Working in audit with Deloitte, and captaining the Cork Ladies Football Team, Ciara O’Sullivan talks about balancing your work with your passion.
When did you start playing football and how did you end up on the Cork team?
I started playing football with my club Mourneabbey when I was under 8 and when I was 11 I went for Cork under 14 trials. I was lucky enough to make that U14 panel and have been playing with various Cork teams since then. I have been a member of the Cork senior team for the last 9 years and this is my second year as captain of the team.
How does your intensive training schedule for Cork compare to your training to become a Chartered Accountant?
I must admit I enjoy training with Cork a little bit more than I enjoyed studying for the exams! I think both take discipline and organisation and I actually think they complement each other. During study leave for my CAP 2s and FAEs I really looked forward to going training after studying for the day and although sometimes I was tired before training, I always felt better after it. It’s great to give you a focus other than the exams and work. It’s also always something to talk to clients about when you’re on site as a lot of clients in Ireland have some interest in GAA!
Does your work as captain on the field help your work in Deloitte off the field?
It’s not something I’ve ever actually thought about but I suppose it does. I’ve been very lucky to be part of this Cork team who have so many leaders, so in some ways being captain is just a title. I’m just the one who goes up for the toss or gets to collect the cup if we win. Everyone helps each other and it’s all about the team. It’s the same in Deloitte, particularly as I work in audit where in general there are a number of people on the audit team. Again everyone helps each other and it makes the job much more enjoyable and efficient. I’ve made great friends on both the Cork team and in work and having these friends who are in the same boat as you helps a lot.
What has been the best moment of your career as the captain of the Cork Ladies football team?
It would have to be winning the 2015 All-Ireland final. It was against Dublin again and like in previous years we just about won. The closer the game is the more you appreciate the win when it’s over. Lifting the cup was unreal… the speech that followed definitely wasn’t unreal!
What’s your advice for other trainees who juggle the heavy commitment of both their career and passion?
I would say that it’s totally achievable to do both, if you want to do it enough. Obviously I know I’m lucky that work accommodate me where they can so that I never miss training. I think that once you are organised and like doing something enough you will make it happen.
For more advice on getting started in your career and balancing your life, read gradireland’s advice section.
Caimin Browne writes about the benefits of thinking outside the box when it comes to your teaching career, and why teaching overseas on a Meddeas teaching programme can be such a rewarding and enriching experience.
Why did you take the step of coming to Spain with Meddeas?
I was finishing my degree (Saint Patrick’s College-DCU) in Ireland and I had limited options here. I wanted to do teaching in Ireland, but I couldn’t get onto the the course I wanted to do. A friend reminded me of an email I received to teach English in Spain, related to TEFL. Although I didn’t speak Spanish I thought it would be worth applying for. I’m very glad I did.
If you had to choose one specific memory of your Spanish experience, which one would it be and why?
THE HEAT. I have never experienced such heat and it being considered normal. I was wearing shorts up to December and playing a rugby match on the first weekend of March, and it was 25, 26 degrees Celsius. Coming from Ireland, where the weather is always in the public domain, I couldn’t believe how normal temperatures in the mid-20’s were in October, and people wearing jumpers and jackets. Madness!
What relationships and/or friendships do you keep from your stay in Spain?
I still stay in touch with staff from the school and the rugby team I played with, on an ongoing basis by Facebook or WhatsApp.
In what sense has your worldview changed after your experience teaching in Spain?
The role I have to play in life. I left Ireland to teach English in Spain. I was no longer a student, I was seen as a grown up, an adult with responsibility, whose main objective was to teach as a language assistant in a school and instruct, kids are going to use what you teach them to broaden their own horizons and develop their own lives. Spain for me was the first time that I was doing something I always wanted to do.
Did you improve your level of Spanish? Has this skill helped you in your professional career? Do you use Spanish in your everyday life now?
