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Graduate Programmes: How to make your ideal choice

Graduate Programme

(Estimated reading time: 4 minutes)

September has been a hive of activity for our Graduate Recruitment team. Over recent weeks we welcomed approximately 100 new colleagues to our 2019 Graduate Programme.

Working right across Bank of Ireland in the UK and Ireland, our Grads are bringing different perspectives and new capabilities to the teams they are joining for their first rotations.

Extensive development opportunities are on offer for our Grads as well as the teams they work in, where existing colleagues have the chance to provide mentoring, coaching and development support as part of the Programme.


BP2_Induction_Roof_top.jpegBank of Ireland's 2019 Graduate programme inductees in Burlington Plaza


Too much choice? Not with the right advice…

In addition to our 2019 inductions, September also kicked off our Graduate Programme 2020 recruitment campaign. The team are on the road at colleges and universities across Ireland and the UK speaking with thousands of students about our 9 unique programme streams.

With so many programmes to choose from and many different organisations offering Graduate development opportunities, making the right choice is often difficult for many candidates.



The House of Lords in Bank of Ireland, College Green.


Building strong connections

We spoke with some of our recent Grads to understand what factors have made the Bank of Ireland Grad programme the best choice for them.

One theme that is mentioned often is not just the community of fellow grads, but the community of colleagues that surrounds the programme. The support from ex participants and colleagues across the group has been a huge factor in the success of the programme for many.

Stephen Carroll, part of the IT Grad Programme stream references the strong connections built within the graduate community.

“The community of graduates in Bank of Ireland is amazing. We are in regular communication giving advice on work, but also going on lunches and social events together.

The past graduates are also brilliant. They know what it is like joining as a graduate so they are a great source of information”.



Burlington Plaza induction session in progress


Advice is always on hand

Gemma Kennedy, part of the Corporate and Treasury programme agrees. “Starting the programme seemed daunting at first, but having such a great graduate network made it an easy adjustment.

There is a huge emphasis on team bonding with your fellow graduates in the early stages, which meant there were plenty of fun activities and events.

There is always someone to talk to or ask for advice along the way, whether that be current or past graduates”.


"Something for everyone"

Gemma also highlights the development opportunities that the rotational aspect of the programme delivers.

“There really is something for everyone with the range of different programmes, no matter what you studied in college…

I’ve developed a lot professionally throughout the programme; having 3 different rotations has helped me to learn so much in a short space of time and adapt quickly to new challenges.”


Training under highly experienced people

Stephen has also benefited from this variety of experience. "Having studied Business Information Systems, my strengths in were in IT and finance. This attracted me to the Bank of Ireland Graduate Programme because I saw it as opportunity not only to apply these strengths, but to develop other skills and gain experience in an interesting industry".

Having joined the programme in Vendor Management, Stephen’s current rotation is a complete change, working as part of a project automating and digitalising Payments and Cards Services processes that are currently entirely manual.

He is delighted to have the opportunity to train under some highly experienced people who have a wide knowledge of the industry.


My advice? Have confidence in your own ability

When it comes to advice for those of you thinking of joining the programme, both Gemma and Stephen have similar thoughts. Stay calm and have confidence in your own ability.

“Relax and try not to stress too much” Stephen advises. “I thought that I had messed up my video assessment, but I got through that.

I thought I didn’t quite do enough in the group exercise in the assessment centre, but I was successful. You just need to relax and have confidence in yourself”.

Gemma again asserts that people should believe in themselves; “Everyone else is just as nervous as you are.

Try to be yourself and show them who you really are in the assessments, your qualifications might get you the interview but your personality can get you the job”.


Apply now to join the team

Stephen and Gemma both took the right step for them and now it’s your chance to do the same. If you need any advice on the application process, our top tips for application success will give you all the details you need to put your best foot forward.

Apply now

If you need more information on the Bank of Ireland Graduate Programme, Click here to go to the Programmes page outlining the details for each area. Otherwise, you can select your programme of choice and apply below.


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A day in the life

See what a normal day for our Graduates is really like