Local Ulster University student, Bronagh Cassidy, crowned Fintech winner of the year

  • Photo: Bronagh Cassidy, a student from Ulster University has been crowned the winner of the CompareNI.com Fintech scholarship 2024

    A student from Ulster University has been crowned the winner of the CompareNI.com Fintech scholarship.

    It comes as winner Bronagh Cassidy wrote a blog on the power of fintech and the opportunities it has for students in Northern Ireland.

    Bronagh, a final year student of BSc. Economics, has won £1000 to support her studies and the option to take part in industry related work experience with local fintech company Seopa – the technology giant behind Northern Ireland’s largest price comparison site, CompareNI.com.

    A recent student survey by CompareNI.com found that 72 per cent of students in Northern Ireland were shocked at how expensive university was – with 40 per cent of students in Northern Ireland needing more than one source of income to afford university.

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    In addition to this, students are also required to meet tougher criteria in order to get their first graduate job. A study of over four million jobs posted on LinkedIn since late 2017 showed that 35 per cent of jobs that were posting for 'entry-level' positions asked for prior work experience.

    With these two things in mind, CompareNI.com designed their Fintech Scholarship to help students with their finances and give them vital work experience, while raising awareness of the vast career opportunities available for graduates within the fintech sector in Northern Ireland.

    Professor Broby, Chair of Financial technology at Ulster Business School comments: “The Compare NI challenge highlights the undisputed fact that Fintech offers innovative solutions that can drive economic growth and create jobs in Northern Ireland. This scholarship shows once again that Ulster University is contributing to this and also delivering the valuable skills that are highly sought after in today’s job market.”

    Commenting on the winning entry, Ian Wilson, Managing Director at CompareNI.com, said: “It isn't easy for students in Northern Ireland right now, with stretched finances and tougher graduate job criteria, it can be difficult for many to get started on the career ladder.

    “We want to help alleviate some of that pressure for students while also raising awareness of the potential for graduates from all industry backgrounds. The fintech sector has highly competitive starting salaries, strong long-term career prospects and a wide network of opportunities for creative and technology-based skills.

    Pictured: Ian Wilson, Managing Director of CompareNI.com and this year’s CompareNI.com Fintech Scholarship winner Bronagh Cassidy.

    “Congratulations to this year’s winner, Bronagh Cassidy from Ulster University, who wrote a powerful blog on the vast prospects the fintech industry can offer students from Northern Ireland, detailing the barriers students can face to enter higher education and how both students and Northern Ireland as a whole benefit from the local fintech sector.

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    “Both our winners this year across NI and GB were women, it’s great to see female graduates exploring what the world of fintech has to offer. Historically data shows the fintech industry struggles to attract female employees with women making up just 28% of the UK fintech sector– so this is really encouraging.

    “We want to help all students realise their potential and recognise the diverse benefits of a life in fintech.”

    Dr Mark Bailey, Course & Subject Director for Economics & Business Economics at Ulster University said: “I am absolutely delighted with Bronagh winning this award. She is using the skills she has developed in applying Economics to the real world to a first-rate use here. She will be an excellent addition to the labour force when she graduates in a few weeks.”

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