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OU Computing and IT students visit Allstate NI

Computing and IT students gaining an insight into projects undertaken by Software Engineers within the CompoZed team. From Left to right: Glenn McGoldrick, Garrett Vernon and Allstate Software Engineers

On the Tuesday 16 May, Allstate NI hosted the first ever site visit for Open University Computing and IT students. The visit gave the students the opportunity to network with IT professionals and discover what they need to make themselves stand out in an ever competitive industry. 

Allstate NI is Northern Ireland's largest IT Company with over two thousand employees. Allstate NI is a major centre for innovative software development, covering the full software lifecycle of design, development, maintenance and support. 

The Allstate NI Learning and Development team has been working closely with the OU over the past year in a mutually beneficial relationship.  For OU it will give students the opportunity to visit a local IT company to understand better the various roles available and in future have the possibility of a placement within the company.  For Allstate it gives access to the OU’s expertise in online courses (MOOCS) which is important for its learning strategy going forward.

The students were able to meet with two different teams within Allstate NI. Firstly, the CompoZed team showed the students a more collaborative way of working and sharing ideas. During this time the students were able to speak with software engineers and ask questions about their day-to-day roles and get an insight into the professional coding environment. 

Sean McCusker who is studying for a BSc (Honours) Computing and IT said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the insight into the CompoZed team. The first-hand knowledge I received was particularly valuable and gave me an insight into what I should be learning to pursue a career in the industry.  I would highly recommend that other students attend site visits. They give a good insight into the industry and provided excellent networking opportunities."  

The students were then introduced to the Enterprise Command Centre, their number one priority for all teams within the department is service restoration - if it's broken, they fix it! This was an extremely different working environment to the CompoZed team which allowed the students to understand how Allstate manages its critical applications by performing critical monitoring and Major Incident management functions. 

Orlagh McConville who is studying for a BSc (Honours) Computing and IT said: "I enjoyed learning about the different teams and how they work together to collaborate on projects.  It was beneficial to talk to staff, receive first-hand knowledge and learn which programming skills are good to have.  I found this visit very beneficial to my studies and has given me an insight into the IT industry." 

Paula Graham, Head of Talent Management & Acquisition, Allstate said:
"We were thrilled to host The Open University Computing and IT student body at Allstate - an opportunity for students to get a valuable insight into the dynamic and innovative tech culture in Allstate. Students were excited to talk directly with software engineers across the organisation and get a bit of a steer on their own career paths. We look forward to working with The Open University in the future and developing our partnership with the technologists of tomorrow."

For more information contact Nicola Joyce, Employability and External Engagement Manager. 

For media enquiries please contact:

Christine Murphy, Communications Manager

Tel 028 9053 6219