It most certainly has. Before I left to teach English in Spain, I had a very basic level of Spanish, but I looked on this as an opportunity, where any progress was a bonus. The Spanish in Andalucia is distinctly different to Spanish spoken elsewhere in the country, so in some ways not having a firm footing in the language and being able to learn from scratch was a bonus. At the moment, I’m studying to be an Irish and French Language teacher, but also having Spanish is a huge bonus both professionally and personally.
How has this experience improved your CV and professional life?
It’s made a huge difference. I learned a new language, gained exposure to a new culture and got invaluable teaching experience. Furthermore, having work experience abroad has shown that I am able to adapt to work outside of Ireland. I am currently studying a Masters to be a school teacher here in Ireland and am hoping to work teaching French and Irish at second level.
What advice would you give to someone joining Meddeas in order to make the most of this experience?
I would advise anyone to do this. Spain offers so much; beautiful food, compassionate and kind people, fantastic weather and so much culture and travel. The year I completed will go down as one of the best of my life and there is not much I would have changed about it. It’s great to get exposed to a totally different way of life and culture. I would say to anyone, don’t just dream about travel, live it and use it to enhance and inspire your career and other life choices.
Are you noticing more employers are moving away from traditional application methods and moving more towards video as part of their recruitment process? At the Jameson International Graduate Programme we introduced video applications to our recruitment process in 2010 and we’ve never looked back! If you’re not sure where to start with your video, here are our top tips so that you can complete the application process without fear!
By Sinead D’Arcy, Jameson International Graduate Programme Manager
The first thing we’ll look for in your video application is that you have the right attitude to become a Jameson Brand Ambassador. We’re on the look out to find someone who embodies the Jameson spirit of warmth, charisma and wit. Show us that you’re passionate, driven to succeed and have the dedication it takes to work with the world’s fastest growing international whiskey brand.
- Be Yourself
This is definitely one of the most important things to think about when creating your video application. We want to get to know your personality, your individuality, the things that make you, YOU! We completely understand that talking to a camera about yourself isn’t necessarily the easiest and most comfortable situation in the world, so here’s what to do- take a breath, grab your camera, sit down, relax and chat to us as if you’re chatting to an old friend.
- Tell us what’s relevant
You don’t have a lot of time so make sure your video application is full of relevant information. Tell us about yourself, your interests, your skills and why this is relevant to the Jameson Graduate Programme.
- Keep to the time
Time management is a vital part of being a Jameson Brand Ambassador. Show us that you can include all the necessary and relevant information in a 2-3 minute video and needless to say, get your application in on time!
- Make sure your written application and your video mirror each other
Bear in mind that during our review process, we take a look at your written application and your video together. Make sure they both contribute to your overall story and there is a consistency between the 2 – just like the relationship between a good book and the movie version!
If you are looking for some inspiration on how to make your application video check out videos of past successful application video’s on our YouTube channel.
Online applications for this year’s Graduate Distiller Programme close at 13:00 on Wednesday, 16th November 2016 and applications for the International Graduate Programme applications close at 13:00 on Monday, 16th January 2017. Visit our dedicated graduate recruitment website here to get your application across the line.
Guest blog: Want to work as a trainee Chartered Accountant? Advice from Deloitte trainee Ronan FogartyPosted: October 3, 2016
For any trainee Chartered Accountant beginning a training contract or working through one, there are some key skills that one should focus on developing. Here Ronan Fogarty, an audit trainee with Deloitte, offers his advice based on his own experience ‘on the ground’…
Make a good first impression
When starting a new contract, you will meet so many new people – fellow trainees, managers, partners and clients. This will continue right throughout your training contract. Given the nature of professional services firms, the dynamic can change very quickly – you will find yourself working with different teams on various clients and projects, new trainees will arrive and new clients will offer new opportunities. A good first impression goes a long way in developing yourself as a person, your career, as well as the firm you are working for.
