MSc Management Business – Deep Dive with Cathal Dunne, AIB, Data Quality Analyst
Tell us a bit about you?
Hi, my name is Cathal Dunne, and I completed the MSc. Management – Business (MSBM) in August 2020. After graduating, I landed a short-term role analysing financial transactions for AIB (as an external contractor with Accenture). In April of this year, AIB made the decision to move the project internally, so I moved over and now have a permanent role as a data quality analyst.
What was your overall experience of studying postgraduate in DCU?
I would summarise my postgraduate experience as being tough but very rewarding. There is a lot of coursework to be completed with regular deadlines, but it was good for me because it helped me to build a stronger work ethic. Fortunately, there are great resources available to help students too. I got exactly what I wanted from the degree – a strong qualification and a clearer picture of what I wanted to do for a career.
Can you give an example of one of the projects you did for NGM?
The great thing about NGM was that it allowed me to try all sorts of different things to see what I was interested in. I came into the course hoping to figure out what kind of job I’d like, so the opportunity to try different things and get credits for it was great.
After trying some courses in Excel and Tableau, I realised that I really wanted to work with data for my career. We were encouraged to look into the key skill sets for jobs that interested us, so I was able to get a sense of what I’d need to do to develop. I found that programming skills would be important, so I took a course in the programming language R with an online learning site called DataCamp. Programming was always something that was daunting to me, but I got hooked and ended up completing over 70 hours of courses!
How did you find working on the Practicum? What company did you work with? Tell us a bit about the project?
The practicum was a great opportunity to work on a real-life project. For our project, we did a feasibility study for the Irish Air Corps on whether a joint civil-military school could be created for training aircraft mechanics. We got to interview different stakeholders from companies like Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, and Dublin Aerospace to supplement our academic research into the topic. We all gained experience in managing a client relationship and meeting deadlines for our supervisor. There was a lot of uncertainty and change doing the project during Covid, but the client and supervisor were helpful and supportive of our work.
Do you feel this Masters has equipped you for your desired career?
Yes, definitely. As NGM was largely self-directed learning I was able to spend a lot of time working on specific projects and courses in data analytics. These were helpful for getting a job as they strengthened my CV and gave me lots to talk about in interviews.
Also, with the solid grounding in the essentials of business, I feel like a much more confident and well-rounded professional than I did before. I had previously worked in hospitality and as a TEFL teacher, so the course helped me massively in bridging the gap to working as an analyst.
Tell me about your career progression?
I first got a job as a sampling analyst with Accenture. My job was to investigate transactions on AIB accounts. When I moved over to a permanent role with AIB, I was assigned to be a trainer for around 30 new joiners while also reviewing their work. Most recently, I have been designated as an SME (Subject matter expert) on our task.
Our project has a variety of units, including work on valuable skills such as automation. There is plenty of opportunity to gain experience in different areas so I will be looking to do so in the coming months. We are also given an hour a week out of our workday to work on developing any relevant skill which we want.
Why would you recommend the MSc Management Business?
Personally, I’d recommend #MSBM for anybody who:
- Has a degree but they’re not sure that they want to pursue a career in it and would like to try some other things to see what they like.
- Wants a strong business qualification to add to their bachelor’s degree, so that they can progress quickly in their chosen career when management opportunities arise.
- Would like to work in customer facing roles such as sales and business development.
In addition to gaining a strong grounding in business I was also able to develop my soft skills as well, so I felt confident in my ability to get a job after completing the degree.
In terms of advice for the incoming cohort, I’d say the following.
- Get ahead and stay ahead of the material. Stay organised because it can feel like an avalanche of information, especially at the beginning.
- Make the most of NGM. Try lots of new things to expand your comfort zone. It is a great chance to work on your weaknesses and soft skills and get college credit for it.
- Strengthen your study skills. With a large workload it is really important to study effectively. There are great tips on YouTube. There’s a guy called Ali Abdaal who has some excellent content, particularly on taking exams. On top of that, writing well is hugely important in this course and can really help your work stand out. I read a book at the start of the year by Jacob Neumann called ‘A professor’s guide to writing essays’ which helped me hugely. It’s a short read with lots of great tips for writing efficiently and structuring essays well. It saved me a lot of time in the long run.