Synergy Learning celebrates the tech stars of tomorrow

  • To mark this year’s celebration of National Apprenticeship Week (6th – 12th February), two placement students with bright futures in their fields from Northern Ireland-based learning technology company Synergy Learning are sharing their stories of how joining a successful team as a placement student has helped build their confidence and develop their communications and networking skills.

    National Apprenticeship Week is an annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships, providing employers with the opportunity to promote the importance and value of trusting the leaders of tomorrow.

    Synergy Learning is a firm believer in the value of internship opportunities for students. The company offers students valuable work experience and the opportunity to experience on-the-job learning in a professional and fast-paced environment, alongside an abundance of insight and understanding of how a workplace operates by integrating the students fully into the company’s 1Team. 

    For the past 10 years, Synergy Learning has offered a range of internship opportunities to students and graduates from universities and further education institutions. Today the company’s workforce contains senior members of the team who are former participants of its internship programme.

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    Eglington-born Pearse Joyce (20) joined Synergy Learning in August 2022 on a placement year from his Information Technology degree programme at Ulster University in Magee, Derry/Londonderry. Pearse’s current role with Synergy Learning is an Interim Support Technician, which allows him to work on support contracts with various organisations including NHS Trusts and Save The Children.

    When approaching his placement year, Pearse spent a lot of time researching the opportunities available to find one right for him. Synergy Learning’s remote-first working model stood out to Pearse – he would be able to live at home in Derry/Londonderry but work for a company based in Belfast, with the opportunity to travel to the company’s innovative hub in Titanic Quarter from time to time.

    Speaking on what he enjoys about his internship, Pearse said: “The experience is great! There was plenty of training at the beginning and I felt like I slotted right into the team. There’s a real focus on the team at Synergy Learning and working with industry professionals has really motivated me to work hard.

    “Synergy Learning hosts an internal event called ‘All Hands’ which involves all colleagues coming together from different circles who you may not usually get to chat to – it’s great to meet everyone and have a laugh together.”

    Another of this year’s cohort of interns at Synergy Learning is Laura Foy (21) from Donegal. Alongside Pearse, Laura joined Synergy Learning in the summer of 2022 on a placement year from her Interaction Design degree programme at Ulster University, Belfast. Laura is currently working as a UX Design intern with Synergy Learning, a role which allows her to brush up on her skills in using design software Figma, and work on tasks that expand her knowledge in a range of areas within user experience.

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    Speaking on what she enjoys most about her internship, Laura said: “Getting the opportunity to hone my skills and to understand how everything works in a professional environment has been so beneficial to my learning. UX design is such a broad area and exploring what a designer’s role is within a company and how to navigate that has helped me get a better understanding of where exactly I would slot into a team.”

    For other students considering a placement, internship, or apprenticeship opportunity, Pearse has some words of advice. “I was nervous at the beginning, thinking I didn’t know enough to fit into a professional team or complete the tasks,” he said. “Don’t worry about this – the training and support provided is fantastic. Don’t doubt yourself – you are good enough!”

    Laura added: “So far, my internship has been an insightful and enjoyable opportunity on every level. If you’re thinking of applying for an internship with Synergy Learning I would say go for it! You’ll feel welcomed and supported from your first day, and the skills you’ll gain will support you in so many ways.”

    Both Pearse and Laura will return to Ulster University in September to complete their final year of study and have high hopes for a bright and successful future post-graduation.

    Synergy Learning CEO Roy Kerley said: “At Synergy Learning, we are passionate about encouraging the next generation to excel in our industry through providing exciting opportunities for up-and-coming young professionals to learn from our experienced team and expand their skillset. Both Pearse and Laura have been hugely positive additions to our team this year and have shown a great drive to succeed. It’s great to have such bright young minds on the Synergy Learning team and we’re really pleased at how well they are both doing.

    “I would encourage businesses of all shapes and sizes across Northern Ireland to consider creating opportunities for talented young people. These minds are the leaders of tomorrow, and apprenticeships and internship programmes which help unearth the next generation of business leaders are a fantastic asset for any organisation.”

    Source: Written from press release

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