A conversation with Ciaran Hickey | Product Graduate @ ESW

graduate program
At ESW, we’re looking for technology and business graduates who can bring a fresh perspective to technology and product innovation. Our 18-month graduate program offers a unique ecommerce experience and the opportunity to dive right in, working with some of the world’s biggest brands from day one.

We offer amazing benefits, tailored learning and development opportunities, as well as the chance to learn from and work alongside the brightest tech and product innovators in the industry. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be chatting with some of our 2019 graduates and sharing their experiences with you.

So Ciaran, tell us a little about yourself?

How’s it going? I’m Ciarán and I’m from a small village just 25 minutes’ drive from our location here in Airside Swords. I started working at ESW in August 2019. I am currently working in the Product Team as a Conversion Analyst.

I studied International Business with Spanish in DCU, graduating last year. My studies involved an Erasmus year in Spain and a final year specialism in marketing. After work I go to the gym, play guitar and eat copious amounts of food. My weekends consist of morning sea swims followed by coffee and catching up with friends. Big into rugby and love an ol’ surf trip or hike whenever I get the chance!

Tell us a little about your average day in ESW?

It’s very difficult to define a typical day in ESW for me. I normally have a morning catch up with my mentor to see how my day is planning out. From there, the day varies between research on clients and potential clients, test transactions, presenting my findings to stakeholders and attending collaborative meetings with other teams and departments. There are a few cups of coffee fitted between all of that!

What skills/technologies have you picked up since you started?

In my short time at ESW the list of skills that I have obtained is vast and rapidly growing. Having no prior practice in scrum teams I have been able to study and implement lean and agile methodologies with the various teams, which are benefitting my teamwork skills and overall efficiency.

There’s a great learning platform available to us graduates called Pluralsight where we can study and practice in our own time any skills we wish to improve upon. For example, I could study coding from beginner to expert courses on various topics in that area. Additionally, my role involves the daily use of technologies such as customer sentiment tools, conversion analytical software like Google Analytics and Microsoft tools.

Grad Jobs

Tell us about the culture in ESW?

I’ve been blown away with how welcoming the staff has been to myself and the other graduates. Alongside the sense of autonomy given to me, I know that I can still approach anyone in the company with any concerns I may have.

Moreover, it’s a fun and exciting environment to work in. HR do a great job in organising sports and social events. There’s always interesting lunch and learn talks taking place and plenty of evening events followed up by pizza and drinks.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

Other than trying to resist the constant bombardment of cakes, doughnuts and treats being offered almost every day in the kitchen, I’d say the immediate responsibility you are given as a graduate. From the very beginning I have been involved in projects with current and potential clients. I have already presented my research to numerous retailers via skype meetings. However, this responsibility has quickly transformed from a challenge into an opportunity for me and with the right attitude, you can reap the rewards.

In November I volunteered to host a Brown Bag Session to present my work to the company. The exposure to early responsibility has undoubtedly cultivated my research and communication skills which has strengthened my overall confidence and professionalism.

What have you enjoyed the most about the programme so far?

I’ve really enjoyed getting involved in CSR events. I’ve become a member of the Green Team to make the workplace more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Also, I took on a leading role in raising money for Temple Street Hospital which involved planning a bake sale and costume competition for Halloween. My Freddie Mercury costume somehow did not win and I’m not bitter at all about it.

Ciaran Halloween

Has the experience so far helped define your career plan from here?

Without doubt, I’ve already come along way in my knowledge of the ecommerce sector since joining the graduate programme. There’s a constant buzz of learning and you’ve the opportunity to challenge yourself and make a visible impact on the company. The confidence and experience I’ve gained is invaluable to my future career. From this position, I can interact with highly skilled contacts from multiple fields and expand my interests and expertise.

What advice would you give to graduates looking for their first professional role?

Approach job prospects with an open mind. The exact role you’re looking for might not be available at the time of your application. However, you may realise your potential in a different field, and it allows you to get your foot in the door with the chance of obtaining your dream role at a later stage with a more holistic company view.

Externally, surround yourself with positive, likeminded people and healthy activities. Put some time aside to keep updated through articles or newspapers on topics related to your career interests.

Applications for our 2020 Graduate Programme will close on Friday 17th January. So, if you are want to work in ecommerce – whether it’s as a developer, product manager or security engineer – ESW is the place to start!

Apply here today!