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  • Writer's pictureConor Doran

Employee Spotlight - Meet Conor Doran

I started my role as a Client Advisor in May 2019. Here’s what I have been up to over the last 18 months…

My Roles and Responsibilities

At S3, I work as a Client Advisor as part of the Monthly Retained Service where I have a portfolio of 30 clients from across the country. These clients are all community and voluntary organisations which includes grassroots sports clubs, registered charities and local community associations. My role as a Client Advisor involves liaising with these groups to establish their needs and priorities, developing a workplan and eventually sourcing funding to allow them to deliver their work in the community. Usually developing workplans involves a face to face informal meeting with the lead contact of a group however due to COVID-19 we now undertake these meetings via Zoom.

What has your experience been like to date?

I first arrived at S3 as a university placement student in November 2016. I spent 10 months working alongside both the Consultancy Team and the Monthly Retained Service supporting their everyday tasks which included completing funding applications on behalf of clients and supporting the Consultancy Team with delivery of their contracts. This experience stood me in great stead moving into final year at university and eventually landing a role as a Client Advisor at S3 in May 2019. 18 months on and it’s been great! I feel the placement experience at S3 had set up me up nicely for this role. I am learning every day on the job and have gained invaluable knowledge on how the third sector operates and how funding is distributed. COVID-19 has presented its own challenges in terms of securing funding, however, working in such a great team has made it that bit easier.

Why did you decide to start working for S3?

I studied Sport & Exercise Science at University which contained a number of modules relevant to the work here at S3. Having completed a placement year at S3 and completing my university degree, I had then hoped to return in the future as a full-time employee. The staff during placement had been extremely welcoming and encouraging, providing me with the perfect work experience. When the opportunity arose to become a Client Advisor at S3, it was a no-brainer!

What do you enjoy about S3?

The people at S3 make it a great place to work. The support in the office is amazing, with everyone willing to help one another to ensure clients receive the best possible support.

The variety of groups you work with means on a day to day basis you are working on behalf of a different group, which prevents the job ever becoming monotonous! One of the best parts of the job is actually going out and meeting new people and learning about new groups, keeping the job interesting. Being a fluent Irish speaker, it’s been great to have the opportunity to use my Irish again, working with groups in the Irish language sector, helping them avail of funds to promote and preserve the language in their communities.

The job also comes with a degree of flexibility which is always a big plus. Working from home 3 days a week has taught me to work more independently while also still feeling part of the team. Despite limited face to face contact, the craic in and around the team is constant, making for a great working environment.

There is always room for improvement. Staff have regular opportunities to undergo specific training to help them in their role at the company. We have recently begun internal training which has been great to understand fully the other elements of the business and learn from other people’s experiences. I look forward to continuing to develop both personally and professionally at S3 through these training opportunities.

What has been your biggest highlight since starting at S3?

Working with third sector groups, many of which are small voluntary-led organisations, you can see the difference they make on a local level. These groups work to tackle societal issues such as poverty, mental health issues, social and rural isolation, to name a few. Helping them secure funding to deliver key work in their communities is an amazing feeling. Whether it’s helping a mental health charity secure funding for counselling support or helping a local sports club secure funding for equipment, just knowing you're making a small difference to the lives of people in need is great motivation for me to deliver for my clients.

What’s next?

I hope to build on the experience already gained working at S3, becoming more knowledgeable on the third sector and how best to support my clients. With the company continuing to grow I hope to also further myself by availing of training opportunities, as well as developing my expertise learning more about the work of the Consultancy Team and how to combine some of their work with my current role.


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