Thomas Fitzsimons

Our #ClassOf2008 have been telling us what it was like to graduate during a financial recession and sharing their words of wisdom to inspire our #Classof2020. Next up, is Thomas Fitzsimons who graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Networking & Computer Support.

How did you feel in 2008 just as you were about to graduate?
“Honestly... I was pretty relaxed. I didn't think the global recession would have an impact at all on my career. I'd read a lot of information regarding my field (networking/security) which was pretty optimistic. I wasn't in the least bit concerned about starting a career in my field. Looking back, I was pretty naive!”

Your words of support and advice for our #ClassOf2020:
“I navigated around for 12 months looking for the right position, working as a waiter then casual work as a painter and decorator to make ends meet. I was on Job Seekers allowance for a short time, and got a lot of support and guidance on how to improve my chances by improving my CV. Those 12 months were some of the hardest I've ever endured. Finally, I adjusted my expectations and landed a role doing 1st line support. 6 months later, I was promoted to Remote Monitoring & Event Management. Since that initial foothold, my career has moved through natural progression. Recently I accepted a role as Senior Network & Security Engineer at Morgan Stanley.

“Stay grounded and don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Don't overlook entry level positions. It's the best way to build contacts as well as your own reputation within your sector (kudos and kleos). Most careers require a degree of on-going learning. Probably the most important thing I took from university was how to learn. Pursue the extra-curricular educational certifications. They usually require an initial investment of both time and money but the benefit outstrips the cost. Network! Look into related social groups, meetups or even discord groups. For IT in particular there are lots of different ones. I'll mention the Defcon Glasgow meetup for people looking towards cyber security/networking in general, held monthly in GCU Student Association. Despite working in the field for 10+ years now, I still attend these events and learn from some of the best around. Keep in touch with friends and colleagues from university.”

Thank you Thomas for sharing your experience and for your words of wisdom. #ClassOf2020 you’ve got this!