From Evergreen to the Emerald Isle: Grad shares experience working abroad in tech
Dublin-based alumna stays connected through Tech Trek Ireland
August 17, 2017
Brittany Beckert is a 2013 graduate of Loyola University Maryland. As a junior, she studied abroad at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland. Today she is putting her Loyola degree in marketing with a minor in information systems to work as a product marketing specialist for software company Synchronoss Technologies in Dublin, where she has lived and worked since she graduated.
Brittany shared with Loyola magazine her experience hosting current students enrolled in Loyola’s Tech Trek course. Taught by Paul Tallon, Ph.D., professor of information systems, students travel to Ireland during Spring Break where they are introduced to more than a dozen leading technology companies in their offices in Dublin and Cork. Brittany also served on the Tech Trek alumni panel this year.
My family instilled a sense of adventure in me, and Loyola helped make that dream a reality with its study abroad program. I was enthralled in the various cultures we met over the six months studying at UCC in Cork, Ireland. How easy it was to hop on a short flight and land into a completely new scenery. I knew I wanted to live in Ireland longer term after I fell in love with the country, its culture, its people, and the pure excitement and buzz around the technology sector.
Finding my role in product marketing within the supportive company I work for—married with the well-rounded education Loyola gifted me—shaped a sustainable and happy career path for me.
I so vividly remember sitting behind a computer in Dr. Tallon’s Information Systems class during my sophomore year. He encouraged his students to ride the tech wave and tack on an Information Systems minor, which we could do by taking three additional courses in the subject. At that time, three classes sounded so simple! It seemed like a no-brainer; I thought, “Sign me up!”
Looking back, those classes may have proven to be some of the most challenging—yet most rewarding—classes I took at Loyola, and they helped get me to where I am today in my career. I owe so much of my success to my Loyola professors. I got a call offering me my job at Synchronoss Dublin while studying for finals senior year in the Evergreen Cafe near Loyola’s campus.
My Loyola education has proven to be worth more than I could have ever imagined.
My degree in marketing and IT is a unique blend here in Ireland. Some of the classes I took at Loyola have directly applied to my work at Synchronoss, from core marketing classes to international business and even accounting tips from Professor Izzo. My management class with Professor Bliss was incredibly challenging, but in hindsight it provided a near carbon copy example of the work I would need to do in my day-to-day role as a business analysts on various projects when I first started my job.
Loyola is greater than amazing people and education it fosters. Its sense of community has stuck with me through the years. When I first got to Dublin, I wanted to feel immersed in the local community. I researched different non-profit organizations until one captured my eye. Now, every Tuesday after work, I volunteer with Children in Hospital Ireland, bringing some fun to a child’s not-so-fun hospital stay at Our Lady’s Children Hospital Crumlin, Dublin. The kids and families I meet inspire me each week.
I am honored to be a part of the Ireland Tech Trek tour.
It allows me to keep in touch with fantastic professors and students each year and help the students to network in international companies. The experience is invaluable for them: to get face time with some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley and far beyond!
Seeing the Loyola students in our Synchronoss Dublin office was incredibly special. It wasn’t so long ago that I was in their shoes, wondering what my next move would be. Who would I become? Would I like my job and the people I work with? So many questions starting to be answered as the years roll by (too quickly)…
During our tour, we reviewed what my company does and discussed how people might know of us without knowing our company by name, since we are a B-to-B company, working with top-tier carriers in the United States and across the world.
Our offices follow a “chasing the sun” method, because our employees are based in more than nine different time zones.
In addition to leading a tour at my company, I’ve participated in the Tech Trek alumni panel speaking the last two years.
I share with the students how just one year into my new role, I was being sent to customers in London and Lisbon on a regular basis. The other thing about working abroad is that, if you live somewhere exciting, you get to experience everything from a fresh angle—including meeting people from all walks of life and seeing friends and family who visit in vacation mode.
So many students say to me, “I wish I could live and work in Ireland…” My response is: “You can!”
Many students even apply for dual citizenship, allowing them to land anywhere throughout Europe. I encourage and challenge all students to leave their comfort zones while at Loyola, whether through studying abroad for a semester or taking a job in Europe after graduation.
My experience with the Tech Trek also affords me a chance to meet fellow alumni based in Dublin. The key here how much I learn from the other alumni, and the fact of the matter is we never stop learning, no matter how far into the “real world” we get.