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All-Female Panel Encourages Queen’s Students to Flex to Excel In Business

Female Panel

Female leaders from Northern Ireland’s Business and Professional Services Sector shared their personal success stories to a captive audience of students from Queen’s University Belfast last month (6 October) as part of the Industry Insights event series organised by the University’s Careers Employability and Skills service. The conversation focussed on non-linear routes into ‘Big Four’ firms with the panel in agreement that a growth mindset was key to a rewarding career.

Panellist Deborah Stevenson a Senior Manager at Operate, PwC told students: “You have a choice about the type of life and the type of career you have. You can decide whether you are going to be very rigid or one of those individuals who is going to strive to be better. We talk about this 1% improvement every day.”

She added: “If we could interview for attitude and mindset alone.... We have the infrastructure to set you up for success. We need to know you are committed to learn, committed to fail but move on quickly.”

Karen Bradbury, the Financial and Professional Services Sector lead for Invest NI also spoke about her non-linear career path after graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering, saying: “Be open to possibility, be open to opportunity. Try and work out what you are good at and how that can be transferred. There are other opportunities. There is not one prescribed career path for anyone.”

Also on the panel was Ciara Lynch, a Manager in Deloitte Digital, and Shannon Cunningham, Senior Manager in EY’s Tech Team. The panel discussion was hosted by Claudine Sutherland from Queen’s Employer Engagement Team and was preceded by a keynote speech from Richard Ramsey, Chief Economist, Northern Ireland, at Ulster Bank.