Meeting The Barden Team…Kimberley Chan

Kimberley Chan is a Graduate Associate with Barden in Cork, where she is part of the Financial Services Practice team. Having completed a Master’s degree in global management with The University of Hong Kong Kimberley returned to Ireland and in August 2022 joined the Barden team.

We sat down with her to find out a little bit more about her…

Where are you from? 

I’m from Bandon in West Cork.

My parents are from Hong Kong originally. I was born in Northern Ireland and grew up Ballineen, in Cork.

Where did you study?  

I did my undergraduate degree in University College Cork (UCC) studying law there. I then did a Masters in management and marketing also in UCC, which I did at the height of the pandemic.

Following that I completed a Masters in Hong Kong and studied global management.

What did you enjoy most about your time studying?   

Meeting so many different people from different backgrounds. I really liked how everyone was hearing the same things and being taught the same stuff but understanding it completely different ways!

How old were you when you had your first paying job? And what was it? 

My parents owned a take away in Ballineen, and I started helping out there when I was 7 standing on a box, taking orders, taking money and packing in the kitchen. I continued to help out there right through school.

During my studies I also opted to do an internship in Hays, Hong Kong, for 3 months. I worked as a Recruitment Specialist in insurance and compliance.

What made you decide to move into the world of recruitment? 

I always knew I wanted a job that had something to do with people but I didn’t know exactly what that was. Initially I thought it would be through law or business, but after my internship in Hays I decided I wanted to try recruitment as a career.

Why did you choose to work with Barden? 

It was after meeting Ed, Elaine and Fionnán, and hearing about how they saw recruitment. It was very different to what I had seen in Hong Kong, and I really liked the idea of always putting the candidate first.

What’s the best thing about working here?  

I think for me it doesn’t really feel like a job yet! I get to go in and speak with lots of different people, and I learn something new every day, which I really enjoy. For me the best part is that it doesn’t feel like work.

What was most surprising to you about Barden? 

How they think about recruitment. It really is so different to what everyone else does. It feels like this should be a natural, or obvious thing, but there are not many out there who actually do it like Barden!

What does your role in Barden involve? 

I’m part of the Financial Services Practice team here in Cork. At the moment I’m helping Fionnán, Sarah and Nicole on roles primarily in fund accounting and asset management.

I’m involved at lots of stages across the process including sourcing candidates, talking to candidates and seeing where I can help them along their career journey.

What top tip would you give to those looking to change role?

Keep an open mind. I think its’s always good to have an idea of what you would like to do, but things change so quickly now that just being open to hearing about what else is out there, can go a long ways as well.

What three words best describe you? 

Quirky, weird but in a good way!, and determined.

Who is your role model, and why? 

My parents. Just hearing about how they started their lives here in Ireland and made the best out of what they had – they’re the best, very grateful for them.

Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?  

I think for me it would have been joining Foroige. I was Chairperson there for a year, and during my time with them I undertook a leadership for life programme which was super. As part of our final year we did a fundraiser in aid of a local boy who couldn’t walk. The fundraiser supported him getting the medical care and assistance he needed. He’s now doing great and has started school and everything.

Have you a favourite saying or quote? What is it?  

Slow progress is still progress.

Glass half full or half empty? 

Half full.

What’s your favourite song?

There’s a song called Spring Day, which talked about a ferry accident in South Korea. Although the theme is sad it is also hopeful. When I hear the song I think of my family…it’s amazing how music translates.

Where in the world would you most like to visit?  

South Korea!

And finally, who would win a fight between Spiderman, Batman or Wonder Woman?  

Wonder Woman!


Need help achieving your ambitions?

Are you a Financial Services professional looking for help in achieving your ambitions? If so get in touch with Kimberley at, who is ready with lots of CV, LinkedIn, interview and career advice along with cutting edge market insights.

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to and we will take it from there. Easy.

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