Nicola Brennan

Technology Analyst
Dublin, Ireland
IT and telecoms
BSc Applied Mathematics and Chemistry

The key skills I have taken away from my education at Maynooth are not purely from the subject matter of my degree, but from the experience overall.
Self-discipline – without mammy to make sure I did my homework, I became motivated to take control of my education and manage my life choices. This has stood to me in my career and day to day life.
Time management skills – ensuring my assignments were completed on time and learning to work towards a deadline.
Interpersonal skills – meeting people from all walks of life in Maynooth definitely developed my people skills which I use day to day in my work and personal life.
Problem solving – my degree exposed me to different types of problems and equipped me with techniques and approaches to find solutions.
Adaptability – through the breadth of experience gained at Maynooth I became more flexible and adaptable to change. I have found this useful in my work environment where my role can be quite fluid.

When I first decided to put Maynooth on my CAO application, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after college.
I picked a course that gave me as much variety in terms of modules and choice as possible.
I originally started in the Psychology through Science stream and transferred to Science  in my third year.
I would recommend my course to anyone who is considering Science because it allows you to try a lot of different subjects while giving you the flexibility to change paths and is a broad base if you choose to specialise later on.


When I left Maynooth with a BSc in Applied Mathematics and Chemistry, I spent a few months travelling before I began looking for a job – and I would recommend taking time for yourself if possible.
When I got back to reality, I began looking at the different graduate programmes that were open online. I still wasn’t sure on what career I would like to end up in and graduate programmes offered the most variety as well as no requirement for previous job experience.
I enjoy problem-solving and numeracy based tasks, I wanted a role that would use these skills. I spent a year in State Street working in derivatives and fund servicing which gave me my first taste of corporate life.
I applied to the Accenture graduate programme and since then I have worked in design, testing and business analyst roles.

 As a technology analyst, my role can vary on a day to day basis, from working with business requirements – ensuring the business need is met and translated correctly, to testing our software – ironing out any bugs and verifying the functionality. Every day has something new.
Currently I am working as a technical designer with our client.
This role involves a lot of data analysis on our client's systems, meeting with the client to detail business requirements, determining how the data should flow from one layer to the next, designing the transformation of data through the system, writing code scripts and documenting how the data flows.

As my background is in Applied Mathematics and Chemistry, I was apprehensive about joining a technology company. Accenture employ from all backgrounds and not all roles are technical in nature.
Initially I started in a Business Analyst role, but I was interested in developing skills in a technical area and since have moved into a more technical role, learning SQL.
I found it challenging to learn a technical discipline, as I never considered working with computers, but I draw from the skills I developed studying maths, logical skills and my problem solving skills.
What I find most interesting about my job is the diversity of roles and the experience I can gain.

I found my current through Careers section of the Accenture Ireland website.

Be courageous when applying to jobs, you can’t be offered a role if you haven’t applied.
Think of the skills you’ve attributed to yourself from your degree and your own experiences, like critical thinking, presentation skills, communication skills, problem solving skills. Apply to jobs that interest you and not just jobs you think relate directly to your degree. Many of your skills will be applicable to all manner of careers.
You may not directly use the subject matter of your degree in your role, but the skills you’ve developed will be key to your employability. When you sit down to think about it, you’ll be surprised how many skills you actually have and how much you can offer.
Learning how to sell yourself is essential.