Sync NI was thrilled to join Version 1 in celebrating their Belfast Office’s 500th employee

  • Amid the celebrations, we managed to get hold of the newest member of the Version 1 family, Bronagh Sweeney. It was her first day at the Belfast Office, and we were keen to ask her about her professional journey, and what made her join Version 1. 

    Here’s what Bronagh had to say:

    I have always had a passion for the arts, and so after I graduated in 2019 from Northumbria University in England, I worked in stage management in Newcastle for a bit. During this time, I realised that I wanted to return home to Northern Ireland.   
    Unfortunately, the pandemic struck before I could finalize anything, and like many people I was forced to make big decisions very quickly. With a background in drama, and at the time I was working in a bar, there wasn’t much of a chance of making a steady income. So rather than just sitting around, I decided to expand my skillset, and applied for an upskilling course at Ulster University, which was free.  
    The course was a post graduate certificate in Business Analysis and Consulting. I took modules in Stakeholder Management and Data Analysis – subjects I never thought I would enjoy. But surprisingly, it struck something within me, and that lit a fire! I applied for my Master’s in Management at Ulster University – and finished the course. 

    During this time, I had a number of friends who were already working in the IT sector. Most of them took the direct route – Computer Science at university, and then straight into a job. I was younger than them and was not certain about what I wanted to pursue. I had various interests. I did my A Levels in health and social care, performing arts, and English Literature. 

    During my A levels, and for a few years after that too, I was under the impression that IT was just about coding. This didn’t scare me off, but I wasn’t very interested in the world of coding. But when I did my Business Analysis course, I realised that I am keenly interested in the customer and business analysis side of things. 

    While doing my master's, I feared that once I finished it, I would still be waiting for or applying to jobs, and not getting anywhere. This prompted me to start researching companies and looking for jobs early on. I spoke to my lecturers, peers, and friends, and the name Version 1 kept popping up everywhere! 
    People I spoke to said great things about Version 1 – it is a progressive place to work, it is a place to learn, grow, further your career, and be fully supported by the company. I was very impressed by this. So, when I was the role open for a Business Analyst, I knew this is exactly what I wanted to do, and where I wanted to be. 

    So here I am, Day 1, and Version 1’s 500th employee at their Belfast Office. And they even threw a party for me! 

    Karen Wilson, Head of Technical Services delivery, and Bronagh’s line manager pointed out that there are endless opportunities to grow and progress within or beyond one's role. Karen says “It’s the same as really anything in Version 1. If someone has a desire to change direction throughout their career, Version 1 will accommodate that. At the moment, someone in my team is looking to move from being a developer into a business analyst, and we’re in the process of making that a reality!”.  

    Some advice from Bronagh to youngsters looking to start a career in IT-  

    Even if coding is not your thing, there are so many other opportunities in the IT sector. It is vast, rapidly changing, and growing by the day. I would suggest taking some time to reflect on what your skillset is, and where your interests lie – maybe you work well with people, you are a problem solver - whatever it might be. Try many things and find what resonates with you. Speak to as many people you can within the industry, in your school, and university.  
    I know the first step is scary, even your first day will be scary. It’s my first day here! But honestly, trust the process, and it will work out’. 

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