Niall Whelan - Promoting Opportunities for All

Niall Whelan is a DCU alumnus and Principle Business Intelligence Analyst at Intapp. In this piece, he looks back on his time at DCU and shares why he’s proud to support the DCU Access Programme.
Tell us a bit about your connection to DCU.

I studied my Master’s in Electronic Engineering part-time at DCU, between 2011 and 2013 – but my first experience in DCU was actually in the early ‘90s, when I was in my twenties. I was working by day and in college three nights a week and on Saturdays, studying Computer Applications. I found this very challenging and ultimately did not finish the course, given all the competing needs for my attention at that stage in life.

When it came to my Master’s, I had matured and I was able to manage my time better and focus more. I enjoyed working with classmates on DSP tutorials and projects, and I had the opportunity to work on a final year project of my choosing and code it up while on holidays in Portugal. Even though the subject matter was still daunting at times, I managed to complete the course with first class honours, of which I am immensely proud.

How did your college experience shape your life today?

I have always had an interest in learning and teaching. I even spent three years as an independent technical trainer in the late ‘90s. I believe in lifelong learning, and I try to instil this practice in others and lead by example as much as I can.  When I first went to college it was in the University of Limerick (N.I.H.E.) from 1985 to 1988, where I completed a Computer Engineering Diploma. I always knew I would need to further my education to support my career in a technology field. I have now spent more time in college part-time than full-time, and I believe I have learned to focus and learn better over time.

I would say I’m at the latter end of my career now. I just changed jobs from being a Software Development Manager in Amazon’s Product Search team to an individual contributor role as a Principle Business Intelligence Analyst at Intapp.

What inspires you to support DCU?

I grew up in Santry and played as a child on the Albert College fields which now make up the DCU campus grounds. It has been amazing to see the development of a world-class university over the intervening years which supports an ever-growing need for relevant and accessible education and training for future generations.

“I support the DCU Access Programme because I believe in promoting diversity and providing opportunities to students who may otherwise not be able to support themselves through college. It is important to build confidence and a sense of achievement as early as possible in life, and gaining third level qualifications can help with this.”

Interested in Supporting Access?