Staff Profile: Gareth Smyth
31 August 2018
Gareth has been working at Autoline HQ on his placement year. He has been a huge asset to Autoline over the last year, resolving our IT problems, throwing himself into our charity fundraisers and forming firm friendships. We sat down with Gareth to find out how he found the experience of working at Autoline before we said our fond farewells.
IT Admin Assistant
What are you currently studying?
Computer Information Technology at Queen’s University Belfast
What kind of things did you do here on your placement year at Autoline?
A large part of the job was problem solving. Responding to tickets in the system and then helping people with their PC issues or problems with their phone. I got to meet nearly everyone here as a result! There was also an analytical side to the role where I would be generating reports for various areas of the business.
Who/what inspired you to study the course you are doing?
I made the decision myself. I had been working in McDonalds full-time after completing my A-levels and I had gotten too comfortable and I just knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do long term. When I was in school I always had an interest in computers, so I took it upon myself to apply for Tech. I’d never actually planned to go to uni, but once I completed Tech I decided to go on, get the degree, get qualified and start a career in that field. It was a hard decision at the time to go part time, take a pay cut and go back to school but I’m very glad I made that decision now.
How did you find out about Autoline for a placement opportunity?
The placement opportunity at Autoline was advertised on our university portal. I looked at the advert and went on to the website. One of the main reasons I ended up applying was because of the training awards and the Investment In People awards and I thought if they are winning all of these awards, it’s obviously a great place to work!
What have you learned that you can bring back to your course?
I have learned quite a lot of practical skills. In particular with the likes of Active Directory for example. What I had come across in uni was very different to how it’s used within a business, so it was great to learn lots of hacks that you wouldn’t necessarily learn in the classroom. Likewise, learning how to provide support for Office 365 and solving problems and troubleshooting. I know how to actually fix the problems that occur in the real world now.
What have you learned that you can apply to your future career?
I think learning how to deal with people and solving their problems is one of my biggest take-away lessons. Within a business people have varying levels of comfort and experience with technology and it was a great experience learning how to communicate with people and help them when they were getting frustrated.
What have you enjoyed most about working at Autoline?
Learning new skills with IT. Taking what I had learned at uni and applying it to the real word.
What will you miss?
I will definitely miss the people. Everyone has been very nice and made me feel very welcome since the day I got here. I’ll miss the craic with everyone, even the people I have never met, I’ve only talked to them over the phone, but I’m talking to them once or twice every week and you really get to know them. I find that with every job, it’s always the people that make it a special place to work.
After graduation, what do you want to do?
My plans in my head at the moment are to maybe move to England for a while, but that’s a whole year away so you don’t know what can happen. I am planning on applying for graduate schemes and going where the best opportunities are.
Would you recommend Autoline for a placement to others?
Yes, it’s been a very enjoyable experience being able to help people every day with their problems and getting involved with fun things like charity fundraising too!
Find out more about the exciting career opportunities available at Autoline here.