The Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Commerce Week Day 3

On Thursday morning we went to Tughan’s new office to meet with Philip Cheevers, David Craigan and Simon Brien as part of a panel discussion about the NI property sector. Philip told us about his route into the construction business through an engineering firm which he later left to head up his current organisation, McLaughlin & Harvey.
07-June-24
Commerce Week Day 3

Commerce Week Day 3

On Thursday morning we went to Tughan’s new office to meet with Philip Cheevers, David Craigan and Simon Brien as part of a panel discussion about the NI property sector. Philip told us about his route into the construction business through an engineering firm which he later left to head up his current organisation, McLaughlin & Harvey. Simon Brien spoke about the current property market and where it will go in the future, with house prices currently increasing at around 4% per annum. We gained insight into the varying average house prices across the UK; Northern Ireland is located at the tail end of the list, with an average house price of £187,500 second last to the north-eastern region of England. Finally, David Craigan spoke about his time working in property development. Starting with a civil engineering degree, he entered a large firm where he became a general manager looking after property. Later, around 10 years ago, he joined Blue Horizon whose notable developments such as Harberton in Belfast and Fairfields as well have been very successful.

We departed Tughan’s and took the quick walk to Grant Thornton. Here we met with Richard Gillan, managing partner of Grant Thornton. He spoke about accountancy, the different aspects involved in corporate finance and how his career has led him to work in places like Luxembourg and all around the world. A representative for Chartered Accountants Ireland provided insight into the benefits of becoming a chartered accountant, such as increased employability and job security.

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Overall, our morning trip was extremely insightful and inspirational. We are all extremely thankful for this amazing opportunity which has left a positive impression surrounding accountancy and the property sector.

Robbie Henderson

On the afternoon of day three, we visited Carson McDowell in Murray Street. We were given lunch and then received a thorough, insightful view of commercial law from their Head of Real Estate, Dawson McConkey. He elaborated on the varied roles on a career path for law and the key skills needed, for example, effective communication and negotiation skills.

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We were then split into two groups and took part in a debate where one group represented a cruise ship company and the other group represented a troubled passenger who was portrayed by one of their members of staff. With the help of Rosie Timoney and Le-Ann Campbell, we managed (grudgingly) to arrive at a conclusion whereby both sides achieved their desired outcomes. Shortly after this we concluded our time at Carson McDowell and departed with fortified negotiation skills.

We then made our way to Camlin Group, an engineering-based company, where we were met by Chris Wilson. We learned how to develop our CVs and LinkedIn profiles to make us more appealing to future employers across all sectors of business. Then we received an explanation of the Camlin Group’s products, for example an overhead high voltage fault locating device called LineSIGHT. This is an innovative solution to locate damaged points in overhead high voltage wires which avoids progressive deterioration and possible fatalities. We were shown an area in the UK where they these devices have been used to provide a 24/365 service monitoring and notifying companies as to faults or potential faults in wires therefore ensuring the continuous supply of electricity in the UK.

Finally, we were given a factory tour of the site where they make these products from initial parts, through assembly and finally testing. Overall, the experience was highly informative and gave a strong impression of how meticulously planned and developed each one of their products were.

Noah Stafford

Commerce Week Day 3Commerce Week Day 3Commerce Week Day 3Commerce Week Day 3
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