Former NRC student helps make a bit of history in New York

Conor Cregan who was invited to attend Cowen Inc. centenary celebrations in New York with Cowen CEO, Jeffrey M. Solomon and Colin Bridge, a colleague from Cowen's London office. Pic: Libby Greene/Nasdaq, Inc.
Conor Cregan who was invited to attend Cowen Inc. centenary celebrations in New York with Cowen CEO, Jeffrey M. Solomon and Colin Bridge, a colleague from Cowen's London office. Pic: Libby Greene/Nasdaq, Inc.

A former Northern Regional College student has made a little bit of history in New York.

Conor Cregan, who lives in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough, did so by representing international financial services company Cowen Inc. at its recent centenary celebration in New York.

Conor was among the select number of employees invited to join Cowen CEO, Jeffrey M. Solomon, ring the NASDAQ Stock Exchange opening bell in New York to mark the company’s 100th anniversary. The NASDAQ stock market opening and closing bells mark the beginning and end of each trading day.

Conor, who is originally from Belfast, lives in Moneynick with his wife and two young children.

For years, Conor juggled his work and family commitments with part-time study at Northern Regional College but says it was all well worth the effort as it helped pave the way for his current position with Cowen.

Conor completed a HNC in Business Studies between 2012-2014 while working with the Hilfiger brand in the retail sector. With the HNC under his belt, he secured a job as an Operations Analyst with Citibank and went back to Northern Regional College as a part-time student to do an honours degree in Business Studies.

After two years with Citibank, in October 2017, he moved to his present position as Middle Office Analyst with Cowen in their Belfast office.

Conor admits that the juggling act was challenging at times but says it helped that he was studying something he was really passionate about. He said: “While I wouldn’t be academically inclined, I was always fascinated about how the financial services industry works and because I’d a real thirst for knowledge, I enjoyed learning all about it.”

Conor stated that his experience is proof that if you want to learn and work hard, you can achieve your dream job.

“I feel really fortunate to have landed a job with such a progressive company like Cowen. Every day is different and there are plenty of opportunities for career progression and travelling,” he said.

Gerry Drake, one of Conor’s Business lecturers, said it was a testament to Conor’s commitment and hard work in his studies that he is now pursuing his dream career. He said: “At Northern Regional College we are continuously improving the information and advice about courses to ensure that all our students have every opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills needed to further their professional development or to retrain for the ever changing business environment.”

For further information on NRC’s Newtownabbey, Ballymena and Coleraine campuses visit www.nrc.ac.uk