‘Don’t take any opportunity for granted’
My Career Path: Bianca Terrell, Central Bank of Ireland Graduate Programme
Bianca Terrell with colleagues at The Central Bank: “The Central Bank of Ireland’s graduate programme involves three rotations to different teams over three years, so it is an excellent opportunity to get a taste of different roles and find where you feel you can best utilise your skills.”
What/where did you study, and when did you graduate?
I completed a BSc in statistics at UCD and graduated in 2018.
What attracted you to your current role/ company/ path?
During my degree, I really enjoyed working with data, anything that involved finding insights through data manipulation, analysis or modelling was of interest to me. What initially attracted me to the Central Bank of Ireland’s graduate programme was that I knew I wanted to work in a data analytics role, and the Central Bank collects data on the entire Irish financial system. That’s an exciting amount of data at your fingertips.
The other major deciding factor was the support that the Central Bank provides for further learning and personal development. For a while, like many graduates, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a masters or go straight into the working world after graduating. The opportunity to complete a masters part-time whilst working at the Central Bank of Ireland seemed like the best of both worlds. Now, after a year on the graduate programme, I am starting a master’s in data analytics at DCU this September and have gotten nothing but support from my colleagues along the way.
What did you find most challenging about the working world, or the transition from education to the working world?
I think many people in college, like myself, find their comfort zone with their friends and lecturers, and don’t really get pushed out of it too often. So starting a new job where you meet over 100 people on your first day and aren’t quite sure where you fit in yet can be exhausting. There was definitely a learning curve at the start, whether it be learning how to use new systems or just knowing who to go to with queries, which is something that has never gone away but has gotten more manageable over time. Making friends through the first few days of the graduate programme was definitely a big help in terms of getting to know some familiar faces across the bank that are all in a similar boat.
Do you have any mentors? If so, what is their value to you?
My team and managers have been nothing but welcoming and encouraging since my first day at the Central Bank. They were keen to know what my skills and interests were so that they knew the best way to help me fit into my new role. Furthermore, my team members had no problem answering any of my questions or getting me up to speed. I have been extremely lucky to have a team leader that has a keen interest in the opinions and interests of everyone on the team.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned since you joined the workforce?
There are people of all ages from all over the world working at the Central Bank of Ireland, all with different types of expertise. Learning to exploit this opportunity by talking to as many people as possible and getting to know about their roles and experiences has undeniably been highly beneficial for me. For one, it is a great way to learn who the best people are to go to for specific queries. Furthermore, learning about other people’s roles and life experiences is not only genuinely interesting, it’s also helpful in deciding what career path is best for you.
One piece of advice for new graduates?
Don’t take any opportunity for granted – even if a certain role or piece of work is not directly aligned with your current career aspirations or interests, there is always something to learn from the experience. You might even find that you enjoyed the work a lot more than you initially thought you would. The Central Bank of Ireland’s graduate programme involves three rotations to different teams over three years, so it is an excellent opportunity to get a taste of different roles and find where you feel you can best utilise your skills.