Aaron Quinn

Director of Business Transformation and IT at Cooneen Group.

BSc (Hons) Web Design and Development, 2007

How important was your Abertay degree in helping you pursue your career?

My degree from Abertay provided me with a foundation to spring board my career. It got me into a competitive job market at a great starting position. Turning down offers from universities in Northern Ireland, I chose to travel to Scotland and study in Dundee based on its reputation and strength in Computer Science.

Since graduating, can you describe your journey to your current career?

I joined Cooneen in September 2020 as Director of Business Transformation and IT, Prior to this I was Head of IT Program Delivery at Norbrook Laboratories. I held several senior positions with Sanderson PLC (Aptean) as principal Consultant UK and Ireland and previously ERP Program Manager UK and North America. 

What professional achievements led to you being awarded IT Professional of the year 2021 and IT Project of the year 2022 (Highly Commended)?

I have led and managed numerous high profile projects in my professional career.  However, operating within the Global Pharma Industry brings both challenges and opportunity for business change, a learning curve which I embraced.  Competently working cross functionally in a highly regulated environment delivering projects such as implementation of a Global Stability System while managing the complexities involved (i.e. Computer System Qualification and Validation) has been a significant professional achievement.

Similarly, developing and executing a four pillar strategy for IT within the Conneen Group was equally as challenging. Building from the basics, implementing a platform for technology enhancement and business partnering was a significant and exciting piece of work. Enabling lean and efficient processes overlaid with core technology, delivers business insights with data driven decision making.

Additionally, strategically selecting partners for integration and automation capability which can be utilised cross functionally, unlocking value and maximising return on investment.

Working across multiple industries shows flexibility and provides you with a diverse skill set.  This positively affects the culture of your organisation. 

Be individual, work hard from day one, go above and beyond and then ensure you get recognised for it.
Aaron Quinn | Cooneen | Director of Business Transformation and IT

What is your lasting impression of Abertay and Dundee?

Abertay is a university that reinvests capital to the betterment of its students. The library facilities at Abertay are second to none and the Student Centre, which was built during my time is world class. My part time job at university allowed me to integrate to the Dundonian community and has left me with friends for life.

What advice would you give to our students?

I would recommend investing time in building and maintaining  your network, help others when you can and ask for advice when you require it. Your university network is a good foundation for this, as you embark on the world of work, stay in touch, support each other on your career journey. Rarely do you encounter an IT matter that is unique, use your university network to gain a fresh perspective on issues to aid resolution. The BCS and ICS are great societies to further build this network and continue your CPD.

What is your view of IT departments in 2022

IT departments need to change the way they view themselves while assisting the business to move beyond their rigid stereotype that IT is a cost centre.  Yes, the business relies on IT to cover basic critical tech support functions.  However, we must realise that IT is a key strategic player within a business to support growth, innovation, margin/overhead control, business winning criteria and collaborative working. 

Delivering business value is vital. To do so, take a step back and understand the ‘why’ it’s equally as important to the end goal as the execution or delivery.


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