You hear it and read it all the time, but it is true that communication is one of the most important skills that anyone can develop. Be confident and informed about what you are saying and say it in a manner that ensures you are heard. Whether it is a meeting, a phone call or an email, be prepared. Introduce yourself properly, be polite, be aware of the facts and know what you are looking for.
Be adaptable and flexible
Each day, you will be met with a new challenge and you must be ready to face it head on. You will be completing several sets of exams on your journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant while working full time. Therefore it is vital that you are adaptable to situations you may find yourself in, whether it is in front of a client, or in front of a book for that exam next week. It is also important that you are able to manage your time efficiently. Being prepared and organised will stand to you, whatever the situation. Where possible, it is also important that you learn to apply your knowledge from exams in work and vice versa. Doing so shows that you have a drive to succeed.
Be confident in your ability
You would not be at this career path if didn’t have the proven ability. All trainees should strive to be confident (but not cocky!) about what they are doing and become well versed in the areas in which they work. You should take initiative to do more and stand out from the crowd. There are always opportunities to voice your opinion and make a difference. Trainees are encouraged to bring new ideas to the table and innovate. That is the way of the future.
As a training contract focuses on both work and education, it is important that both are well organised. It is important to show that you can work efficiently and productively, and manage your time well. Whether you are a trainee in audit, tax or corporate finance, it is important to take responsibility for areas that are assigned to you and understand how your work fits into the overall deliverable for the client. It is also important to learn how to ask questions and prioritise tasks in order to meet deadlines.
Be a team player
Working as a trainee accountant in any firm will undoubtedly require you to be able to work as part of a team. This is where all of the above come together. Any team is only as strong as its weakest member, therefore, if you do your part and are adaptable, flexible, confident, organised and are able to communicate well, the team will benefit.
And just one final piece of advice – embrace it! A training contract offers so many opportunities – working with clients in exciting and fast-paced industries, learning from colleagues with great experience and expertise, and getting involved in firm activities – be it CSR initiatives or the firm’s clubs and societies. Make the most of it and get involved. It’s only going to stand to you.
Want to learn more about a career with Deloitte? Meet the Deloitte team at the Graduate Careers Fair at www.graduatecareersfair.com
The Graduate Careers Fair is a fantastic opportunity to meet and ask questions of potential employers. Many employers also bring graduates who are currently on their graduate programmes to attend their stands, so you can ask what life working with this companies is really like! These conversations are unbelievable opportunities for networking, and can help you decide on future career paths or give you that nugget of ‘insider information’ that can help you through the application and interview process and ensure that you best the competition to land your dream graduate job.
We have put together some questions to have prepared to ask employers on the day of the Graduate Careers Fair:
How many graduates do you take on each year and do you employ graduates from courses like mine?
This question helps determine whether or not it is worth asking the next questions! It’s important to ascertain that an employer is hiring, or that they will be doing so in the not tooo distant future. Equally it’s good to know if the employer has successfully hired graduates with a similar background to you – this question can get the conversation off on a positive foot, or end it nice and early. If the answer is a no but you are keep to work for that employer or in that sector, ask about any conversion courses that you could take that they have successfully hired from.
What are the most important competencies you look for in graduates during the selection process?
All employers have criteria they look for when hiring. Some are quite defined, others relate to that elusive ‘fit’. Discover the answers to this question and, if you decide to apply, present your application in a way which showcases your corresponding attributes.
What would my first year in your organisation be like?
This question will prompt the recruiter to talk about their induction programme, training and development, opportunities for travel and any promotion opportunities for high-performing graduates within their company. gradireland research has shown that these are the most significant factors for students and graduates when considering which employer they would most like to work for.
Tell me the single most important thing you would advise any graduate considering applying for a role with your organisation to do!
Not strictly a question, but if you get the answer then you have the inside track which could give you that all-important edge over competition throughout the selection process.
