Ciaran Gallagher

Ciaran travels all over the world as a Technical Consultant at Appirio.

BSc (Hons) Ethical Hacking, 2012

So what does your job involve?

I’m a Technical Consultant at Appirio. Specifically, I work for a sub division that deals directly with Google. Basically, I help large enterprises switch from their current system to the cloud.

How did you end up in that job?

That’s a bit of a funny story! When I left Abertay I got offered a job with the government doing something much more related to ethical hacking.

I was going through a vetting stage – they’d already vetted half my family and some of my friends. An official was actually in Dundee to talk to a couple of the lecturers I had.

I then got a phone call from a company I’d interviewed with a while back and they offered me a consultancy job in London. Since I was younger, I’d always wanted to get in to consultancy.

I had to call up the government and tell them I’d been offered a job elsewhere. The person vetting me was OK about it - it was his first time in Dundee and he’d enjoyed visiting!

From there I met the manager who’s in charge at my current job and here I am!

The Abertay careers department was invaluable. They taught me how to network and actually where to look. That's how I got my job offers right out of university.
Ciaran Gallagher | Appirio | Senior Consultant

What does a typical day look like for you?

It’s a very varied job. Consultancy in any kind of field is pretty challenging and mine is extremely challenging because the ‘cloud’ is the big buzzword these days. It’s what everyone is getting into and as a result it’s changing extremely rapidly.

I can definitely say I don’t have a day-to-day routine as every day is completely different. It also involves a lot of travelling.

So you get to see a lot of the world?

Yes! Last year I was in India for the first time, I’m off to Thailand soon and I was in America twice in a month earlier in the year. I get to go all over the place.

How important was your Abertay degree in helping you get to where you are now?

It was pretty much everything! I think every single interview I’ve had since graduating has started with the question ‘what the heck is ethical hacking?!’ and I think half of the interviews I’ve had are just because a lot of people see ‘ethical hacking’ and want to know what that is!

I’m not really involved with cyber security, but I know how to speak to people from a security perspective. A lot of large companies are heavily regulated and they’re moving to the cloud, which is this big scary world to them.

Having that background has told me what to look for and how to address their concerns. It’s been very useful in my job.

Who or what had the most impact on you at Abertay?

The lecturers, particularly Colin McLean who heads up the Ethical Hacking course. His advice has stuck with me.

Outside of that the careers department has been great. I’m still in touch with them every so often. In the final two years they were invaluable. They taught me how to network and actually where to look. That’s how I got my job offers right out of university.

What advice do you have for our current students?

Work up a healthy balance. I’ve seen some people who go to university to just study and get good grades. That’s great, but you’re missing out on the whole social element and the extra-curricular element which helps you expand your horizons.

Likewise, there are people who study and end up wishing they’d worked harder.

Try to find that balance and take the opportunities given to you. Explore not just what you want to do, but who you are as a person.

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