Where are you now?
I am working for FinTrU (Financial Transparency Utility) Limited based in the company’s Belfast office as an Analyst. FinTrU was set up un 2013 by our CEO, Darragh McCarthy, and provides outsourcing of skilled, human-capital intensive and client-facing processes for financial clients.
I applied for the graduate position advertised in July of last year. The selection process included an online aptitude test and interviews. Successful candidates progressed to the FinTrU Financial Services Academy, which comprised of intensive training in financial markets, financial regulation and investment administration with a focus on data analysis and management. As part of the Academy, I also completed Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) module 1. Graduates from the academy enter onto the 2 year FinTrU Analyst Programme which combines on-the-job training with professionally accredited qualifications. I will complete IOC modules two and three within the next year to complete my qualification.
Since I began my employment with FinTru I have acquired a new set of skills that has allowed me to successfully demonstrate my aptitude when working on upcoming projects, despite having no prior experience in the financial sector. To date, I have been involved in the Document Digitisation of trade agreements for a Tier 1 Investment Bank, and I am currently involve in a Due Diligence process for a Real Estate Loa Portfolio Servicing Company.
I am delighted and privileged to have been selected to be part of a new, exciting and dynamic company with enormous growth potential.
How did you get there?
I received my post-primary education at Belfast Royal Academy, and after the completion of my A-Levels, I successfully applied for a place in Law at Queens University. However, I decided after my first year that the course was not for me personally. I took time to consider my options and chose instead to read Modern History, graduating with a 2:1 in 2013. The university staff were very understanding of my wishes to change degree, and I greatly appreciated all their support in accommodating my decision.
My education had delivered academic success, but more than that it was a journey in personal development. I gained essential skills such as self- confidence, communication, commitment, initiative, team work and time management. My career prospects were enhanced by having a good degree from a globally revered Russell Group University like Queens. At university I had a part-time position with a major supermarket retailer, and this experience was also invaluable in demonstrating my capacity to manage full time study with my work commitments, whilst also gaining valuable transferable skills.
Graduation represented a new beginning and I was keen to take the opportunity to travel further. I spent time in Brisbane, working and using it as a base to travel to other parts of Australia. Returning to Belfast in June 2014, I was now ready to plan for and consider my career options. I had no definite career in mind, but what was paramount was finding a job which I would enjoy and which would motivate me. Ideally, it would be a job which would be stimulating, challenging and which provided an opportunity to gain professional qualifications, enhancing my career development and career prospects. I was willing to be flexible and to consider all options, and not just positions with the major firms attending recruitment fairs. Reviewing and preparing my CV was also significant in giving me a focus on my achievements and skills, and the opportunity to tailor the CV to particular job specifications.
FinTrU seemed to be exactly the kind of opportunity I was looking. Furthermore, as a relatively young company it presented the challenge and excitement of being in at the start of a new development. The career path I walk at FinTrU is one that I perhaps would have thought to be inaccessible with a degree background like History, but it is important to remember that the skills you acquire in any degree are desirable and transferable. Ultimately what is important to employer is that you possess the aptitude and the attitude to succeed no matter what you endeavor to do.
Making use of Careers, Employability and Skills at Queen’s
The Student Gateway, Career, Employability and Skills provided excellent information and advice on career planning and preparation of a CV. The recruitment fairs provided an opportunity to meet with graduate employers and ascertain particularly the positions available for graduates with a degree which was not career specific. Useful advice was also given on preparing a CV, filling in job application forms and preparing for interviews. I also subscribed to the Prospects electronic newsletter, which not only informed me of graduate posts in the UK, but also offered a careers advice service.
Advice for current Queen's students
Enjoy your time at university. Work hard and extend your opportunities. Acquaint yourself with all the university has to offer outside the lecture theatre, and make the most of it. Boost your experiences and skills for a degree is just the beginning. Take time to consider your future beyond university. Be flexible and open to different career routes. The job market is competitive, now more than ever, but a Queens’s graduate has the evidence of the achievement and the qualities necessary to succeed. Be confident in your self-worth and keep trying; for one closed door merely provides the opportunity to knock on another door.