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GradIreland Stories from Queen's

Conall McNally
Transaction Services Trainee, KPMG

"The advice I would give to my 17 or 18 year-old self would just be to work. It's under-rated in the world just how important it is to just get out there and work and put the hours in regardless of whether that's your sport, your education or your actual job. You just have to be willing to work. Get a work ethic as early as you can and just apply that every single day of your life."

Sean McNally
Auditor, Chartered Accountants Ireland (KPMG)

"I studied accountancy at Queen’s University in Belfast and then applied to KPMG via the ‘milkround’ process. I felt that accountancy is where my core competencies are. I had an interest in numbers and figures, and the fact that it would be a challenging role. It also was attractive to me because I could gain an extra qualification."

Emily Power
Data Scientist, Wavteq

"The main skills which you would need as a data scientist would be problem-solving skills, you need to be able to see the puzzle, understand the puzzle and then solve the puzzle. You also need to be open to new technology and be very adaptable."

Eamonn Grant
Audit & Assurance Trainee, KPMG

"If I could go back and talk to myself as a first year student I would probably tell myself to take part in any projects or group activities that are going on, whether scholarly or extra-curricular, because any of the skills you pick up will stand to you in a professional setting."

Keith Quigley
Process Engineer, IJM Timber

"The skills I need on a day-to-day basis would be general problem-solving skills and people skills. I also work in some process improvement projects where I have to coordinate between different people, so my people management skills are crucial. My advice would be to work on people management skills, constantly working in a team environment and learning the different dynamics of a team."

Kristian Healy
Investment Analyst, Davy

"The best advice I could give to someone younger than myself who is interested in a career in finance is to put yourself outside your comfort zone. It's not essentially a skill that you have to have, it's just something you have to do."

Lorna Fitzpatrick
Financial Engineer, First Derivatives

"While studying Business Management at Queen’s University Belfast I had a passion for a large City financial firm, so that was my focus when developing my CV. To give myself as much knowledge and background as possible on this sector. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a place on the Code First programme, which develops you HTML and CSS skills and I was also fortunate enough to get a place on an Enactis programme which brings together students to conceive and develop viable business plans."

Luke McCann
Financial Engineer, First Derivatives

"Get as heavily involved as you can in student societies. I probably got the role in First Derivatives because when I was in university I was heavily involved in a society called Enactus, which is in all the major universities and financial institutions. It's a social enterprise where you come up with different charitable projects. It gives you more exposure and experience of organising events, of dealing in a different professional context than you would in your typical part-time job."

Emma Nangle
Project Lead Consultant, First Derivatives

"I studied law at Queen’s University in Belfast. Then I did a Masters in Business. I then saw that a career with First Derivatives would give me the perfect fusion between the worlds of law and business, with a lot of opportunities in the regulatory sector."

Cliona Costello
R&D Manager, Meade Potato Company

"The advice I would give to my 17 or 18 year-old self would just be to work. It's under-rated in the world just how important it is to just get out there and work and put the hours in regardless of whether that's your sport, your education or your actual job. You just have to be willing to work. Get a work ethic as early as you can and just apply that every single day of your life."

Maude O'Sullivan
Area Manager, Aldi

"I first became aware of the Aldi Graduate Manager Training Programme at a careers fair that I attended. I really enjoyed the fact that Aldi invested a full year of training into someone to create a successful area manager."

Hannah Gowdy
Tax Consulting Trainee, KPMG

"Don’t be afraid to get involved. When you start something new, throw yourself into it. If you're not enjoying what you're doing, do a bit of research into something you think you might like to do and go for it, because I wish I had done it a year earlier."

Aonghus Clarke
Innovation Lead, Torpey

"In my role the key skills needed are communication, working in a team and using your own initiative. In college you can develop these skills by getting involved with different societies and getting involved with different teams and if you are trying to be a leader, if that is your future goal, try to get involved in leadership roles in group projects in college."