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SHIFT Profile: Thomas O'Leary

Wednesday July 31, 2019

Thomas had always tinkered with tech, and enjoyed both working with hardware and networks and dabbling in app development.  When he finished his Bachelor of Science, majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Computer Science at Otago University, he was working in his family's business updating an android app, but was very keen to expand his skills in network engineering. 

When he enrolled in SHIFT for 2018, he was excited at the possibilities that were on offer, including the chance to work alongside local tech professionals, and was aiming for a role with an internet service provider or as a network engineer.  

Thomas's studio group projects included an event website build for Rotary, researching options for remote IoT sensors to monitor land movement for engineering firm Stantec, and designing and developing a data playback tool for Igtimi, which allowed for sports coaches to review in motion data gathered during a race or training session to improve performance. 

When it came time to think about his 200-hour Industry Project, Thomas was very clear that he wanted to work with networks, and a match was soon made with the Dunedin office of Computer Concepts Ltd (CCL).  Steve Duder, Service Delivery Manager for CCL Otago and Southland, was so impressed with Thomas's skills and maturity, he placed him into a challenging client-facing role within  a large Dunedin organisation.  

Elaine Russell, Delivery Team Manager at CCL worked closely with Thomas, and was at SIGNAL during the SHIFT Industry Showcase, at the completion of Thomas's Industry project.  

Elaine's feedback to those present was very positive:  

"He [Thomas] was our very first intern and we were very nervous because he was coming into a very busy environment. We didn't want to break him. Clients now ask, 1) When are you going to employ him, 2) When can we have him full-time, and finally they say, 'What a top guy!'"

SHIFT was the perfect pathway for Thomas to turn his dream job into a reality in 2018, and he is now a Service Desk Engineer at Computer Concepts Limited.  

"SHIFT gave me the opportunity to work with a company I wanted to work with, which was great! It definitely helped me get a job within the tech industry, I recommend it to anyone looking to make the change to tech." 

If you or someone you know is keen to make a change, get in touch with us at info@signal.ac.nz for a chat about opportunities and pathways. 


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