Top tips for your summer internship!

Summer is just around the corner which means that many graduates are preparing to start summer internships. With this in mind, the gradireland team have asked some interns currently working with Deloitte for some advice for students about what they can expect, and how they can make the most of the experience.


  1. An open mind is essential

Be ready to meet new people from all walks of life. You may have the impression that new graduates will all come from business backgrounds and this was one of the biggest misconceptions for me. The interns I’ve met, from Audit and Tax, Consulting and Corporate Finance, all come from various undergraduate degrees. I’ve met people in Audit studying Science or Engineering. There are people in Consulting studying Psychology and Music and I’m sure that this applies to many workplaces. Deloitte is excellent at building on diversity throughout the firm so I would say that it is definitely important to walk through the doors with an open mind.

  1. Be Polite & Professional

First impressions can make a lasting impression. Make sure to have perfected that firm hand shake and dress professionally. Deloitte’s dresscode is business attire, similar to many corporate offices. It is important to put yourself out there on your first day, introduce yourself to the people you meet and take time to talk to other interns and members of staff. Sometimes this may be difficult if you are a particularly shy or nervous person, but you can almost guarantee that other people in the room are feeling the exact same way that you are, so make an effort and you will reap the benefits.

  1. Talk to everyone you can during induction

The first few people you talk to during induction normally bring you some comfort in what can be a very different and new environment to most people. The coffee breaks during induction can be really helpful in getting to know people and hopefully make some good friends and contacts for the next six weeks, remember, effective networking is a vital part of completing a successful internship.

  1. Deloitte, like all companies, love abbreviations

The technical part of your induction will be “abbreviation heavy.” Don’t worry because no one really knows what any of them mean until you “hit the floor.” Audit is especially intense with abbreviations, you will hear ROMMs, ABCOTDs, TBs, FS, EMS, and CTB being mentioned a lot. Frightening at first, but you’ll learn the ropes soon enough!

  1. Meet your mentor and your buddy

Many summer internship programme have a mentor and buddy system in place. As soon as they email you they will probably suggest having a meeting. It’s important that you arrange one as these people are your go-to people if you have an issue with anything. Especially admin issues, like taking time off or other everyday issues. It’s important to note that your mentor is also your appraiser. Appraisers give you feedback on the work you have done as well as listen to how you have got on while doing the work.

  1. The induction booklet is really handy

During induction in Deloitte you get a little A5 induction booklet, which I imagine is provided by most companies. This is an absolute goldmine of information. Look after it and read it,  it’ll help you find your feet.

  1. Don’t get stung with emergency tax

You need to give your P45 in to one of the people facilitating induction or if not them, to someone in HR. Your P45 must be current, i.e. from 2015. I submitted one from 2011 not realising this was the case and got charged emergency tax. If you don’t have a P45, you must follow the instructions on page 20 of the intern book. (Like I said, this book is really handy)

  1. Join Yammer, join the Facebook group, join LinkedIn, join everything…

You are going to be told to join Yammer, and you really should. Everything that’s going on in the firm will be here. Also post questions in your group if there is something you’re not sure about. The other two are really useful to join too, but mainly Yammer.

  1. If you have a question…

You can ask your mentor or buddy, but other trainees can also help you out if you have other little questions. More than likely they have had the same questions and will help you out if you are stuck.

  1. Enjoy it

My time at Deloitte have been great fun, and I have gotten to know a lot of new people as well as working with a great team. I’m sure you will enjoy your experience also, wherever you’re doing your internship. Don’t forget to be social too; there are a lot of sports clubs and groups in companies like Deloitte, you will get all the details at induction, so be outgoing, friendly and enjoy the experience.

For more from gradireland on making the best of internships with large employers, make sure you read

Authors: James Lynch & Jennifer Whitehead, Deloitte


Success & Innovation at 2016 gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards

winners group shot _001  (1)April 28th saw almost 600 of Ireland’s graduate recruiters, course providers and stakeholders come together in the Round Room of Dublin’s Mansion House to celebrate achievement and innovation in the graduate recruitment area, on this the tenth anniversary of the gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards. 2016 saw the largest ever Graduate Recruitment Awards, conducted in partnership with the Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS) and the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The 2016 event attracted over 160 submissions from more than 60 organisations and almost 7,500 students participated in the vote to determine Ireland’s most popular graduate recruiter.

