Thomas is a passionate hurler who still plays for his local club – Graignamanagh GAA. He joined the company in 2015 and has held a number of positions during that time.
As part ofthe graduate programme Thomas has moved through different departments throughout the company and is now an Acquisitions and Strategy Executive in Dalata's central office.
I started on the graduate programme with Dalata at the end of 2015, my first job was as an Accounts Assistant at the Clayton Whites Hotel in Wexford. In this role I was involved in a bit of everything really, including the operations of the hotel. It was a great experience as it let me see and understand the inner workings of the hotel beyond just the numbers side of things.
The Dalata Graduate Programme is well structured, I joined the finance stream of the programme where you complete three rotations across the group in various departments while completing my chartered accountancy exams. My first rotation was at the Clayton Whites Hotel as an Accounts Assistant.
I then moved on to the Internal Audit team in our Dalata Central Office where I worked under Macarten McGuigan, Group Internal Auditor, this was a great opportunity to work alongside and learn from some truly inspirational people. Within this role, you get to understand the business from top to bottom from both an operational and finance perspective.
Then I rotated to the Company Secretarial team where I worked with Sean McKeon,Company Secretary for the Group. This was a unique opportunity within the three rotations, where I learned another new aspect of the business in how corporate governance is managed at Board level, as well as statutory compliance across the group. When I passed my accountancy exams, I took up a full time positionin the Internal Audit Team and I am now an Acquisitions and Strategy Executive.
There are two primary elements to the Acquisitions and Strategy Executive role. In termsof the acquisitions side, it is all about assessing opportunities and projectsthat come up to see if they are worth pursuing from an investment and growthperspective.
Then, thereis the project side of it where we manage projects from start to finish, drafting financial projections, organising financial and technical due diligence, liaising with developers and trying to get projects completed as efficiently as possible.
The strategy side is focused on our corporate growth strategy and understanding what markets/regions to expand into and what type of offering we are looking toprovide. The role is very broad, obviously we focus on potential new market opportunities, but we also need to understand what is happening in the greater hospitality market, what sectors are growing, are there potential opportunities for us. What is the overall direction of hospitality. How are the investment models changing for hospitality and what impacts do these have onDalata. There is a good bit of desk research involved in this role.
I would say the best thing about this job is the variety. Day to day there is always something new. Everything we look at brings a new challenge or will be something we haven’t seen before so it’s a good learning opportunity and another really important aspectis the great team we have.
We have a good relationship in our department. Shane Casserly is the head of our department and there are four on the Acquisitions team and four on the Development side of it. I enjoy working with everyone, and that really helps.
I’d say myrole at Dalata is hospitality adjacent, whilst I work for a hospitality company, it’s a finance role within the hospitality industry that is focused on corporate development.
The job is mainly 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. There are a couple of late nights now and again but overall, so far, it has been pretty stable.
You have your busy periods and your quiet periods. It has peaks and troughs but that is the same as anywhere else I suppose. Working with Dalata, the opportunities for progression are clear, hard work is rewarded and I can’t wait to see where my career takes me.