News / Ciara Fegan’s McDonald’s Apprenticeship Journey

Ciara Fegan has emerged as a top performer within McDonald’s Northern Ireland operations and is a prime example of how the development programme and apprenticeships equip people with the tools to develop and progress in their job role.

Ciara began her journey with McDonald’s in 2018 as a Crew Member. After a year Ciara was promoted to a Crew Trainer, where she was responsible for training new starts.

Ciara was keen to progress and develop her skills further and was offered the opportunity to enrol on the McDonald’s apprenticeship programme. Ciara jumped at the opportunity as it gave her the foundation to progress not only within McDonald’s but within the hospitality industry as a whole. She subsequently enrolled on the Level 3 Hospitality Supervision and Leadership apprenticeship programme.

Working diligently through the programme, Ciara showed a commitment to improve her knowledge and capabilities, resulting in her gaining a promotion to Shift Manager in December 2020.

Ciara was ecstatic and had never considered management due to leaving school with few qualifications. As Shift Manager Ciara’s working day varies greatly from shift to shift. From dealing with tricky customers to co-ordinating the shift, Ciara is responsible for all her Crew Members, making sure everything runs smoothly and that the customers get the best possible experience. The apprenticeship experience equipped Ciara for the Shift Manager role, by embedding leadership, organisational and industry knowledge across the curriculum.

Speaking about her experience in her new role, Ciara commented “I have been in my new role for about 7 months now and I absolutely love it. It has come naturally to me, but I have had great support from my Manager and I definitely would like to continue building my career within McDonalds.
The most rewarding part of my job is the recognition you receive, such as the constant support and the Gala ball which is a night out for all McDonald’s workers; where we attend an all paid for dinner and drinks in a fancy hotel. Also, the support from my Business Manager has been excellent. When they saw I had potential, they really invested in their time into helping you develop, which I think is great.”

When asked about what advice she would give to anyone thinking of beginning a career at McDonalds, Ciara replied ‘My advice would be to be open minded. Expect change as there are always different things happening within the store, such as: people joining/leaving; new restaurant practices; and people gaining promotions. It’s not as easy as you think, as it’s not just ‘burgers and fries’. However, it is very rewarding and there is so much opportunity to develop yourself.

“I absolutely love that I went for a job at McDonald’s and it’s definitely the best job I’ve had. I started out as a Crew Member then Crew Trainer and finally worked myself up to Shift Manager. It has been a great experience overall. It really has opened doors for me which I didn’t think were possible. It’s been a great opportunity for me to show what I’m capable of while juggling being Training and Shift Manager alongside all my other duties. Another bonus is being paid while I’m doing my apprenticeship and being given the time off the floor to complete my work; which is a big bonus.”

Ciara Fegan, McDonalds