A Matter of Course: Tech Trek Ireland, Management of Global IT

By Rita Buettner  |  Photos courtesy of Paul Tallon, Ph.D.

LoyolaMag_June2016_TechTrekPaul Tallon, Ph.D., professor of information systems, began planning his class’s tech trek to Ireland nine months in advance.

“I started reaching out to friends of friends and family, and I used LinkedIn extensively. I was able to find that not only do we have Loyola alumni in some of these high-tech firms in Ireland, but they are really well-placed within these companies—and are only too happy to welcome a group from Loyola,” he said.

On the 10-day trip in March, the class visited 16 companies—the Dublin offices of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Qualtrics, LinkedIn, Groupon, Dropbox, Salesforce.com, Airbnb, and Intel, and the Cork offices of EMC, VMWare, Apple, Moog, and Boston Scientific. They also met a representative of McAfee as part of a class at University College Cork.

Tallon even arranged an alumni event with three Loyola graduates—two who are working in Dublin and one who is pursuing a master’s degree in analytics at University College Dublin—who walked students through the process of moving abroad and their experiences since graduation.
The trip was a cornerstone of Tallon’s three-credit Management of Global IT course, during which students researched, presented on, and discussed the companies they would visit.

“I told the students, the conversation is going to be at a very deep level. This was not going to be a visit where students would learn things that they could pick up from reading a company report,” Tallon said. The students signed non-disclosure agreements before many of the meetings. Tallon also advised the students to bring their résumés and to swap business cards during each visit.

“If an IT company wants to break into Europe today and it doesn’t break in through Ireland, it’s missing a golden opportunity,” Tallon said. “These companies are working flat out to hire people. They just can’t get enough people locally, so they are looking outside Ireland. All of them have aspirations to grow 20, 30, even 40 percent over the next three to five years. Our students are exactly the ones they want to target.”

On past trips, Tallon has taken classes to the West Coast of the U.S. But Tallon, who is originally from Ireland and moved to the U.S. in 1994, found this trip gave students exceptional access and insight into Ireland’s multilingual, multicultural economy.

“The West Coast is saturated with universities visiting the same companies. Your group is often the fifth university to visit that week—and it’s only Monday. In Ireland they rolled out the red carpet,” said Tallon, who is already planning the next excursion to Ireland for spring break 2017. “When we went to the Google offices, we met with an engineer from Australia and an engineer
who flew over from London that morning just for us.”

A sophomore accounting major from Toms River, N.J., Samantha Campo decided to sign up for the class because she was considering an information systems minor.

“It was incredible to hear from leaders of such large, multinational corporations and actually tour the companies,” she said. “I gained so much insight into the technology industry, global operations of tech companies, and the cultural differences of the workplace in another country.”

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1 Comment

  • Posted by Paul Tallon | June 27, 2016

    If any students want to learn more about our next trip to Ireland over spring break 2017, please let me know. Better still, if anyone would like to host a visit from Loyola at your company, please reach out to me (pptallon@loyola.edu).

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