Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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Debbie Rankin (centre) along with her GCSE and A-level Computing teachers - View Full Size Image
Debbie Rankin (centre) along with her GCSE and A-level Computing teachers

Loreto College Coleraine, Specialist School, played host to Miss Debbie Rankin, who graduated from the University of Ulster with a B.Sc.(hons) in Computing with a Diploma in Industrial Studies in June 2008 as the first-placed student in her year-group, at the end of January 2009.

Debbie, who will soon be presented with the British Computer Society gold medal in recognition of her achievement, spoke to a Year 13 audience about her time as a student, giving advice on courses, study and the need to consider future employment prospects before applying for a university course.† Debbie also spoke about her decision not to enter a lucrative career as a software professional but rather to undertake Ph.D. research within the University of Ulsterís School of Informatics, developing new methods of biometric security that are based on iris recognition.† While this is a complex topic, Debbie made the contents of her talk accessible to all students present, whether or not they were currently studying computing.

Students had an opportunity to ask Debbie questions about her experiences as a student and also with the software development industry. Careers teacher, Mrs Eileen Diamond chaired the talk and thanked Debbie for giving of her time to return to her former school to offer advice to students considering a career in information technology.