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Lorna Brady

Graduate Trainee, Vodafone Ireland

Degree subject Bachelor of Commerce, NUI Galway (2006); MSc Strategic Management, DIT (2010)
Job title Graduate Trainee
Employer Vodafone Ireland

I've long been interested in technology and I still remember getting my first mobile phone over a decade ago. The impact technology has on the way we live and work fascinates me: it's a competitive and exciting market to work in.

I read about Vodafone's graduate programme on the gradireland website and applied straight away. As with most graduate traineeships there were a number of assessments and interviews to get through but the final stage involved visiting Head Office to meet with company executives. Thirty of us were invited and we had to undertake a team challenge followed by one-to-one interviews. There were only ten places on the graduate programme so I was thrilled to be offered one of them.

For my first job I was based in Customer Experience working on a billing project. It was quite a learning curve as I had to familiarise myself with the complexity of the billing system and other processes very quickly, but it was great experience. I’m currently based in the HR department on my second rotation where I'm project-managing the 2011 graduate programme.

I’ve overseen all the marketing for this year's programme, which has involved a lot of social media. I've also been heavily involved in the design of the recruitment process and the programme itself. It's been particularly fascinating for me as I'm now on the opposite side of the table and have picked up some great tips for my own career!

There are plenty of opportunities here for both classroom-based and online training. We have an elearning portal with a host of soft skills training courses, as well as more practical courses such as Excel. I've also had project management training which has been particularly useful as I've begun taking on my own projects.

To pursue a career in IT and telecoms, you need to have a passion for cutting-edge technology. You also need to keep up to date with current trends and developments in the telecoms industry as it is constantly evolving.

Advice for graduates

There are certainly jobs out there, but you have to think of innovative ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd. If you lack experience, look for an internship that will allow you to cultivate the skills required for your chosen career. It could lead to something more permanent.

Lorna Brady was interviewed for gradireland IT & Telecoms 2012.