Published: August 29, 2023
Our names are Áine McCormack and Lia O’Brien, and we are heading into our second year studying BSc Finance at University College Cork. During our second semester in college, we attended a virtual session organised by UCC consulting society where we got to learn about First Derivative and the opportunities they offer to students including the IMPACT Mentorship Programme. We are thoroughly enjoying the IMPACT Mentorship Programme thus far. We particularly enjoyed the ‘Day in the Life panel”, where we heard from women in various different roles across First Derivative, and their career stories. It was inspirational to hear everybody’s individual career journey and how it has got them to where they are today. The career intelligence session with Breda McCague was incredibly insightful and we took away great skills for building emotional intelligence in the workplace. The careers confidence boot camp was very helpful in developing our CV and interview skills.
The one to one mentoring we have received has been equally beneficial so far. The opportunity to receive some great career advice and mentoring from First Derivative staff has been wonderful. Andrew Colhoun, Head of Technology Services at First Derivative, has been particularly supportive in providing 1:1 mentorship and recognising some of our recent accomplishments among the wider IMPACT network.
In these sessions, we get the opportunity to discuss all things interview skills, CV tips and gain insights into the financial services industry. These 1-1 sessions, alongside group sessions have enabled us to develop our confidence. The group session breakout rooms were an excellent opportunity for us to network and connect with our fellow mentees, which was one of the best parts of the programme. Not only have we obtained excellent industry insights, tips, and gained industry confidence from the programme, we have also greatly benefited from having the opportunity to expand our network to include the mentors and our fellow mentees.
Overall this programme has provided us with excellent insights and opportunities in the fintech industry. During our last semester of college, we decided to take part in the CUBS Business Idea Challenge 2023. We spent around 4 weeks creating a video pitch for our business idea ‘ReWire”. ‘ReWire” is our idea for an app aimed at prevention and intervention for Dementia. Dementia is a growing issue in Ireland. This application is targeted towards people over the age of 50 who are interested in brain health and reducing their risks of developing Dementia.
We believe in the importance of ReWire to help reduce the impact of Dementia on communities and society at large. Once we qualified for the final, we spent another 4 weeks further developing a business plan for ‘ReWire’, alongside rehearsing for a live pitch in front of a panel of experts. We were delighted to be awarded with the prize of ‘Most Sustainable Business Idea”. We are looking forward to taking the next steps towards bringing our idea for ‘ReWire’ to fruition.
Overall, we would highly recommend the IMPACT Mentorship Programme to any students who are keen to build their confidence and avail of the support, mentorship and advice that the team at First Derivative have to offer.