2025 Foundation Success Story: Emma Dullaghan

  • 14 July 2023
  • Blog | Career Development | Blog

Established in 2016, our 2025 Foundation was created with the aim of helping people who may not have the necessary means to pursue a career in banking, but have the potential to do so. Through supporting people financially and through our mentorship scheme, the Foundation aims to empower and transform lives, creating a lasting impact for future bankers and opening the door to new horizons in the pursuit of professional success.

We’re delighted to say that Emma Dullaghan, a scholar of the 2025 Foundation, completed her studies at the end of June 2023. Read Emma’s story below as she explains her journey so far and her experience working with the Institute.

As our first Robertson Trust scholar, how important has the support from the 2025 Foundation been during your studies?

The funding has allowed me to study without worrying about working to the extent I would have without the aid. The alleviation of my financial worries has meant that I have more free time to study and undertake extracurricular activities that have enhanced my University experience greatly.

Why do you think the 2025 Foundation is important for those embarking on a career in banking?

The work that the Institute does is incredibly important. The finance sector has traditionally been one in which having contacts in the industry can hold a high level of significance for people looking to get their first job role. Having family members and peers in professional positions means that those in this position can be advantageous as they can get help with things such as interviews, making your LinkedIn profile attractive to potential employers and preparation for any testing required. It can be intimidating for people who do not have knowledge of how to gain their first position.

The 2025 program is helping to challenge this and allow students from disadvantaged backgrounds to have full support in these areas. These young people like myself often do not know anyone who works in the field and so having people on hand with a wealth of expertise to give support has been fantastic. I am not aware of any other programs like this for young people and I feel the Institute has offered support in any area possible from  online resources to having multiple points of contact available to help with any queries.

Having now completed your studies, what plans do you have for your future career?

Now I have graduated, I am planning to embark on an MSc in Artificial Intelligence and Applications. I completed my dissertation on Artificial Intelligence in the Finance Industry and am excited to have the opportunity to add something to an area of banking that is still  developing. The possibilities of AI are endless and it’s exciting to think that I could be a part of building something that could really make some changes to how the industry operates. I am not 100% sure what exact career path I will go down but after studying both finance and technology in depth, I feel like the crossroads between them is what excites me most.

The support given by the Institute has allowed me to know that I have access to expertise in an area which I would not have had otherwise. The Institute has a number of connections and resources of which I utilized when undertaking my dissertation that allowed me to gain a richer understanding of topics. Without the support from the Institute in finding participants, I feel that I really would have struggled. I found it incredibly difficult to find people who work in this niche area and the Institute provided me some fantastic participants whose help was invaluable in helping to shape my analysis.

What advice would you give to those who are thinking of pursuing a career in banking, but feel they may not have the means to do so?

I would encourage anyone who is thinking about embarking on a career in banking to do so. The sector is exciting and constantly evolving. It not only forms an important component of our society and economic system but is one that has so many opportunities for advancing in your career and getting the chance to try different job roles within the sector. Personally, I have found that the knowledge I have gained when studying banking to be incredibly valuable in terms of how I view saving and investing and my understanding of how to manage money.

The Institute was supportive of me when I changed my degree to something more analytical and technology-based than general finance which was something I was apprehensive of. They allowed me to see the scope of finance jobs available as before I had pigeonholed these jobs to be limited to the investment and retail banking sector, I was not aware of all the components of the industry and the options I had with my degree.

The mentorship aspect of the Scholarship is great for added support in times of need, my mentors have been incredibly encouraging of any issues I have faced and have allowed me to prepare for things such as interviews and offered valuable one to one career advice.

I have nothing but good things to say of the Institute and my interactions with them and would advise any future scholars to engage with the members as much as possible as the gains to be had in terms of both personal and career development are immense.


To learn more about the support we offer through our 2025 Foundation, please click here.