And for non-Finalists
Do you have an internship programme and how can I get on it?
gradireland research shows that over 79% of graduate recruiters run internship programmes, and that the recruiters themselves see completing a relevant internship as the single most useful thing a graduate can do to improve their employability. It’s a great way to find out about a company, a sector of work and of course to land a graduate job further down the line.
Find out more about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair here.
It’s less than two weeks away from the most anticipated event in the gradireland events calendar, the 14th annual Graduate Careers Fair. This event will see 120 of Ireland’s leading graduate employers, start-up companies and further study providers showcasing what they have to offer in a range of different sectors. Ahead of this event we have put together a list of four things that you probably didn’t know about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair.
Top employers will be there-it’s all about jobs!
We have over 100 of Ireland’s leading employers attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair. The exhibitor list to date is made up of 58 of the Irish Times Top 1000 companies as well as 15 international Fortune 500 companies! The best part, all of these organisations are actively recruiting for students and graduates in a range of sectors, there are interviews happening on the day itself, so come prepared!
CV Advice to beat all other
Have you hit the wall when it comes to getting your CV or application ready to send to employers? Worry not! The Graduate Careers Fair has not only a dedicated CV Clinic with over 50 hours of free careers advice but also a rolling CV Seminar with specialised advice for both international and Irish students. This is the perfect opportunity to perfect your CV and get ahead of the competition.
Opportunities with NGOs
Ever considered working as part of a non-for-profit organisation? We are excited to announce that this year’s Graduate Careers Fair will welcome some nationally and internationally established NGOs, including Oxfam Ireland and The Peter McVerry Trust . Chat to representatives about any opportunities available with these organisations.
Introducing Start-Up City
Not sure if you want to go down the traditional career route or apply for a graduate programme? This year’s gradireland Graduate Careers Fair will host our very first Start-Up Zone, which will see some of Ireland’s emerging tech talent exhibiting. Pop over to Start-Up City at the Graduate Careers Fair and find out what it’s like to be part of a high growth, fast paced start up team! Exhibitors include Gamex, Huggnote, Aromatrix and many more.
So there you have it! Four things that you might not have known about the Graduate Careers Fair, all the more reason to register now and we’ll see you in the RDS on October 5th.
Register for free entry at www.graduatecareersfair.com
We are looking forward to seeing you there!
You might be weighing up the pros and cons of spending the time to enter the gradireland Higher Education Awards but it’s definitely time well spent and we’ve put together five reasons why it makes sense to enter.
- Marketing & PR
Awards may not spring to mind when thinking about marketing opportunities but just being short-listed can greatly enhance the awareness of your course and your institution as a progressive place to study. Being associated with awards can provide great PR opportunities to be recognised both nationally and internationally. Awards celebrate hard work and success and it is a great opportunity to put your course in the spotlight.
- Third Party Endorsement
Winning an award or even being short-listed can act as a third party endorsement for your course and institution. Having your course judged and endorsed by an independent panel of respected leaders gives your institution increased credibility. Receiving an award acknowledges your excellence in a category and provides a distinct competitive advantage over rivals.
- The Process –for now and for the future.
The application process will not only allow you to identify your successes but it can also highlight some areas that may need improvement when comparing yourself to the competition. Submitting an entry to the Higher Education Awards is also a good opportunity to really promote what your College or University does really well and also show how and where you’re looking to progress your institution in the near future.
- Building team morale
Succeeding requires a team effort and an award gives recognition to your lecturers and department heads, recognising the invaluable contribution they make to your institution. This is invaluable in terms of boosting morale and bringing your team to the awards ceremony is a great way of celebrating your achievements as a team and also provides great networking opportunities.
- Competitive Advantage
Winning an award not only provides a great sense of achievement, it also provides a competitive advantage going forward for your school or department, in terms of attracting new students and driving applications to a course. It can provide that distinguishing factor in a crowded marketplace and best of all, these awards are FREE to enter!
To find out more about the inaugural Higher Education Awards contact Ailbhe Lee on 01-6451500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Further details available at www.highereducationawards.com