For many students in Northern Ireland, entering full-time work after university is a source of increasing anxiety. Often, the transition from full-time education to full-time employment can be jarring and uncomfortable, with the safety net garnered from educational institutions disappearing overnight.
At Holywood-based cloud solutions company 3EN, however, the latest graduate recruits have found their integration into the working world seamless.
Callum Donnelly, Claire McKeown and Daniel Hodgett joined 3EN this summer after completing their degrees. They have shared their stories with the hope of encouraging their peers that the transition from education to work can be a positive experience if you find a company that’s right for you.
3EN is one of Europe’s most qualified Oracle NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions partners. Over the past four years the company has offered opportunities to graduates from local universities including sponsorships and jobs, as well as valuable placement opportunities for students, with a view to joining the company long-term.
Callum from Bellaghy graduated with a degree in business management this year and joined 3EN full-time in August as a client services representative.
Callum completed his placement year at 3EN and didn’t hesitate when he was offered a full-time position at the company. He said:
“When I first researched the company for potential placement opportunities, the morale and culture really stood out to me. The team seemed so easy to get on with, and my first impression was right. Everyone who works here is really good at what they do.”
On joining the company from university, he added:
“The team is great at not overwhelming you with lots of information all at once and there is always someone to ask if you need some help. Everyone is easy to work with and I feel that I’ve been eased into the extra responsibility that comes with a full-time, permanent role. Having a foot in the door from my placement year made the whole transition a lot easier, too.”
Claire from Tandragee graduated from Ulster University with a degree in computer science and has joined 3EN to work on both the client and technical services teams.
Claire’s experience of joining 3EN is similar to Callum’s, although she didn’t do her placement year at the company. She added:
“Everyone has been really welcoming and there is a lot of flexibility. I’m in a role that has never existed before, and there has been a lot of support in navigating that. 3EN also really values you looking after yourself and managing your life outside of work. The flexi-hour model we follow has been so helpful in striking a work-life balance that can sometimes be hard when moving from university into the working world.”
Daniel from Belfast has worked at 3EN part-time for eight years and, after graduating with a degree in computer science, has returned to the company full-time as a software engineer.
Speaking on why he chose to come back full-time to 3EN after university, Daniel said:
“I really enjoy the working environment at 3EN and have always felt very supported. You aren’t pressured with too much too quickly, and are offered help rather than blame. I think university doesn’t really prepare you for the real world and almost instils a fear that it’s bad to ask for help in a corporate setting, but that’s not what it’s like at 3EN. There is always someone willing to help you when you need it.”
For those in university looking for a job or a placement in the tech sphere, these three graduates have some advice.
Daniel said, “Placements teach you so much about the practical application of what you learn in the classroom. Don’t underestimate the value of that.” Meanwhile, Callum urged, “Keep your mind open and don’t close out opportunities too quickly. I wouldn’t have seen myself here before I looked for placements, but once I got on board it was something I really enjoyed!”
Claire echoed Callum’s call to open-mindedness, and added, “Even if you don’t initially understand what the company does, check it out anyway. Go to everything your university has on offer and don’t leave it to the last minute, because you might miss out on a great opportunity.”
Speaking on the opportunities 3EN creates for students and graduates, Dale Cree, CEO of 3EN said:
“It is so important for tech companies to value the perspective gained by hiring recent graduates. Businesses will always benefit from new ideas, and if we let them, these are the people that will bring about exciting new developments for our teams. As a company, we learn a great deal every time we bring on board a student or graduate. We are really looking forward to watching Claire, Callum and Daniel grow as they begin their careers in the Northern Ireland tech industry.”
To find out more about the services and products 3EN can offer, or to ask about placement opportunities, https://3en.cloud/