#GradStories Áine Keenan, Financial Engineer, First Derivative
What does a typical week look like for you?
A typical week varies according to the client project you’ve been assigned. You’ll work with the client team to deliver client deliverables and discuss objectives. You’ll also work weekly towards the capital market training programme studying and completing exams throughout the two years.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
Communication skills and listening due to the consulting nature of the job. Having an inquisitive mindset, asking questions and having a willingness to learn. Problem solving skills and adaptability are also important especially since your role can vary from week to week.
What was your career break?
I completed an undergraduate in business management from Maynooth University where I also completed my Master’s in business analytics. I then searched for a graduate programme to apply for. I came across the First Derivative graduate programme and it stood out to me due to the level of training it provided over the course of the two years and after.
What advice would you have for students?
Find an area that you’re interested in or find out what areas you aren’t interested in. This might mean putting yourself out there by reaching out to people in the area you might be interested in. This will also help your communication and networking skills.
What do you love about your job?
I love having the exposure to the different areas in the fintech industry and getting to build my market knowledge with First Derivatives capital markets training programme. I don’t have to restrict myself into one area. They have numerous clients that I’m given the opportunity to gain experience with. Your opinion is also valued by your colleagues and management.
How have you adjusted to working from home?
When I first started with First Derivative, I had the opportunity to go to the headquarters to complete two weeks of training, so I didn’t have to start working behind a screen. I then went to working from home. They also have a mentorship programme where an experienced employee looks out for you and guides you through your graduate programme, so I never felt isolated. I now get to work hybrid which is a great opportunity to meet some of your colleagues face to face.
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