Emer tells us about her role managing the IT for the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the European Union. She works with all the Irish departments and their representatives in the EU. She believes there is no better opportunity than working in the civil service and serving the citizens of Ireland.
Tell us a little about your career as an Executive Officer?
I am on a foreign posting to Brussels to manage the IT for the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the European Union. My role is extremely varied; no two days are the same. I work in our European Council offices on occasion also, supporting ministers and the Taoiseach when they attend councils.
I work with all the Irish departments and their representatives in the EU. I have had the opportunity to run tenders and equipment installs.
What opportunities has the Executive Officer role provided you with?
I have had the opportunity to learn all about the European Institutions and Ireland’s role in them. I have availed of the refund of fees scheme to complete my degree in Information Systems Management. I have attended project management, people management and change management courses.
I have been able to do language courses in the department, both Irish and French. The upskilling possibilities are varied no matter what area you want to develop in.
I have lived in Brussels for three years now as part of my civil service career.
Can you tell us about a highlight from your career in the Civil Service?
I had the opportunity to work on the Passport Reform Programme when the online system was in development. It was a large project that depended on a wide range of business units within the project and several external stakeholders. The massive developments we were working on have reduced passport-processing times significantly and allowed the citizen to apply from countries all over the world. The work of an Executive Officer provides tangible results for the citizen and it was an exciting development to work on.
Why did you choose a career in the public sector?
I knew I wanted to work in customer service as a people person. There was no better opportunity than working in the civil service and serving the citizens of Ireland. As a parent, I know how important a work life balance is and this made the civil service an attractive option.
The Department of Foreign Affairs supplies first class technology to enable a remote working hybrid situation. I also wanted the opportunity to work across different business units and even different government departments.
What advice would you give someone thinking of applying for the Executive Officer role?
If you enjoy varied work, promotion, and education opportunities, the role of Executive Officer is perfect for you. I would not hesitate; I enjoy my work and am present in my home life. The civil service is constantly developing and as an Executive Officer, you are vital to these changes.
No matter your area of experience, you will benefit the civil service because the work is so wide ranging and constantly being modernised.