International student Marcelo Freire has just graduated from DBS with a First Class Honours BA (Hons) in Business Information Systems. After spending three years working his way through college to support himself, and even running his own catering business, Marcelo is settling into his new role as Software Developer at SAP. We asked him about his experience of studying full-time at DBS and how he managed to balance his work and studies.
Why did you choose the course?
Ireland has been recognised as one of the tech hubs around the world. As Dublin is the base of a large number of established corporations and also start-ups, being part of this digital revolution one day was my goal. I chose to study Business Information Systems because a combination of main business streams together with the new technologies such as cloud computing and also development modules gave me the right skills to enter the industry.
How have you enjoyed the course?
The course was really enjoyable, with a balance between Business Studies and IT, it enabled me to have a view of a bigger picture. Not only was it focused on the technical side, but also on learning how those technologies or different strategies would affect companies in different scenarios.
How has the course benefited you personally?
It has provided me with a good knowledge base in different areas from business to IT, increasing my professional opportunities in the industry.
Can you tell us about the part-time work you do outside of college?
In order to pay my fees I worked as a Shop Assistant in a Retailer. Also during my time in college, I started my own business, baking and supplying cafes with homemade Tartaletes made by myself in order to help pay my college fees. With the cake business, I delivered over 15,000 cakes throughout my 3 years in college.
How did you balance your work life and studies?
Time management is the key word for this. I knew that achieving my degree wouldn't be an easy task due to my responsibilities outside class, so I had to manage my time well. During the three years I also attended extra part-time modules at night with the purpose of gathering extra knowledge in different subjects. I stopped working Thursday evening in order to attend these classes.
What do you hope to do once you graduate?
Happily, I finished college in May with a First Class Honours degree. I spent the months of June and July travelling around Thailand as a reward for those three years before I came back to Dublin to start a new position as Support Engineer at SAP.
Do you think the course helped you get your current role?
Absolutely. I'm currently working as a Support Engineer at SAP. Apart from the technical skills I learnt in the course, companies like SAP, Accenture and others are looking for candidates with expertise in IT areas together with business skills. With my communication skills, combined with the business & technical skills DBS provided me with, it was a right fit for this role which involves a lot of customer facing aspects.
What did you feel was the best thing about studying in DBS?
The close relationship with the lecturers. DBS really promotes constant communication and interaction with our lecturers. Working together with amazing lecturers was crucial for achieving great results.
Would you recommend DBS? Why?
Yes, the help is there when it’s needed. As I mentioned above in the previous question, the lecturers in DBS are definitely their main asset.