Opening the evening’s proceedings, gradireland Director Mark Mitchell said; “More organisations than ever are investing in defined graduate programmes. Graduate programmes that lapses during the recession are being reinstated and reimagined, this has led to increasing competition and a different set of challenges for graduate recruiters, careers services and students.” Mark also spoke of the importance of partnerships and invited Professor Maria Hinfelaar, former President of LIT, to give the keynote address on the evening.
Hosted by RTE’s Brian Dobson, the awards ranged throughout the graduate recruitment spectrum and also acknowledged achievement in the postgraduate course provision area. Indeed this area saw the first awards of the evening, the AHECS awards, being presented, the winners being:

Employability Award (Small and Medium Services)
Winner: National College of Ireland

Employability Award (Large Services)
Winner: Ulster University

Engagement Award
Joint Winners: Deloitte and PwC

The award winners on the night represented a broad spectrum of Irish and international industry. PwC landed the award for Employer of the Year, while KPMG was named Ireland’s Most Popular Graduate Recruiter in the student vote, displacing Google, who had held top spot for several years. Abbvie was judged to have the Best Specialist/Professional Graduate Training & Development Programme and Abbott was awarded with Best Internship Programme. The dynamic of the graduate recruitment sector was evident everywhere in the room. Stakeholders in industry rubbed shoulders with course providers, tasked with providing the next generation of talent. Commenting on the awards, Mark Mitchell, gradireland Director, added: “These awards are now firmly established as a key event in the year, enabling all of the stakeholders in the graduate recruitment process to create important networks as well as to celebrate success.”

The full list of winners (and silver and bronze awards) at the gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards and Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards 2016:

The most popular graduate recruiters

Accountancy/Professional Services
Winner: KPMG

Banking, investment & financial services
Winner: Bank of Ireland

Winner: Accenture

Winner: Intel

Winner: Jameson – Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Winner: Google

Winner: A&L Goodbody

Logistics, transport & supply chain management
Winner: Aer Lingus

Online retail services and telecoms
Winner: Amazon

Winner: Lidl

Public service/business organisations
Winner: Department of Education and Skills

Winner: Boston Scientific

Utilities, Energy, Renewables
Winner: ESB

Ireland’s Most Popular Graduate Recruiter
Winner: KPMG

Best Graduate Recruitment Website
Winner: ESB

Silver: Aldi

Bronze: Jameson – Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Best Innovation on Campus
Winner: Deloitte

Silver: KPMG

Bronze: Intel

Best Student Marketing Campaign
Winner: Jameson-Irish Distillers

Silver: Glanbia

Bronze: PwC

Best Graduate Training & Development Programmes
Specialist/Professional Training programme

Winner: Abbvie

Silver: Abbott

Bronze: PwC

Business/General Training & Development programme
Winner: Glanbia

Silver: Jameson – Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

Bronze: EMC

Best Internship Programme
Winner: Abbott

Silver: Abbvie

Bronze: KPMG

gradireland Diversity Recruitment Award

Winner: Enterprise rent-a-car

Silver: Abbott

Bronze: KPMG


Winner: DCU, MSc in Human Resource Management


Winner: UCC, MEngSc Information Technology in Architecture, Engineering and Construction


Winner: UCC, MSc Information Systems for Business Performance


Winner: NUI Galway, MSc Biotechnology


Winner: Maynooth University, Masters in Design Innovation


Graduate Employee of the Year
Overall winners
Robert Beirne, LIDL
Maxim Romancovs, HEDGESERV


Graduate Employer of the Year

Thinking of moving job? Make sure you make an informed decision

With the economy continuing to improve, opportunities are on the increase and plenty of those in their first time job have the opportunity to make a career move. But, when should you move, and why should you move? A recent article in Forbes magazine pointed out that even seasoned professionals frequently make poor career choices, so as someone who is relatively new to the job market, what should you look out for and when should you make your move, and for what reasons?

If you’ve only recently graduated and are currently in your first job, it might not be looked upon favourably by future employers if you make a move too soon. It’s a mix of not having gained enough experience, and a possible perception of lack of loyalty. But at the end of the day, it’s your career, and in a market where opportunities are definitely growing, you will likely be faced with the choice of whether to stay or move on.

What to look out for

The prospect of a new job may seem so tempting that many of us can blindly ignore plenty of warning signs that an initially tempting position may be flashing in our faces. Remember, even if you have been offered a new position, try and look past the prospect of purely financial reward and remember that is ok to say no, in many cases it may be a better decision for your career, and your personal welfare.

First, find out as much as you can about the new company. Is it result-driven, or rule-driven? If it’s result-driven, can you match the heavy expectations that could be placed upon you at this stage of your career? If it’s rule-driven can you work in a process based environment? It could be a small or start-up company, which may sound attractive, as you’ll get varied and practical experience, but will you be working for someone who will call you after hours and at weekends and expect you to answer emails at any times of day or night? If you value your personal time, make sure you get a real sense of the culture of the company, and the employer, before you accept the offer. Make sure you ask the questions; ‘what’s a typical workday like?’ and ‘would I be expected to answer emails or take calls in the evening or at weekends?’

