossing the quad still sends shivers down my spine!