My name is Fintan Cleary, I’m 21 and am from Templeogue. I am currently in my final year of my Bachelor of Business Studies. I completed my INTRA year in McNally Business Services Limited, a small accounting firm based in Dundrum Business Park. My role was of a marketing and administration intern.
I chose DCU based on it’s reputation particularly in the field of Business. I had heard great things from DCU graduates about both the degrees they studied and the college as a whole. I chose Business Studies as I was torn between studying accounting and other business fields that interested me such as consulting and HR. I was aware that the course offered a work placement year through INTRA which swayed my decision as I knew this would offer me valuable experience for entering the working world on completion of my degree.
[pullquote]Having a years work experience to my name has given me greater confidence with regards to obtaining a graduate role on completion of my degree[/pullquote]
From the beginning, I was conducting tasks for both the accounting team and senior management. My tasks included processing data in the accounting software,creating/updating spreadsheets which was crucial to the decision making of fellow staff members such as reports from Revenue and CORE, filing forms related to company formation and company annual returns, ensuring all AML related documentation for our clients were up to date as was required by law and following protocol for the various tasks related to a new client set up in a time efficient manner.
My favourite part of my INTRA placement was the exposure to how a set of financial statements were produced.For certain clients, I was responsible for collecting raw data from them and processing it in an efficient and accurate manner for a member of the accounting team. As time went on, I was given further responsibilities such as querying various aspects with clients, and inputting the final data into the financial statements to be sent to the client and the CRO.
[pullquote]I chose DCU based on it’s reputation particularly in the field of Business. I had heard great things from DCU graduates about both the degrees they studied and the college as a whole[/pullquote]
My biggest achievement was incorporating a new CRM software for the firm. I was given this task approximately half way through my placement and the project lasted right up to the final week. At first this was quite daunting, but with the help of a member of senior management, I was able to split the project into manageable segments that I carried out according to set deadlines. Examples of these segments include: finding the most cost efficient/suitable software on the market, queries with the CRM company in question, ensuring suitability with our IT advisor, transfer in data into the system and training of staff members on the system.
The INTRA experience has unquestionably helped me choose my career path. Having gained great exposure to an accounting firm and the various tasks carried out by an accountant, I feel that it is the career for me. Having a years work experience to my name has given me greater confidence with regards to obtaining a graduate role on completion of my degree.
With regards to me final year, it has greatly increased my confidence and boosted a variety of skills such as time management and communication. It has also helped me focus more on relating modules currently studied to a workplace environment.
My advice for current leaving cert students looking at their CAO options now would be to look to a career that both excites and challenges you in equal measures.The transition from school to college can seem daunting but with a little preparation and thought you will be fine. Also, never leave something off your CAO form because you feel that you won’t obtain the points, set your standards high!