Friday 01 August 2014


Seagate Technologies is strengthening its global links thanks to an international exchange scheme. 

Material Science student, Judith Worle from Austria, will be spending the summer at the firm through the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) Programme managed by the British Council. 

Over the course of an eight-week placement, Judith will complete specialist projects in the firms engineering room, including optimising the process for etching disk drives. 

This is the second year Seagate Technologies, which specialises in parts for hard drives, has taken part in the global student exchange programme.

Brian Durin, Principal for Innovation at Seagate Technologies, said: “IAESTE offers a fresh approach to some very difficult challenges that businesses face. It brings the best out of a firm and helps elevate a business’ performance.

“The students themselves bring fantastic experience and knowledge to the placements, but what sets them apart is their enthusiasm. They bring new ideas, creativity and fresh energy into the factory.

“We do our best to make sure the students have a great experience, as we have a responsibility to be ambassadors for Northern Ireland and showcase the province as a great place to visit and work.”

Judith, who is currently staying in the halls of residence at the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus, couldn’t praise her host city or employers enough.

She said: “I’ve only been here for two weeks, but everyone has made me feel very welcome.

“It’s great to put theory into practice and the placement has made me realise that I would perhaps prefer a job in industry, rather than academia. 

“The highlight so far has been the Derry people; everyone is very outgoing and easy to talk to. I feel that I will make memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Judith is among 39 international students who will work in Northern Ireland through IAESTE this summer, while 26 students from Northern Ireland will complete work placements in 15 countries worldwide.  The IAESTE programme offers students in technical degrees with paid, course-related training abroad and employers with highly skilled, highly motivated international trainees. 

David Alderdice, British Council Director in Northern Ireland, said: “International business connections and partnerships are vital for economic success and growth. Exchange programmes like IAESTE facilitate these connections by bringing in young future business leaders from around the world for placements with local employers and send out our future business leaders into the international marketplace to gain international experience and build partnerships for success.”

The students were recently welcomed to Northern Ireland by Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry at a special reception at the Harbour Commissioner’s Office in Belfast. 

He said: “I am pleased these students have decided to come to Northern Ireland to gain technical experience. Students from previous years have recounted their positive experiences of Northern Ireland, and I hope that the knowledge and experience gained will prove invaluable for future careers and the exchange of ideas.” 

The IAESTE programme is supported by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) in conjunction with local Universities and the British Council. Among the other local companies who have taken students this year are CDE Ireland Ltd, Kainos, SAP, Michelin and Translink.

For more information on IAESTE visit or for details on opportunities available through the British Council visit or email


Notes to Editor

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About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the arts, education, English, science, sport and governance and last year we engaged face to face with 18.4 million people and reached 652 million. We are a non-political organisation which operates at arm’s length from government. Our total turnover in 2009/10 was £705 million, of which our grant-in-aid from the British government was £211 million. For every £1 of government grant we receive, we earn £2.50 from other sources. For more information, please visit: