Máire gives us insight into their career as an Administrative Officer in the Department of Finance. From Originally working in the Financial Stability section to now working in the Central Bank Policy Section of the Department, Máire shares how being fluent in the Irish Language has been a benefit in their role.

Please tell us a little bit about your role.

I began working within the Banking Division in the Department of Finance in September 2022. Originally I was working in the Financial Stability section. The work included assessing any potential risks to the financial system and mitigating any risks.

I recently moved to the Central Bank Policy Section. The Central Bank is under the aegis of the Department of Finance and the section is responsible for policies on Central Bank powers. A large part of my work in the section is the Individual Accountability Framework (Central Bank Act 2023), which was commenced in 2023.

What were your reasons for applying for your role?

I applied for the AO Graduate Programme as I knew the civil service offered a lot of opportunities. There are many opportunities to progress your career in the civil service and that is a big motivating factor. I knew it would be a place to develop new skills and while in college I knew I wanted a job in the public sector.

What do you value most about your job?

I value the contribution that I have made to policies. I feel that my work is valued in the Department and that I am encouraged to share my opinions. I feel that hard work is recognised in the Department and have been given many opportunities, for example attending events with the Minister or Secretary General.

What are some of the benefits and supports available to you?

I feel there is a range of support available in the Department. The Department of Finance offers a range of in-house courses; I am currently doing a course in Financial Services. The course has really helped me in my job and given me a better overview of the financial services landscape. The Department encourages us to continuously develop our skills and ensure we have the necessary knowledge.

There is a buddy system in place in the Department, which is a big help when starting. There is also a mentoring system starting soon, which will be a benefit. The Department recently established a Gender Equity Network. There are regular events hosted and they are always very proactive in searching for suggestions.

The Department offers flexible working hours and working from home, which is a big benefit.

What opportunities has this role provided for you?

I have had many opportunities while in my role in the Department. I recently completed the Graduate Programme course. The course offers the core competencies of the civil service and allows a chance to network with other AOs in the civil service.

I have had the chance to collaborate with a range of different Departments and agencies. While in Financial Stability, I was given the chance to attend an event hosted by the Office of Emergency Planning.

I have been given the chance to attend a range of events and conferences allowing me to build my network.

I had the chance to be in the Dáil during the budget debates, as I volunteered to do the note-taking.

What has surprised you since starting this role?

The social aspect of the job surprised me. Within the Department there is a Social Club who organise events for the Department, such as tours, table quizzes. It is a great chance to meet people from other divisions.

What aspect of the role do you particularly enjoy?

I enjoy the variety of my role and the complexity of the role. In my section, we deal with a wide range of issues and allow me to work on different tasks.

I also enjoy the social aspect of the job. I feel very lucky to be in the Division where everyone is very supportive and the overall atmosphere in the Division is very positive.

Would you recommend a career in the public sector and why?

I would recommend a career in the civil service. I believe it is a place where you can progress and work in a range of different places. I have been in the Department of Finance for a little over a year and have already worked in two different sections and have gained new skills.

Anything else you would like to share?

I feel being fluent in Irish has been a great benefit to me in my role. I have been able to offer help with translating to other colleagues and see the Irish language as an advantage.