Your career pathway

Fiona Devlin, Third Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

What was your career path?

I applied for a Third Secretary competition, and after a series of interviews and tests I was delighted to be placed on the panel. I studied Law and French in Trinity College and then went on to a Masters in International Law at the University of Edinburgh. After a period working I then went to study in Kings’ Inns. I was called to the bar in 2009 and practiced for a brief period before joining the department as a Third Secretary.

What’s your typical day?

You might begin with a morning coordination meeting, then be asked to prepare a briefing for the Minister or write a speech, or meet with incoming delegations. No two days are the same.

Are there training opportunities?

Language training is heavily encouraged so I currently avail of the in-house French classes. Last summer I was given the opportunity to attend a seminar on International Law in Geneva.

What are the opportunities to progress?

After a period of time, a Third Secretary can expect to be posted at one of our overseas missions, a fantastic opportunity to represent and promote Ireland abroad. It’s a great opportunity to develop yourself professionally.

What has been your most memorable experience?

Acting as liaison officer for Hilary Clinton when she was U.S. Secretary of State when she came to Dublin to attend the OCSE Ministerial consul in 2012.

Any advice for students?

Make sure you have a keen interest in foreign and current affairs.

Find out more about working in the Public Service by visiting their careers website here

Where else can you go?