Ciara McDaniel

Financial Software Consultant, Murex

Degree subject BSc, Financial Maths and Economics, NUI Galway (2008)
Job title Financial Software Consultant
Employer Murex, Dublin

I was attracted to a career in IT because the industry is constantly changing and developing: there are always new ideas and concepts to master.

I’m a financial software consultant at Murex. I found my position through the gradireland directory where I came across an advert. The job description really appealed, so I applied.

The application process involved an exam followed by three interviews. The two-hour exam was designed to test my knowledge of current finance, economics and maths, and my understanding of IT terms and programming. I also had to write a short essay explaining why I wanted to work for the company and why I felt I would be a good fit.

My company supplies financial software to financial institutions such as investment banks. My role involves implementing and configuring the product for clients, supporting clients on a day-to-day basis, testing any developments made to the product and giving product training to clients.

A typical week will encompass a variety of activities. If any of my clients have any issues I'll need to deal with those first: I'll try to understand or reproduce their problem and resolve it for them. I could also be working on long-term projects alongside client issues, including support of new software developments – this would mean testing the development and writing test cases for future testing.

A particular highlight so far has been training clients: I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time round, but it turned out to be a fantastic experience. It involves classroom training – either on-site with us or at the client's offices – where we show them how to use the products and give examples. The client is then able to practise it themselves while we're on hand to answer any queries. Training usually lasts a few days and is a great way of meeting end users and building strong working relationships. As for my own training, I was formally inducted in the software when I first started, and in-house training is continuous.

Job-hunting tips

Be persistent. If you see a company you might want to work for don't wait for them to advertise jobs – send in your CV with a cover letter explaining why you'd like to work for them and why you'd be a good addition to their company. The worst they can do is say no.

Ciara McDaniel was interviewed for gradireland IT & Telecoms 2012.