A young man in a light grey jumper smiles at the camera while standing outside.
Fionn Bracken. Image: Fidelity Investments

How a ‘classroom-like setting’ helped this graduate level up in tech

28 Sep 2022

Fidelity Investments’ Fionn Bracken discusses his journey into tech and how a graduate programme prepared him for working life.

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After studying mathematics in University College Cork, Fionn Bracken wasn’t quite ready to start his career so he took some time out to travel and work in different countries.

During the pandemic, he decided he wanted to pursue a role as a software engineer, which led him to complete a master’s degree in data science at University College Dublin.

He now works as an associate software engineer at Fidelity Investments, having joined the company’s four-month Leap immersive technology programme.

“I was attracted to the software industry as I enjoy problem solving in technical areas, but I also enjoy seeing how solving problems can benefit users and people’s lives. I feel that software has a short feedback loop, which helps me see the impact of my work quickly,” he said.

“I came across the Fidelity Leap immersive technology graduate programme in an Instagram ad, and it immediately appealed to me. The chance to first level up my skills in a familiar classroom-like setting, and then be able to join a team where I can apply those skills, was exactly what I was looking for coming from university.”

‘The friendships I made really helped me settle into Fidelity and my new role.’

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

During the Leap programme, our days were quite structured. They usually included instructor-led training, where I learned new skills and technologies.

I also had time to work on group projects where I got to practice the skills I had learned. This combination was fantastic, as having the chance to practice what I had learnt enabled me to learn it much faster.

After joining my new team, I now get to utilise my skills in my day-to-day work. I work on various tasks developing new software, and my new team are there to support me whenever I need help.

Did your responsibilities and workload change as the programme progressed?

Yes, the workload definitely changed. At the start of the programme, there is an emphasis on more structured, classroom learning.

By the end of the programme, we were given the opportunity to work on larger projects, with help from senior engineers from teams in the technology organisation.

This was an amazing opportunity to use the skills I had learned. It also gave me an insight to what life would be like once I finished the programme.

How do you think this programme has made you more prepared for working life?

Without a doubt the programme has better prepared me for working life. There are obviously the technical skills I learned, but beyond that, there were many invaluable lessons.

It will always be a change transitioning to industry from university, but thanks to the programme I learned how to work well in such professional settings.

Would you recommend the graduate programme at Fidelity Investments to others?

I absolutely would recommend the Leap programme to others. It gave me all the technical and professional tools I need to succeed.

As well as that, joining with a group of other graduates, who were all experiencing the same transition to working life, meant we could all help support each other.

The friendships I made really helped me settle into Fidelity and my new role.

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