On Wednesday 5th of February 2020, Bring IT On welcomed 48 School Students, 11 Teachers and 19 Employer Representatives to the Catalyst Innovation Centre in Derry. The event kicked off with a welcome and introduction from our compere Susan McCambridge from Belfast Metropolitan College along with a hearty breakfast to fuel the girls for the day ahead.
Our keynote speaker was up next; Louise Magee, senior HR Manager for SITA, an I.T. company who specialise in the Aviation Industry; SITA’s technology is at almost every airport and airline in the world. In Louise’s role she focuses on talent who will bring the skills of the future to SITA, Louise delivered a speech, which was relatable, inspiring and got everyone in the room up onto their feet (literally).
Following on from our fantastic keynote speech we simultaneously delivered three engaging and energetic workshops, rotating our students so that they could benefit from all of the valuable advice and insights on offer. Roisin Byrne, IT Digital Recruiter from Hays delivered a presentation based around Women in Technology providing relatable examples and valuable insights into the opportunities in the IT sector in Northern Ireland.
Next the girls moved onto a ‘speed networking’ style workshop where they had the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with IT Role Models from companies such as; the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Fujitsu, Allstate, Aveva and Pramerica. Giving the students the opportunity to break away from their usual groups seemed to be a huge success, Ciaran Martin, a teacher at Lisneal College said,
‘We found the event very informative and the structure of the day was highly engaging for the girls, the speed networking really worked as it is far less intimidating and more engaging having that one-to-one experience. I would highly recommend an event like this for students making their GCSE choices and would love to see another event like this in Derry.’
Meanwhile, Siobhan Mulvenna from Belfast Met was facilitating an engaging and inspiring workshop based around the importance of believing in yourself. Siobhan’s workshop aimed to instil confidence and self-belief in the attendees and for them to leave with the message that they could be the future tech stars of Northern Ireland.
We finished off the day with a closing speech from our compere Susan McCambridge, one lucky student from Cross and Passion College in Ballycastle won an Amazon Alexa and all of the girls left with a free lunch and a better insight into the world of IT.
The event was a huge success and we have been overwhelmed with the demand for tickets as well as the feedback from employers, students and teachers with Grace Montgomery, a teacher from Limavady High School summing the event up;
‘The Bring IT On Girls event in Derry was truly wonderful from staff and pupils perspective; in particular, Louise from SITA gave a real insight into what is out there and actually right beside us in Letterkenny.
The facilitators were so enthusiastic and the venue itself was effective as a real business environment for the students to see business rooms in an innovation centre. I would love to see another event of this nature in Derry or Limavady and for more schools to have the opportunity to experience this.’
To see more photos from our event check out our Bring IT On Facebook page here