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Carol Staunton

Trade Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

I joined the Department’s Trade Division in March 2015, assuming the role of desk officer for cultural relations. It’s been a fascinating journey so far, with Yeats 150, the Year of Irish Design 2015 and the monumental cultural promotion work carried out by colleagues abroad introducing me to the Department’s work in a very colourful way.

My time since joining has been a whirlwind of firsts: my first behind-the-scenes view of St. Patrick’s Day preparations; my first radio appearance, speaking about poetry and sport on RTÉ 1’s Arena; being involved in the Department’s first Iveagh Cultural Exchange; being part of developing the Iveagh Scholars programme; participating in the inaugural Civil Service Graduate Training Scheme, and making new friends (and allies!) in other Government departments; and my first time on the other side of the interview table, assessing various scholarship applicants with colleagues from the Department of Education and Skills and local embassies.

However, the main highlight of the year has undoubtedly been meeting so many great and inspiring colleagues. The warm welcome and generous guidance they’ve offered is a great reflection on the Department’s ethos…and recruitment methods!