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First step into Banking with the Bank of Ireland Graduate Programme

(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 10 seconds)

A career in Banking can take you in any number of directions. Working with Bank of Ireland means you will have the development and support to ensure you take the opportunities that come your way. Let's hear more about life at Bank of Ireland from some of our colleagues.

Nicole Dwan joined Bank of Ireland on the award winning rotational Graduate Programme. Nicole talks about the importance of the culture and the impact of Inclusion & Diversity and community work in Bank of Ireland.

Tell us about how you joined Bank of Ireland

I graduated from King’s College London with a BA in History, and spent a year working as an adjudicator, specialising in mortgage and credit card disputes before going back to university and getting my MA. After university, I applied to the Bank of Ireland Retail UK scheme, and began in September 2019.

The Bank of Ireland Retail UK Graduate Programme is a two year scheme. You rotate every 8 months to a different business area. My first rotation was in NI Operations working on two main projects: updating Branch Operating Procedures, as well as Branch Risks and Controls.

My second rotation is with the Divisional Optimisation team, which is part of UK Operations.


What do you enjoy most about working with Bank of Ireland?

The people! Coming into Bank of Ireland with no previous banking experience, I was really apprehensive, so I was very impressed with how willing everyone is to help each other succeed. There’s a very positive culture where people are willing to take time out of their day to speak and listen to you.


How does the culture in Bank of Ireland enable you to thrive at work?

Bank of Ireland really promotes flexibility, in terms of location and working hours. Pre-Covid, this enabled me to go home to London more often, but still be able to get on with my work. During the response to Covid, Bank of Ireland has become even more flexible and quick to adapt to the ‘new’ working environment, providing employees with the equipment necessary to work from home where possible.

In addition, Bank of Ireland places an emphasis on wellbeing, so now, even though not everyone is able to work in Bank of Ireland premises, we are still able to feel connected. This really helps when working from home, if you miss the social element that working in the office provides.



"I am really proud to be part of an organisation which gives back to the community and makes a real difference."

What other elements of your in time Bank of Ireland have helped improve your experience?

Being part of the Bank's amazing Inclusion and Diversity network has really helped improve my experience at Bank of Ireland. There’s a real sense of community, and you are exposed to so many different ideas and experiences.


Is there anything about working in Bank of Ireland that you think might surprise people who are considering applying?

The diversity of jobs was a big surprise to me. When thinking about working in a bank, the only image I used to have was the traditional banker in a suit. However, since joining, I’ve come to learn that there are so many directions a career in Bank of Ireland can take you.


What makes you proud to say you work with Bank of Ireland?

The award winning Inclusion and Diversity Network. Bank of Ireland has made great strides in embedding inclusion and diversity into its culture, driving change both inside and outside of the organisation. Northern Ireland has driven many amazing initiatives such as the creation of Gender Identity and Workplace Transitioning policy.

Bank of Ireland also does tremendous work within local communities, for example through Begin Together which supports community and enterprise, financial, physical and mental wellbeing.  I am really proud to be part of an organisation which gives back to the community and makes a real difference.

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