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Rising Stars, Emma Louise Connolly, ESB

When completing my degree some key skills I gained which still stand to me now are the ability to apply and immerse myself in projects as well as team tasks and also being involved in different clubs and societies in college was of great benefit.

Degree subject BSc in Computing, National College of Ireland (2014)
Job title Client services
Employer ESB

Why a career in the IT sector?

I always had an interest in IT, I kept up to date with tech news and any new gadgets or devices that were on the market. My family had a strong background in computing and also engineering so it was something I was constantly involved in and exposed to while growing up.

What’s exciting about your job?

I find that meeting new people and getting the chance to be involved in so many different projects, which involve new and exciting technologies, is the most exciting thing about my job. ESB is such a diverse, innovative company that there is always something new to get involved in. There is also a great culture within the company which encouraged me to get involved in some great initiatives like volunteering in local schools and to take part in the recruitment drive of new graduates.

How did your degree contribute to you working with ESB?

My degree in Computing covered a wide range of subjects over the four years, including programming, networking, mobile development and much more. This allowed me to gain invaluable knowledge and skills which I could apply to many different projects and initiatives within ESB. When completing my degree some key skills I gained which still stand to me now are the ability to apply and immerse myself in projects as well as team tasks and also being involved in different clubs and societies in college was of great benefit. The selection process for the IT Graduate Programme began with a submission online, an online aptitude test and was followed by a face to face interview which included a case study.

What does your role involve, and what has been one of the biggest challenges?

I joined the three year IT Graduation Programme in 2014. My current role is business engagement in the Client Services business area. On a daily basis, I liaise with customers to ensure that they are utilising all the collaboration tools we offer and to also support them with any technical assistance they may need. I am involved in signing-off and transitioning products and working with support teams. One of the biggest challenges I have found personally so far is when coming from a college setting to a corporate environment, there is a lot to learn which is exciting but you must remember that it will take time and patience to pick up skills and knowledge along the way, which makes your graduate journey all the more exciting! This taught me that if you are willing to immerse yourself in your work and be open to learning new things, many doors will open for you as your time in the company progresses.

What advice would you have for students and graduates?

My advice for students and graduates looking to follow a career in IT is to make sure you are passionate about what you do and be open minded. Get involved as much as you can ie teamwork is a key factor in IT, essentially you are involved in connecting people, and being a team player will ensure you stand out. IT is a fast changing sector, which means there is always an element of learning, so keeping up to date with changing technologies is also a benefit.

How do you hope to see your career developing?

Over the next few years I hope to continue my learning and building on my knowledge within the many different areas of IT. Enhancing my skillset and being involved in as many different projects as possible, and then hopefully to further my career profile within the company.