Vilicom is a long-standing supporter of DCU’s Access Programme. In this piece, Sean Keating, CEO of Vilicom, explains how this support is in line with their core value of nurturing talent and why businesses should continue to support philanthropy during the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Vilicom has supported DCU’s Access Programme since 2007. What motivates Vilicom to continue to support Access students 13 years on?
Nurturing talent is central to what we do at Vilicom, so it’s a natural fit for us to support DCU’s Access Programme. Hearing stories of Access students and what they go on to do in life through newsletters and at the annual Leadership Circle Dinner is truly amazing. Being a DCU graduate myself, I’ve seen first-hand the skills and talent Access students bring to the table once they’re given the opportunity to grow and develop, so at Vilicom we take pride in being able to help these students reach their potential in life.
Vilicom also sponsors an Access student through the Aidan P McDonnell Memorial Scholarship, can you tell us more about this?
Aidan McDonnell was a very bright young man with a big future ahead of him, and also a graduate of DCU. The founders of Vilicom, Oliver Farrell, Paul Donnelly and Colin Cunningham, wanted to remember Aidan for both his commitment and contribution to Vilicom and DCU. We hope to always remember Aidan through supporting a DCU Access student through the Aidan P McDonnell Memorial Scholarship.
During this pandemic, why is it important for business to continue supporting philanthropic activities?
This is a very tough time for people all over the world, especially for those who rely on the help and support of others to get through life. As business leaders, we must remember that this time will pass and life will eventually get back to normal, so it’s vital that we continue to support those most in need in society through continuing our CSR and philanthropy commitments.
As a graduate of DCU, what does DCU mean to you and how did your education contribute to your own success?
I graduated from DCU with a degree in Electronic Engineering in 1993. The course was quite tough, but had the right mix of practical and theoretical learning, so DCU was a key player in helping to develop my work ethic and launching me into my career in engineering. Since then, I’ve gone back to college a few times to further my education, giving me a life-long grá for learning, which is extremely important in engineering with new technologies coming into play year after year.
You’ve taken part in DCU’s Student Mentorship Programme for a number of years now – why would you recommend business leaders to become a mentor to young people?
Helping second year students set goals and plan their careers for the last seven years has been a great experience. For me, mentoring has become a two-way street when it comes to learning as I always come away with fresh perspectives and ideas from working with these bright young people at DCU. Young generations eat, sleep and breath technology without even realising it, so gaining insights from these young people I’ve mentored has been invaluable.