If you are joining a large corporate company, consider how this fits in with your long-term career goals, understand the short-term and long-term priorities of the position.
Network and get in touch with someone who you could be working with, find out the reality of day-to-day work there.This ensures that you and your employer have a clear understanding of what is expected of you. Make sure all the details are covered and you’re not in the dark about anything, get everything in writing about your position—whether it is in an offer letter or a contract. You should have your salary,  benefits, and other terms and any other terms and conditions on paper before you make a decision. Moving for purely financial reasons is a risk, as it can cloud your judgement, but if the offer is generous, it’s understandable for it to be a driving factor.
Make sure you have room to grow professionally. Will this new job enhance your employability skills and take you further down the road you want to be on?  You do not want to take a job only to realise later that it is a stagnant and limited position.
For some, working in a group environment is great and enhances creativity. For others, it is a distraction.

Ultimately, you have to make your own decisions, but use all the supports that are out there, peers, friends, and your careers service. But no matter how much you prepare, you will never know what working somewhere is like until you actually get in the door. However, if you’ve done your research, at least you will know that you’re making a decision armed with the best possible information.

For more on making informed career choices, visit or watch our videos on what working life is like in a host of sectors.



Are you career clueless? #FYI Careers Showcase is here to help

It’s less than two weeks away from gradreland’s brand new event, the #FYI Careers Showcase which is taking place in the RDS Simmonscourt on Tuesday 12th April from 12pm.

This unique and innovative event is designed to enable students to understand their career options, in order to help them make better informed careers decisions. If you are curious about all the different career paths that are available, this is the event for you!

So what should you expect at this ground breaking event? The event itself will be highly innovative, with video booths, live demonstrations of key employability skills and one-to-one advice for all the students who attend! If you have any questions about specific jobs, what they mean and what you will do all day, pop along to this event and ask graduates these burning questions; people who were in your situation just a few years ago and are now working with Ireland Ireland’s leading national and multinational companies.

The #FYI Careers Showcase is designed for first and second year students, to give them the opportunity to discover the abundance of opportunities available in a whole range of different sectors.  But of course, anyone who is feeling career clueless is welcome – especially if penultimate and final year students are feeling overwhelmed about career choices or potential career pathways. This event gives students the opportunity to find the answer to all of these questions in a relaxed and informal setting.

This event is completely free for students to attend and you can register here. Find out more about the #FYI Careers Showcase on our website or watch the official event video here.



Top students to shine at this year’s National Student Challenge

The 5th annual gradireland National Student Challenge is taking place next Wednesday 23rd March in UCD , welcoming Ireland’s best and brightest students, to meet challenges set by leading graduate employers.


Over 50 of Ireland’s brightest students, who performed best in gradireland’s online test, which gauged whether they had the skills qualities employers are looking for. These students will then be given the opportunity to meet Ireland’s leading graduate employers and display their key employability skills to the heads of recruitment in companies like Lidl, EY and PWC.

At the event, students will be split into groups and must complete a series of tasks, which are chosen by Ireland’s top graduate employers. These tasks are designed to challenge students on key employability competencies such as teamwork or communication skills.

Last year, Head of Recruitment at Lidl highlighted the importance of a positive attitude when speaking about the task they chose; “We are looking for three things; for students to enjoy themselves, contribute to the overall team effort and throw themselves into the task”.

There are some amazing prizes up for grabs for the winners, including €1,000 for the overall winner and past participants from the Nation Student Challenge have seen amazing possibilities from winning or coming in as a runner up in the challenge. “I’ve had job opportunities come into my LinkedIn from Google, Accenture, and a lot of companies and recruitment consultants just because I won the gradireland National Student Challenge”, says Ava Mahony, 2014’s winner.

When speaking about the National Student Challenge, 2013 winner Duncan McGregor from Belfast, who is now an established employee with EY said, “The gradireland National Student Challenge definitely played a part in me working today with EY and in terms of the benefits that the Challenge offers versus the short amount of time it takes to enter, I would say it’s something definitely worth doing”.


When speaking about the fifth anniversary of the National Student Challenge, Director of gradireland Mark Mitchell said; ‘Each year, we’re fortunate to have so many highly talented and motivated students taking the National Student Challenge, and we’re also fortunate to have so many dedicated and important graduate recruiters who are willing to support the event and devise challenges that really set the bar high for our competitors, but also give students a real insight into what it is they are looking for in their graduate recruits.”

Check out footage from the 2014 National Student Challenge here or view all of the photos from last year’s National Student Challenge here.

The employer branding events you must attend in 2016!

