John McCarthy

Bank Executive, Central Bank of Ireland

Job Bank Executive
Employer Central Bank of Ireland, Dublin
Education BCom International Commerce and French, UCD (2007); MBS in Project Management, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Dublin (2009)

The application and interview process for my job was very thorough, involving panel interviews, an assessment centre and psychometric tests, but the structure of the Central Bank’s graduate programme really impressed me so it was well worth the effort.

I joined the Bank’s inaugural recruitment programme in October 2009. It’s unique in terms of the exposure we get: we’re given four rotations across the bank’s different business areas and our activities change from rotation to rotation.

I’m currently working in project management. A typical day will involve answering e-mails and scheduling meetings with stakeholders, drafting proposals, writing status reports and undertaking spreadsheet work. We also have frequent project meetings as well as regular training and professional development sessions. In fact I’ve just finished a three-week course on financial regulation.

Getting so much responsibility early on is empowering and encourages you to buy into your own job. I genuinely enjoy working here. Before I started I was expecting my colleagues to be a lot older, but it’s a real mix, from new graduates up to retirement age.

Writing for the Central Bank Quarterly Bulletin in my first rotation (in one of the economics departments) was probably the most challenging thing I’ve done so far. My article was the culmination of six months’ research and involved sourcing data from the European Central Bank, coordinating and obtaining advice from senior economists. I felt the pressure at times, but I’m proud of the end result.

I know from speaking to managers and colleagues that the bank isn’t only interested in economics and financial graduates: for example engineering, science and arts graduates are also encouraged to apply. The bank is more focussed on the individual rather than their background, and I’m a good example of that!