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Céara O’Mahony, Fundraising Trainee - Age Action

The not-for-profit sector has always been something that I’ve been interested in, throughout school and college. I studied International Development and Food Policy and was involved with a lot of different charitable societies. Working for a social good rather than simply for profit is a strong motivating factor for me. I also think that the not-for-profit sector is very diverse and challenging area to work in with a lot of opportunity for progression. The experience has been really positive so far. It’s a really practical, continuous learning environment. Even though you do have real responsibilities, you have access to so much support, advice and training throughout, which is really helpful. I meet once a month with 2into3 for a mentoring session as part of the programme. I find receiving advice from an outside perspective to be extremely valuable. I think the topics that are covered in the sessions are all very practical and solutions based. I don’t think there is anything else like it on the market at the moment and the fact that you can meet with your mentor to discuss challenges and get advice is a really good safety net of sorts to have. Getting to meet other graduates on the programme at the Roundtable events provides it’s own support network. Amy Carr, Partnership and Philanthropy Manager from Focus Ireland recently hosted a roundtable event which I found excellent. Amy shared really practical tips and advice as well as highlighting how transferable skills from other sectors are relevant to fundraising. It was great to see someone in a management position that has come through the 2into3 Not-for-Profit Graduate Programme like Amy share their experiences. The variety that fundraising roles present really appeals to me, the fact that you never really know how your week is going to go. For example, your week could be fully planned out and then get an email on a Monday morning that completely changes that. It is very much about thinking on your feet and taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.