So you are a freshly baked graduate now. The opportunities are hitting from all sides but the reality blues keeps you hesitant on whether to start working, travel first or continue getting qualifications. We’ve all been there, the choice is hard and usually we want all and at once. Believe it or not, it is possible to get all those three combined.
The largest and most active business representation organisation in Ireland Ibec offers a number of opportunities for graduates attracted by an international career. You can find them all and apply to your favourite programme here. Global Graduates Programme is an 18-month placement and accepts applications until July 27th. To find out more about the programme we met one of its participants Eimear Kelleher.
Tell us about your typical day as part of the Ibec programme.
The most amazing thing about my job is that I am doing something different and new on a day-to-day basis. I love that no two days are the same. Every few weeks I am going out of the office for a day or two to join sales team whilst viewing some of our on-trade accounts as well as attending a trade show to represent my brands.
My manager gives me a lot of room for development – I am exposed to different areas of the business (marketing, digital, sales). This certainly helps me in identifying my strengths and passions. My manager has been very supportive throughout the entire programme and that was very helpful when moving to a new job and a new country.
The Ibec programme combines work, travel and study. What is your favourite aspect?
Well, I am glad you touched on this! I am passionate about travelling and studying but also about my job. I’ve always thought travelling is the most amazing thing you can do, but I feel that the most rewarding part is still the work you do. The experience offered to an Ibec graduate is invaluable. The programme gives you an opportunity to not just travel and experience a new culture but also try yourself out and work in a completely new environment. It is certainly challenging but it equips you with valuable skills.
The part-time study is very easy to balance with work life once you plan your projects in advance and keep a weekend free when you need to focus on your college work. Everything you are getting at the college is very, very relevant to your work projects which is excellent. Ultimately, I think the three aspects of the Ibec programme come together to create one of the most rewarding and enjoyable graduate programmes in Ireland. If I had to describe the programme in just three words, I would go with rewarding, exciting and interesting.
What made IBEC’s graduate programme stand out to you? How do you think the programme will help you in your future career?
The programme has greatly contributed to my confidence and motivation. It’s allowing me to continue studying whilst working full time. The experience is relevant to the field of my studies, thus, it is a great opportunity to develop skills that will help me in my future career.
I always wanted to be part of a programme that would allow me to advance in my career but also give a chance to live life to the fullest. Ibec certainly gives you this opportunity and I can’t recommend it enough.
Any words of wisdom for this year’s graduates?
Follow your instinct and remember, if something’s meant to happen, it will. Always be open to new experiences and try new things out because you never know when you will stumble on to your right career path. But most importantly, be confident in yourself because it’s very easy to lose sight of yourself and your potential when you’re just out of college and experiencing your first job.
Sometimes it is overwhelming when everybody in the workplace has lots of experience and it’s easy to feel frightened. In my personal opinion, confidence is the key to success, and it is something I am working on every day.
Any advice for the Ibec application?
Keep in mind that everybody has a chance. I never imagined I would be here today. I thought that this programme was too good to be true and that I would never be lucky enough to be chosen. When you’re applying for jobs, it almost feels like you’re in a lottery, and the people with more experience or a ‘better’ degree than yours are getting all the best roles.
This is not true with Ibec because they give everyone a chance. They are not looking for your degree and experience only but they search for truly passionate individuals who are ambitious enough to rise to the challenge. Best of luck to everyone applying this year, it’s definitely worth a try!