UCC Physics Graduate Profiles

Eoin Murphy, Insights Analyst at Riot Games

10 Mar 2022

“I don’t think I’d be working at Riot Games today if it wasn’t for UCC. In addition to giving me the skills I need every day to do my job, UCC introduced me to the tabletop gaming hobby which I believe is one of the reasons I was hired at Riot Games.”

 

Current job title :

Insights Analyst at Riot Games

What appeals to you most about your current role?

I love solving interesting problems. This role gives me an opportunity to solve many very different problems in an industry that I’m passionate about.

Course/subjects studied in UCC and year of graduation :

I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Astrophysics in 2009 and I proceeded to complete a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Denise Gabuzda in 2013.

What influenced or helped you decide to study this degree ?

Maths, Applied Maths and Physics were easily my favourite subjects in secondary school. I had also been very interested in astronomy and space science but I wasn’t sure when I was filling out my CAO if I wanted to complete an Astronomy degree or a Physics degree. After research I decided to apply to UCC as I liked how I could spend the first two years studying normal physics with everyone else and then make a more educated decision in 3rd year regarding my final degree. Additionally, even after the third year, the course modules for Astrophysics still featured many other areas within Physics and I felt as though I wouldn’t be restricted in my choices post my undergraduate degree.

Most relevant main or subsidiary topic studied:

All of the modules in the Physics degree in UCC teach you how to problem solve and that’s easily the most important skill that I use day to day in my current role. Additionally, we were expected to teach ourselves new software and analysis methodologies throughout the degree. This focus on ensuring that we would be able to self-learn has been critical for me as I apply my numerical and problem solving skills to new disciplines.

Best memory of UCC:

While at UCC I joined the WARPS society where I made many of my closest friends. My best memory of UCC was the year I directed WARPCON, the student run tabletop convention held each January across the UCC campus. That weekend is still one of my fondest memories and I still return to UCC every January to attend the event. For the past 5 years I have been the MC for the table quiz and charity auction so, in some ways, it is like I never left!

What role do you feel UCC played in getting you to where you are today?

I don’t think I’d be working at Riot Games today if it wasn’t for UCC. In addition to giving me the skills I need every day to do my job, UCC introduced me to the tabletop gaming hobby which I believe is one of the reasons I was hired at Riot Games.

Brief overview of work history:

After completing my PhD I moved to Dublin to join AIB as a Data Scientist. I worked on the Data Science team at AIB for two years before helping to set up and lead the Research & Innovation team at AIB. I left this team in October 2018 to join the EU Insights team at Riot Games.

What advice would you give to current students that are about to graduate/enter the job market?

Don’t worry about how your degree may dictate the roles you may find in industry. A person with a PhD in Astrophysics can get a job working at a video games company! Someone with a PhD in Quantum mechanics can work as an editor at a science journal. Apply for the roles you are most passionate about. Your UCC physics degree will have taught you the problem solving skills that are critical across multiple industries.

Any other comments you wish to share:

I’d just like to say hello to everyone at the Physics department who I haven’t spoken to in far too long. I’d especially like to thank Denise for giving me the opportunity to pursue a PhD with her. I’d also like to say sorry to her one last time for leaving academia!

 

Department of Physics

Roinn na Fisice

Room 213 (Physics Office), 2nd floor, Kane Science Building, University College Cork, Ireland.,

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