#GradStories James Kinsella, Risk Modelling Engineer, AIB

Last updated: 22 Jun 2023, 13:24

Image for #GradStories James Kinsella, Risk Modelling Engineer, AIB

What are the main tasks in your job in a normal week?

We engage in an agile work environment at AIB. I work on one or two projects during the week and in the beginning of each day I’ll have two to three calls going through what I did yesterday, what I’m going to do today and if I need a bit of help.

I work on the mortgage models. These are very complex models and I implement the code that allows us to calculate factors of various products such as mortgage grading and mortgage probability of default.

What skills do you need to be successful in your role?

There’s no specific set of skills as long as you go in with the right attitude and apply yourself. There’s a lot of training provided by AIB in terms of both technical and soft skills. When I came in, I had two months of technical skills training, and the soft skills are ongoing over the two-year programme.

It does help to have good communication skills, problem solving skills and critical thinking.

What do you love about working at AIB?

What I really love about AIB is the people and the culture. When I started working here, I found that there are people all the way up the ladder who make sure to take care of you and your wellbeing throughout the day, even if it's just a chat in the office.

We have a small grad cohort in the data analytics department, so I know them all and I get along with them. What I also love about AIB is that sustainability is a fundamental part of our strategy.

How did you get into your job?

I studied theoretical physics at Trinity. I then applied to the data and analytics grad program. I was lucky enough to get an interview in March and a couple of stages later I got an offer, and I started in September. I chose AIB mainly because of the sustainability strategy in place and because of the shorter contract of 23 months. We do three rotations within the department itself so eight months each. This means you get a taste of everything, and you figure out what you might like going forward.

What advice would you give a new graduate?

I would say to be curious and to avail of the opportunities that come to you. I developed a lot of my skills outside of the course environment. I was a member of the student managed fund in Trinity which actually focused a lot on financials and presenting skills which wouldn't come naturally.

I also took opportunities to learn code as well and I feel like taking initiative in itself is a massive skill.

How have you adapted to working from home?

I enjoy the flexibility that the hybrid model offers. It means I can maintain that work-like balance by cutting out the commute on certain days. But I also enjoy the office atmosphere. You get to go in twice a week and work with your colleagues in person. I would say the office environment is key to integrating yourself in a company and only being in there two days a week is difficult at times to assimilate to the office culture and get to know your colleagues. I would tell I would tell grads who are just starting to avail of opportunities to go into the office.

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