The Business School at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), in association with the Masters of Science in Global Financial Information Systems (MSc in GFIS) programme, earlier this month hosted their inaugural annual ‘Banking and Finance Forum’ which allowed students on the course learn from, and interact with, senior executives in the banking industry.
Dr. Aidan Duane, Programme Director for the MSc in GFIS, underlined the significance of the forum for the postgraduate students, commenting “Engagement with the Financial Services industry is integral to the MSc in GFIS programme. The contribution these senior banking executives have made is a very valuable one, because it enables the students to develop a deeper insight into the industry, its practices, and its future development. Without the support and commitment of our guest speakers, this type of rich learning would not be possible for our students”.
The guest speakers included seven senior banking executives from the Bank of Ireland (BOI), Allied Irish Bank (AIB), Permanent TSB, KBC Bank Ireland, and Rabobank.
The opening speaker, Mr. Brendan Kerin, Head of Retail Operations at Permanent TSB delivered a very insightful presentation on “The Changing Face of Retail Banking”. The second speaker, Ms. Rose Clear, Head of Risk Operations at Bank of Ireland, delivered a forensic presentation on “Risk Management - From Principles to Practicalities”. The mid-morning session involved two presentations from Allied Irish Bank (AIB). Mr. Peter Vance, Head of Payments at AIB, delivered a highly informative presentation exploring “Payments and Channels from a Customer Perspective, and the Changing Dynamics of the Payments Market”. This was followed by a technical presentation by Mr. Richard Nealon, Information Security Manager with AIB, on the role of internal “Information Security in a Changing Landscape”.
The afternoon session was led by two speakers from KBC Bank Ireland. Ms. Karen Miles, Senior Manager of IT Applications with KBC, discussed the development of “A Multi-Channel Distribution Strategy”, while Mr. Barry Doyle, IT Security Manager with KBC, examined the challenges of external “Cyber and IT Security”. The final presentation of the forum was delivered by Mr. Paul Doheny, Relationship Manager in Corporate Banking with Rabobank, and it focused on “Corporate Customer Relationship Management and Supply Chain Financing”.
Dr. Duane also spoke about the importance of a recent visit by the MSc in GFIS students to the Irish Central Bank on Spencer Dock, Dublin on 20th February. Dr. Ronnie O’Toole, National Payments Plan Programme Manager, and Mr. Russell Burke, Head of Strategic Development at the Irish Payment Services Organisation Ltd (IPSO), and other senior executives from the Payments and Securities Division, delivered five presentations in a day-long workshop focusing on the National Payments Plan (NPP); the Single European Payments Area (SEPA); Central Bank Regulation of Financial Services; E-Payments and M-Payments; and, Cards, Cash, Coins and Counterfeiting.
Dr. Duane said, “The opportunity for students to visit the Irish Central Bank and to engage with key policy makers and regulators is hugely significant. It enables students to achieve a deeper understanding of the role of the Central Bank in Ireland and its workings with the European Central Bank, along with the drafting and implementation of policy and regulations for the Banking and Financial Services industry”.
The MSc in GFIS received its first intake of students in September 2012. Following completion of the 16 month programme in December 2013, which included a six month professional internship; all of the graduates secured full-time employment in companies located in Waterford, Cork, Tipperary, Dublin, Kilkenny, and Wexford. The majority of the students are employed in graduate roles such as Business Analyst; Data Analyst; Risk Analyst; Credit Control Analyst, FIS Analyst; Operations Analyst; and Business Operations Executive.
The high quality, standard, and transferability of the skills developed on the programme, means that the MSc in GFIS graduates are also in demand from companies operating in industries outside of the Financial Services sector. The 12/13 graduates now work for companies such as IBM, Kerry Group, Glanbia, The Central Bank, Bank of Ireland, Sun Life Financial Services, Citco, Ernst & Young, EBS; AON Centre for Innovation and Analytics, FCOS Accounting Solutions, DePuy Synthes (J&J), Fingal County Council, and Colgate Palmolive.
In a positive sign of recovery in the Irish economy, 87% of these positions are permanent while 13% are contract positions.
The MSc in GFIS was shortlisted for Best New Course of the Year 2013 at the Postgrad Ireland Awards held at the Mansion House.
Further information is available at [url=http://www.wit.ie/gfis]http://www.wit.ie/gfis[/url] or www.facebook.com/WITMScGFIS