August’s profile is Ian McAloon. Ian graduated in 2012 with a MSc in Information Technology. He now works for LabLogic System providing support for the Debra LIMS and Laura Radiochromatography packages.
How did you get there?
After graduating I spent a short period working in a local Contract Research Organisation (in a laboratory role). Whilst there I was contacted via LinkedIn and asked if I would be interested in a position at LabLogic. Both the Debra and Laura packages were used by AstraZeneca and I was familiar with the type of work that they are used to support; an advantage when providing support to customers.
Where are you going?
I still have a great deal to learn – the MSc provided a good platform but the learning never stops. In the short term I need to build my experience before considering any future options, but Oracle DBA or IT Project Manager (I also have the PRINCE2 Practitioner qualification) are possibilities. That said, I’m really enjoying my current role at LabLogic and there is plenty of scope for development there.
What if anything would you have done differently during your time at Loughborough University to help you prepare better for your career/life upon graduation?
To be honest, not much. I was pretty well prepared with an up to date and well laid out CV, plenty of work experience and a good profile on LinkedIn with plenty of connections.
What advice would you give to a student studying your subject at university now?
Given that it was the route by which I got my current job I cannot over-emphasise the importance of a good LinkedIn profile. Get it set up right now and start making as many connections as you can. Keep it fresh and up to date, particularly when actively job seeking. Also consider additional qualifications such as PRINCE2 or ITIL if you think they may be useful in your target role; at the very least they are useful key words on your CV. If your CV could do with some polish, get yourself along to the Careers and Employability Centre for some good advice and guidance. Get it done now
Opting for redundancy and turning down a job with a generous relocation package was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. Many times I wondered if I had really done the right thing. Turns out that I did. The site that I would have moved to is closing down research and development activities over the next few years and taking that job would have probably left it too late for me to re-train when redundancy beckoned for the second time. If you are in the same boat, take courage; it worked for me and it could work for you too. Best of luck!