Roseann Gilligan, Executive Officer, Department of Education & Skills
What was your career path?
I saw an ad for an open competition for an Executive Officer. I applied, was selected for interview and then a couple of weeks later I was informed I had been successful. I qualified for NUI Galway with a Bachelor of International Commerce, including German.
What are your main tasks?
I deal with administration in the Minister’s office. This involves dealing with priority correspondence and the collation of briefing material for the Minister for cabinet meetings. I deal with freedom of information requests and any general queries from the public.
What do you like best about your job?
It’s very varied and challenging. I have to deputise for the Private Secretary when he’s not around. This involves me working closely with the Minister, whether here or in Leinster House. The most enjoyable aspect is the variety. I never know what is going to be on my desk when I arrive in the morning. It never gets boring.
Would you recommend a career in the civil service?
Definitely. There’s a great grade structure and room for progression. You’re not limited to staying within the one department; there’s great flexibility to move about.
Is it a good working environment?
Since joining the department I’ve made many great friends. There’s no set social club but we kind of formed our own and every so often we’ll go for a couple of social drinks.
Is there support for further progress?
There are plenty of opportunities to further your education within the department. We have a ‘refund a fee’ scheme which enables you to go back to college and the department will fund that for you. There are opportunities to upskill. When I joined first I was in internal audit. I had never done anything like that before so the department enrolled me on an internal audit certificate course with the IPA.
Find out more about working in the Public Service by visiting their careers website here