Dawn Perrott moved into a career in the technology space by completing a conversion course in Web Development through Springboard+ at National College of Ireland. She shares her details of experience on the course, insights into her career and education background, why she decided to study a Springboard+ course as well as some key advice for anyone considering following in her footsteps below.
If you're considering a career change or looking to upskill, this article will provide valuable information on the benefits of pursuing a Springboard+ course at NCI.
1. Tell us about your career and educational background before you studied the course.
In secondary school, I was naturally talented at art and design, and because of this, I was guided down this creative path. I obtained a first-class honours Bachelor's Degree in Print Contemporary Practice from LSAD. Like the majority of art school students, I have dyslexia. Over the course of my degree, I honed my problem-solving skills and gained an appreciation for meticulous attention to detail, precision, and patience. I nurtured critical thinking and the ability to translate conceptual ideas into tangible creations.
After graduation, I ventured into administration jobs, gaining valuable experience in organisational and administrative skills. I had not been exposed to the logical side of my brain until I worked in these jobs where it was an integral part of the day. I cultivated my skill set over the years. I decided to look for a course that tied my creativity and logic together harmoniously.
The Higher Diploma in Science and Computing specialising in Web Development at NCI stood out to me. From the beginning, it has been an exciting and rewarding journey, with many late-night study sessions and countless cups of coffee, that culminated in being placed on the Dean's Honour List. I took leaps in my career; I am in full-time employment in a fast-paced tech company at the forefront of the market.
2. Where did you hear about the Higher Diploma in Web Development at NCI?
I was talking with my sister Sarah about how I wanted to go back to education, she advised me to take a look at the Springboard+ website to see if any course took my fancy. I wanted to do a course that facilitated both creative and technical prowess. On the Springboard+ website, I saw a range of courses but the Web Development syllabus at NCI stood out to me.
3. Why did you decide to study a Springboard+ course?
As a recent graduate with limited savings and a strong desire to leverage my transferable skills, I was presented with the opportunity to pursue upskilling through the Springboard+ programme, which was generously funded. This educational journey became a pivotal turning point in my career and personal development. Through the Springboard+ course, I not only acquired the specific skills and qualifications necessary to advance in my chosen field, but I also found a flexible, accessible, and industry-relevant learning environment. The part-time and online format allowed me to balance my studies with other life commitments, I could work and provide for myself whilst symbiotically learning.
I wanted to try something new and different. I had been pigeonholed into being good at art and wanted to give myself the opportunity to try something new. Completing the Springboard+ course substantially boosted my confidence and competence.
The Springboard+ experience instilled in me the lifelong value of continuous learning, which I have continued to pursue. In retrospect, participating in a Springboard+ course was a pivotal and transformative decision that significantly propelled my career and personal development, unlocking a world of opportunities that continue to enrich my life.
4. Tell us about your experience on the course.
The course expedited my career, resulting in a significant milestone when I was hired as a Technical Support Specialist at Intercom, a leading Software Development Company.
First and foremost, Intercom is renowned for its commitment to innovation and excellence in the software development field. Being part of such a forward-thinking organisation not only allows me to work with cutting-edge technologies but also exposes me to a culture of continuous learning and growth. A collaborative and inclusive work environment is fostered where every team member's input is valued. The company places a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion, ensuring that all employees have an equal opportunity to contribute and thrive. I get the opportunity to work with teams across the company. I've seen a significant increase in my income.
The environment encourages innovation, collaboration, and personal well-being. It's a company that values its employees, its customers, and its role in pushing the boundaries of software development.
5. What advice would you give to anyone considering a Springboard+ course at NCI?
For anyone considering a Springboard+ course at National College of Ireland, just do it, believe in yourself, and take a leap of faith! It changed my life; I have been offered opportunities that would have taken me years to achieve otherwise! Approach this opportunity with determination and diligence. Begin by thoroughly researching the array of courses available and selecting one that best aligns with your career aspirations, interests, and skills.
Don't be afraid to engage in open and constructive discussions with NCI advisors, programme coordinators will provide you with valuable insights to make an informed choice. Once you've enrolled in a course, seize the opportunity to upskill or reskill with enthusiasm. Dedicate your time and effort to the programme, treating it as an investment in your future. Actively participate in course activities, collaborate with peers, and make use of all the resources at your disposal, such as the library, digital platforms, and student support services.
During my time at NCI, I made it a point to prioritise my mental well-being by incorporating meditation and yoga into my routine. I recognised that resilience was a vital attribute needed to navigate the challenges of academic and personal growth effectively. I qualified for learning support, and I took full advantage of the available classes. These resources were instrumental in enhancing my educational experience and ensuring my success.
Dawn studied the Higher Diploma in Science in Computing Specialising in Web Development at National College of Ireland through the Springboard+ initiative.