Degree subject University College Cork, Ireland – BE Civil & Environmental Engineering
Job title Financial Engineer
Employer First Derivatives
My career background
My career choice was decided after attending a talk by Brian Conlon, the CEO of First Derivatives (FD), which he gave at University College Cork in April 2011. I was excited to hear how First Derivatives (FD) had such a far reach globally with top class clients. My decision was made easy when I learned that I could work with multiple organisations in different locations. It wasn’t long before I was in contact with their Human Resources department and members of staff in my
network about the possibility of a job. My first day as an employee was only two months after the talk.
I am currently a team leader for the upgrade of a Trading Platform with a large bank in Johannesburg, South Africa. The project is pan-African, which means I will be travelling to Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland in the coming months.
I have settled in quite well to working life. My strongest asset would be my communication skills. I try to be as direct with people as I can be about communicating progress, issues and deadlines. The more effectively you communicate, the less misunderstandings there will be, which can ultimately impact the important tasks on hand at any given moment.
First Derivatives have a strong culture of lifelong learning and personal development. FD have a Capital Markets Training Programme (CMTP), which each employee must complete while working on the graduate programme.
My advice to graduates would be to contact people from companies you are interested in working for and get as many opinions as you can. Having a rich sample of opinions and insights from current and former staff will help you make a more informed decision, which helps in choosing which companies to apply to. Another tip is to be professional in everything you do.