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University College Cork’s PhD in Business Information Systems through the eyes of Alexis Amaye

headshot2 AAAfter working for over ten years in emergency management and public health preparedness, Alexis Amaye was ready to pursue a PhD. In that time, her career service in the public and private sector afforded her experiences to respond to Hurricane Katrina, the 2011 New York City blackout, Occupy Oakland, and the 2014 South Napa earthquake. While work as an emergency manager was rewarding, a career change was desired. When the opportunity presented itself in the form of a PhD Studentship with the S-HELP project, a European Union Funded project, she seized it. In October 2014, Ms. Amaye packed up and left the San Francisco area to travel with her son, Solomon, to start work as a Research Assistant and begin her studies at University College Cork. She brought her experience in planning, training, and exercising program management to the project which focused on developing a decision support system (DSS) in public health preparedness for a consortium representing five countries.

Working on the PhD in the Business Information Systems department has been extremely rewarding. In addition to growing in technical acumen, Ms. Amaye has been able to research system utilization and organizational mindfulness leveraging stakeholders from the S-HELP project. This has enabled her to travel to a number of countries to present her research including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Turkey. Her research uses design science to build a performance improvement tool to support emergency managers in evaluating ICT used for decision making.

While working on the PhD, Ms. Amaye has also been able to follow her passion in entrepreneurship through participation in a number of extracurricular projects and competitions. This included being short-listed in the EU-XCEL, a technology accelerator program for third-level business and technology students and the Irish Best Young Entrepreneur Award program.

As the PhD comes to an end, Ms. Amaye is ready to make Ireland her home. She hopes to complete her PhD in 2018 and obtain a lecturer position in information systems and entrepreneurship. Currently she works part-time as a Manager for the Blackstone LaunchPad, a campus based entrepreneurship initiative, which has allowed her to continue to work in the venture creation space for the broader UCC community.

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