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Fiona Hogan (centre) has won a four-week placement with BDO as winner of the BDO Interview Award. Fiona is pictured with Laura Jackson (left), BDO Partner and Professor Gillian Armstrong, Ulster University Business School.

Fiona Hogan, from Newry, a second-year BSc Accounting student at the Ulster University Business School has out-scored over 80 of her peers to win the prestigious BDO Interview Award. Fiona is a former pupil at Sacred Heart Grammar School.

Organised by the Business School and the University’s Careers / Employability Unit with support from BDO Northern Ireland, the Award process comprised interview skill training provided by BDO senior staff as well as a series of mock interviews undertaken by senior staff from both organisations over a four-day period.

Professor Gillian Armstrong, a Head of Department within the Business School, explains,

“Building tangible and practical links between our students and local businesses is a vital part of delivering invaluable work-based learning. By working in partnership with BDO we have been able to provide interview experience and the opportunity to practice those skills so essential for successful future recruitment.”

The participating students are all undertaking an innovative module on Career Entrepreneurship as part of the BSc (Hons) Accounting and the BSc Finance and Investment Management programmes within the Business School. As the top performing student Fiona received a monetary award and can now look forward to a four week placement and mentoring in the BDO Northern Ireland offices in Belfast.

Laura Jackson Partner at BDO Northern Ireland and involved in the creation of the scheme with Ulster University added,

“We are delighted to congratulate our winner Fiona and 3 finalists of the BDO Interview Award, now in its 2nd year. At BDO Northern Ireland we are passionate about supporting and developing the skills of our future leaders and in doing so we endeavour to support and give back to our local educational institutions regularly. The BDO Interview award is one of many activities that are so important for developing students’ skills, experience and employability for their future careers and we are proud to support such an invaluable initiative alongside the UU Business School.”