‘Internships help smooth the transition from college to work’
My career path: Kyle Moore works with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Kyle Moore: “It’s a great feeling when you realise that you’re making a real impact on Government policy.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne
What/where did you study and when did you graduate?
My undergraduate degree was a BA in social and political studies and economics from NUI Galway. I went on to study a masters in natural resource economics and policy at NUI Galway and I graduated in November 2017.
What attracted you to your current role?
I was interested in politics and economics in college and the modules I enjoyed most were comparative public policy and public-sector economics, so early on I was interested in a career in the Civil Service. When I saw the graduate economist position advertised, it seemed like a perfect fit for me. I had previously completed internships in Deloitte and the Economic and Social Research Institute [ESRI]. I enjoyed working as part of a team in Deloitte and I had a particular interest in the public policy impact of the research conducted by the ESRI.
The job of a graduate economist in the Civil Service offered me the chance to combine the best elements of both of these positions. I can honestly say that after a year working in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment [DCCAE], my work has been interesting and varied and has given me the chance to work on a range of exciting projects. It’s a great feeling when you realise that you’re making a real impact on Government policy.
What did you find most challenging about the working world?
I found the transition from academic writing to the Civil Service style of writing challenging at first. I literally went from referencing policy documents produced by Government departments during my masters, to writing text for documents such as the National Adaptation Framework within a matter of weeks, which was a bit intimidating at first. But my colleagues and manager were all very supportive and after a few weeks, I got the hang of it. Overall, DCCAE and the Civil Service more broadly is a very welcoming environment and people are happy to answer questions and offer suggestions, which helps when you’re getting to grips with new processes and procedures.
Do you have any mentors and if so what is their value to you?
My line manager and assistant principal officer Seán O’Leary has been a great mentor to me. He has taught me how to improve my communication, organisation and time-management skills. He was patient with me when I started and gave me enough time to settle in, and he has given me more responsibility on projects over time to allow me to develop my skills further and take greater ownership of my work.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned since you joined the workforce?
I’ve learned that some of the most important skills you learn in college for future use in the workforce aren’t hard skills, like how to use a specific software programme, but rather they are soft skills such as critical thinking, communication and teamwork. As an administrative officer, you are required to help provide solutions to complex public policy problems and it is important to be able to look at a problem from different perspectives and develop innovative solutions. Administrative officers also work with a broad range of stakeholders across a range of Government departments and agencies – therefore it is vital to be able to communicate in a clear and concise manner and be able to work together as part of a team.
One piece of advice for graduates
I would advise graduates and college students to try to get some experience through internship programmes. They are a great way to improve your team work and organisation skills, help give you relevant experience to talk about during job interviews and they give you a better idea of what kind of career you’re interested in pursuing. Internships also help smooth the transition from college to work; having experience of working in an office environment improves your confidence when you’re starting out and makes the adjustment from college to work easier.