Iain O’Neill is Head of Innovation, Technology and Business Transformation at Corona Energy which is a leading supplier of gas and power to the UK. Iain manages a team of 14 people across IT and project work and he spoke to LCCA about his day to day role, his passion for the work he does as well as the importance of education.

Speaking of his own experiences, Iain went to Sydney, Australia to pursue his master’s degree in project management in order to ensure that he would be armed with relevant skills when it came to job hunting and to help himself stand out from the crowd. He states that his own university education is still very relevant to his current job and Iain believes he is where he stands today due to his educational experience and he owes all of his experience as well as his “rapid rise to success” to education. He believes learning is a continual journey.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s vital to stay on top of the latest trends in technology as this is at the heart of all businesses and only through technology can businesses expand and reach wider markets. Iain suggests that students and job seekers do this by attending tech conferences, reading relevant publications and browsing the social media sites of companies you desire to work for.

He stressed that formal qualifications are vital in the workplace for a number of roles including IT, project management and analyst positions, however, what catches the eye of employers further is if formal education is completed alongside “out of the classroom” learning where students take it upon themselves to self-learn. In the IT sector there are always new programmes released which students should make themselves familiar with if certain knowledge wasn’t gained at college/university. Iain feels that in today’s job climate, students can impress employers by showing their own initiative and “self-thinking.”

This was produced as part of our Great Minds series. If you feel inspired to further your own education, please browse our courses here and you can watch the episode here.