I studied the BComm degree at University College Cork, a broad four-year degree which incorporates a placement opportunity in the professional business environment. This degree was perfect for someone like me who wasn’t yet entirely sure of what direction they wanted their degree to take them. After a six-month placement in an accountancy firm I became interested in the role banks have to play in day to day business activities, particularly in the areas of fraud and how the rise of digital and smart technologies have affected traditional banking methods.
I knew that Bank of Ireland always had an excellent reputation for being one of Ireland’s top employers and I particularly liked the aspect of the rotations within the programme as I wanted something that would provide a range of experience in a variety of roles within the Bank. The opportunity to continue my studies was also an important factor when choosing a Graduate Programme as many of my classmates and friends from University had continued their studies full-time, or had taken the accountancy examinations route and I did not want to feel like I was falling behind.
For my first rotation, I was assigned to the Omega Project which has over 600 employees in a large office space on Grand Canal Quay. Omega is an exciting new five-year transformational project with the aim of upgrading the Bank’s IT systems to provide an enhanced customer service model while also introducing efficiencies into the company’s digital operating model. In this role, I have had the opportunity to work on the Risk team where I have been responsible for running weekly Risk Reports to the leadership team within the Bank. While no two days are ever the same, I generally work with technical experts to support the dynamic reporting process and regularly take ownership for the collation and distribution of accurate Risk data to target audiences on a weekly basis. More recently, my team were awarded with the ‘Excellence in Risk Management’ Award at the Bank of Ireland awards night which was organised for staff in recognition of the hard work carried out by employees working on the Omega project. This was not only a hugely rewarding experience, but also demonstrated how much the Bank value excellent work efforts by employees. While the work so far has provided lots of challenges and responsibilities, I feel as though I am continually developing new skill-sets which are certainly transferrable between various roles within the Bank or throughout the rest of my career.
For me, sports and other types of social activities were an important factor, particularly after playing a strong society role as Auditor of the UCC Commerce Society in University College Cork. Bank of Ireland offer a range of programmes to get involved in such as Be At Your Best, Give Together and other types of Bank-sponsored initiatives (BizWorld & Junk Kouture).
Since starting on the Bank of Ireland Graduate Programme, I have felt the level of trust and responsibility given to us demonstrates very strongly in the values they have placed on us as Graduates. I have also found that everyone I have met so far has been very willing to share their experience and knowledge to ensure you not only have the information required to do the work but the context of why you are doing it. Regular meetings with members of your team to discuss both my professional and personal development while on the programme are other aspects which I have found very useful so far as this facilitated my own transition from university life to professional life very well and ensured everything ran smoothly. Working with Bank of Ireland means that you are working with those who are leaders in their profession and this, from a learning perspective, is exactly what you need to look for in a Graduate Programme!