Postgraduate study may not be for everyone but if you’re finishing undergraduate study this year and are unsure about your next big decision, or if you have been in your job for a while but feel you really want to progress, then a Master’s course could be the right move for you.
To help you make this decision we’ll be publishing a series of Alumni Spotlight features over the coming months to illustrate how a postgraduate qualification can help you advance your career or change your career path.
In this first edition we speak to IT and Law graduate Lance Kerrigan who chose to undertake an MSc in Applied Digital Media.
Name: Lance Kerrigan
Course: MSc in Applied Digital Media
Year of Graduation: 2012
Home County / Country: Leitrim, Ireland
Tell Us About Yourself …
I am 25 years old, from Leitrim, and in 2011 I moved to Dublin to study the MSc in Applied Digital Media at Griffith College. I have always been interested in multimedia and after I graduated from my undergraduate degree in Law & IT, I decided to pursue a career in multi-media. Griffith’s specialist Master’s in Digital Media was an ideal fit.
What’s your current role?
I am working for a Law firm as an e-learning specialist. My e-learning multimedia role is quite diverse and gives me the opportunity to work on different projects in very different areas of IT from client-facing interaction to behind-the-scenes product development.
What is it like to work in the IT Industry in Ireland?
IT is a rapidly expanding, dynamic and thriving industry within Ireland. I’ve been working in the sector for over two years now and I’m already seeing changes. In my opinion the IT sector is perhaps one of the fastest changing industries and if you want to sustain a successful IT career then it’s essential to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in line with the pace of the industry’s ever-changing technologies and innovations.
Do you feel there are many job opportunities in the sector at the moment?
I believe there are excellent opportunities out there for motivated candidates who have the latest skills and desire to innovate. It is a competitive field, and obtaining the right qualifications is only half the battle - you need to stand out from the other IT graduates also looking for a job, and to do so requires 110% effort.
How has your postgraduate qualification from Griffith College helped you in your career?
The MSc in Applied Digital Media at Griffith has definitely helped set me apart from fellow job-seeking IT graduates. Successful completion of a postgraduate qualification shows potential employers that you have dedication and motivation, and gives them the reassurance that you have the latest skills that are relevant to the positions they are looking to fill. It’s also very satisfying to be able to add a postgraduate qualification from a well-known, highly reputable college to your CV.
What was the highlight of your course?
The digital media lectures were taught in a manner where my fellow classmates and I felt comfortable interacting and taking an active part in discussions during lectures. Even when the subject was challenging and quite technical, the lecturers readjusted their explanations to ensure everyone understood. I never left a lecture feeling confused or worried I hadn’t learnt something.
Can you tell us a little about your dissertation subject and how you chose it?
I developed a social media website using the latest (at the time) in web technologies like HTML & PHP. It was an area of significant interest to me as I intended to develop it more after graduation.
What are your main tips for new postgraduate students?
Study hard but find time to relax and socialise. Get involved in clubs and societies within the campus. A balance can be found.
Why did you choose Griffith?
I chose Griffith because the Digital Media Master’s seemed varied and interesting, and covered many of the relevant areas within creative digital technologies, within a reasonable time frame of 1 year. The cost was also reasonable as it was very competitive.
What did you like most about Griffith?
The size of the College and mixing with both computer science and journalism and media students as the MSc was taught across both faculties. It was a very personal learning experience. Everyone knew each other and the staff were exceptionally friendly, approachable and their teaching styles were really effective. I find it very surprising that even after two and a half years, the staff still remember me by name!
Did anything surprise you when you first arrived at Griffith?
I was surprised to find that Griffith’s Dublin campus is very multicultural and diverse, and this made my year there a wonderful experience. I got the opportunity to meet, socialise and work with other students from all over the world so I had an invaluable insight into other cultures.
What’s the most useful thing you learnt / experienced whilst studying at Griffith?
Is there anything you wish someone had told you at the time you applied?
Use Griffith’s student accommodation on campus. My biggest regret was living outside the campus. If I were to do my Master’s course again I would definitely live on campus in the Griffith Halls of Residence.
What are your plans for the future?
My career plans change as the IT industry changes … but for now I intend to focus on being the very best at what I do as an e-learning specialist by continuing to develop and update my skills and learn about the latest technologies to ensure I’m always challenging myself.
Interview by Lydia Casey