Recruitment events and fairs are the best way to get your organisation’s brand front and centre with the highly coveted graduate talent pool. Attracting this talent can be a challenge, but attending graduate events and showcasing your organisation’s culture and values can put you ahead of the competition when it comes to employer branding and graduate recruitment. gradireland have a whole range of specialised HR and employer branding events, which range from career showcases to industry masterclasses and more. Check out some of the events that are coming up in 2016:


Diversity Breakfast Masterclass, 6th April, The Spencer Hotel, IFSC

The 2016 series of gradireland Breakfast Masterclasses will commence on Wednesday 6th April and will feature one of the industry’s most talked-about trends, diversity. Speakers at this event include panellists from GLEN, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and IBEC. Attendance at this event is completely free to HR and recruitment professionals who can register by emailing their interest to

gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards, 28th April, The Mansion House ,Dublin

The tenth annual gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards will see the major stakeholders in the graduate recruitment industry, including government and business leaders, graduate employers, academics, careers professionals and key decision-makers attending Ireland’s premier event for graduate recruitment recognition. This event gives you an opportunity to network with Ireland’s leaders and influencers in employer branding. Find out more about the Graduate Recruitment Awards here.

gradireland Summer Fair, 8th June, RDS, Dublin

The gradireland Summer Fair is the official all-Ireland summer graduate careers options event, organised by gradireland in association with the Association of Higher Education Careers Services, and held in the RDS, Dublin. The event is supported by all university careers services in Ireland, north and south. The fair is designed to promote all the options available to students; so whether your organisation is recruiting graduates, advocating postgraduate or up-skilling courses, or you have opportunities to work or volunteer overseas this is an event not to be missed! In June 2015, over 4,300 students and graduates registered to attend the Summer Fair to network with Ireland’s leading graduate employers. Find out more information here.

gradireland Graduate Careers Fair, 5th October, RDS, Dublin

Ireland’s largest graduate careers fair will take place on Wednesday 5th October in the RDS Simmonscourt. If your brand strategy is to position your organisation as ‘the place to work’ in graduate recruitment, you cannot miss this event. Last year, 9,576 students and graduates registered to attend this event, to network with over 120 of Ireland’s leading graduate employers. Check out some of the national coverage the event received here and here. Find out more information about this event here.

GRADchances Language Fair Cork, November 2016, University College Cork

Ireland’s only regional language fair will take place in UCC this November. If your company is interested in attracting some of Ireland’s top bilingual and multilingual talent, this is your opportunity to showcase your graduate opportunities with languages. Check out information about the event here.

For more information about any of these events, contact our team on 01-6451500 or email

The Importance of Employer Branding in Graduate Recruitment

All companies should be aware of their brand identity and what it says about their organisation.

The demand for top talent in the Irish market is as aggressive as ever and more and more we are seeing this demand being highly specific to the employers’ needs. In most cases, employers assume that there is a vast pool of talent in the market waiting to be plucked from, but unfortunately this is not the reality.

Employer Branding

With resurgent confidence in the market, there is a lot of choice. Choice for the candidate to be a lot more considerate in their career choices, such as the route they want to direct their career and the type of organisation they want to join. If an organisation has a strong, positive reputation for being a great place to work, they are miles ahead of those that are looked upon less favourably in the market and if those messages are positive, a company will always have top talent available, waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.

In order to put your company ahead of the competition in terms of creating a strong positive organisation brand, it is essential that the company develop a brand strategy. Through our work with graduate employers in Ireland, gradireland have discovered that many companies do not have a working employer brand strategy in place. This means that while some of your competitors are developing and implementing a branding plan to help them become more attractive to the highly coveted graduate market, it also means many companies aren’t which presents you with an opportunity to get ahead of the pack.  So the key question here is how does an organisation devise a brand strategy to attract top talent?

Brand Awareness

Increasing an organisation’s overall brand awareness is key when it comes to employer branding. Brand awareness can be developed through a number of key actions.

  1. Online presence

In 2016, it is essential for employers to have a strong online presence to remain relevant to the graduate talent market. Millennials are plugged in and see embracing new technology as an integral aspect of a business moving forward. This online presence includes the use of digital tools, such as a dedicated graduate attraction website that defines your company brand, an active presence on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, email marketing and visibility on credible websites such as that students and graduates are constantly using to research the options available to them.

  1. Word of Mouth

Positive ‘Word of mouth’ is crucial in today’s increasingly social world. Online social forums such as Inside Buzz make today’s workplace like an echo chamber. Potential candidates have the ability to find out about an organisation’s company culture before even stepping foot inside the building. Trying to control this message is one great way to expand your company’s brand and bring in the talented professionals you need to thrive.

  1. Use experts in employer marketing

Linking up with industry leaders in the employer branding market, giving them a clear and transparent view of your organisation, the talent you are seeking and current company culture will allow you to have a representative with an already existing online presence, out there speaking on your behalf and enhancing your reputation.

gradireland work with hundreds of leading graduate employers throughout Ireland, developing  employer brand strategies which use both online and offline marketing tools. Our team of marketing professionals consult with each individual employer to determine an employer branding strategy to suit each organisation. For more information about gradireland products and services contact our team on or 01-6451500.


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