A young woman looking into the camera in a modern office setting, with meeting rooms with glass windows behind her.
Cleo Byrne. Image: Connor McKenna/Siliconrepublic.com

You don’t need to know everything to be good at your first job

27 Aug 2019

According to Fidelity Investments intern Cleo Byrne, the secret to success in your burgeoning fintech career is the ability to learn and adapt.

Knowing how to prepare for an internship or your first job is hard when you don’t have prior experience. It can be daunting to think that you’ll arrive on your first day and be expected to know exactly what you’re doing and how you’re going to do it.

Computer science student and intern at Fidelity Investments, Cleo Byrne, has some reassuring insider information that indicates otherwise.

‘In this line of work, you are consistently learning and developing your skills as technology is always changing and will continue to throughout your career’

What are you studying in college?

I am studying computer science with software development in Technological University of Dublin’s Tallaght campus.

What drew you to Fidelity Investments when you were seeking an internship?

A group of employees from Fidelity Investments came into my college to talk to students about the company and what they do in Ireland. Throughout the talk we got to hear from people who had completed their internship. We heard about the kind of work they had done along with the experiences they had. I knew that it would be a challenge but I wanted the opportunity to gain industry experience in a cutting-edge environment.

What expectations did you have before you began your internship?

Before starting my internship I expected to work in a diverse environment where I would gain exposure to a variety of technologies and to work alongside people who are experienced in the IT sector.

What duties and responsibilities were you given initially?

At the start of my internship I had to do training provided for me. After this I was put onto a project where I did a lot of research about different technologies and then created proof-of-concept apps. It was my responsibility to do this research and write up documentation of what I found.

Did the scope of your work change as the internship progressed?

After the training that was provided at the start, I moved onto a project which required a lot of research at the start and developing proof of concepts. After that I moved into the design and development of my project. I’ve had the chance to work with both front and back-end development using technologies that I hadn’t used before my internship.

Can you describe a typical day in your role?

At the start of the day I joined my team for our daily stand-up meeting. At this we would discuss what we had been working on the previous day, any problems we faced, our work plans for the day ahead as well as any other relevant information. Then throughout the day I’d continue working on my project development for my team, while I set time aside to do work on my intern business project. I’d also attend any meetings that I had set up or been invited to.

What key things have you learned during this internship?

I have learned a lot of new technical skills and developed my soft skills such as communication and presenting, but I’ve also learned that you won’t know everything! In this line of work, you are consistently learning and developing your skills as technology is always changing and will continue to throughout your career. I’ve learned that you have to be able to adapt to change.

Has this internship made you feel as though you’re on the right career path?

I think that the internship has made me see that I am capable of working in the fintech industry. I’ve enjoyed my experiences during the internship and feel like I am on the right career path.

Do you feel more prepared for working life following your internship?

I do feel like I’m more prepared for working life after doing my internship. The experience has helped me develop my technical knowledge and working with my team helped me to build up my confidence and to develop my communication and teamwork skills.

Why should someone take up an internship at Fidelity Investments?

I found the internship at Fidelity Investments to be a great experience where I was given the opportunity to work with different technologies on my project. I was able to learn and develop important skills, which will help me both in college and when I am finished. At Fidelity you get the opportunity to constantly learn new skills and technology but to also communicate with people in different areas of the business, and everyone is always willing to help you out or point you in the right direction.

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