Not in Final Year? Why you should attend the Graduate Careers Fair…

It’s very common for students who are not yet in final year to be indecisive about attending the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as to whether you should attend Ireland’s Largest Graduate Careers Event;

Do I know what Career Path I would like to pursue?

This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest decision you will have to make before leaving college. There is so much to take into account including the area you would like to work in, job prospects, the companies that are recruiting in your field, the locations of these companies and salary expectations. It is very difficult to find credible answers to these questions without speaking to the employers in person.

Over 100 employers are attending this year’s Graduate Career Fair in over 20 different sectors with headquarters all around Ireland and Europe. This is the ultimate opportunity to meet these employers and ask them the essential questions you need to know for your future career decisions.

What do I need to get a job?

Putting together the documentation required to get your dream job can be very daunting. Every employer has different criteria they look for when recruiting graduates, this requires tailoring your CV and cover Letter to each job you may apply to. CV Clinics are being held at the Graduate Career Fair with experts from Careers Services throughout Ireland. These experts will provide you with the advice you need to get that dream job! Keep in mind that many Graduate Programmes open for applications in September each year, meeting these CV Experts could put you ahead of the competition for next year’s applications.

Am I interested in doing an internship?

Internships are amazing opportunities to gain essential experience into a particular job or companies culture. Employers also take this essential experience into account when recruiting graduates, giving your CV the edge to get the job. Many of the employers attending the Graduate Careers Fair recruit students for internships and work placements. This is a great opportunity to network with these employers to see what internship opportunities they may have.

Am I thinking of doing a Postgraduate Course,  in Ireland, the UK or beyond?

Finding the perfect postgraduate course to suit you is really important, whether in Ireland or the UK.  gradireland are hosting a couple of seminars  with industry experts at this year’s Graduate Careers Fair to discuss Postgraduate Studies. There are also a number of exhibitors attending on the day, offering a wide range of postgraduate options.

The Graduate Careers Fairs has something for everyone, whether final year or first year. Register for free entry today at

How to make the most out of the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair

Careers Fairs are an amazing opportunity for students and young professionals to get the ‘inside scoop’ of a company, the opportunities they have available for graduates, the sectors in which they are interested in hiring as well as a view to working life within the company.

Preparation is key when it comes to career fairs! Here are some helpful tips for the day of the fair.

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What should you ask a potential employer at the Graduate Careers Fair?

The gradireland Graduate Careers Fair is an amazing opportunity to meet and ask questions of potential employers. Many companies also bring graduates who are currently on their graduate programmes to attend their stand, so you can ask them what life within these companies is really like! These conversations are great opportunities for networking, and can help you decide your future career path or give you that nugget of ‘insider information’ that can help you through the application and interview process and ensure that you beat the competition to land the perfect graduate job.

gradireland Graduate Careers Fair

The team here at gradireland have put together a few questions for you to ask potential employers at the Graduate Careers Fair.

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Major drive to highlight graduate jobs with international institutions


Delegates at the event in Farmleigh to promote graduate opportunities in international organisations.


This week saw the launch of a major new Government initiative to enhance the attractiveness of careers with international organisations to Irish graduates. Entitled, Global Horizons; International Careers, this  initiative is led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which aims to address third-level students by exploring the theme of ‘Representing Ireland Abroad: Opportunities for You’.

By partnering with the Public Appointments Service and the Department of the Taoiseach’s ‘EU Jobs’ initiative, Global Horizons aims to share the real-life experience of recent recruits and to provide real-time information on the internship and career opportunities within international organisations such as the European Union, the United Nations and the Council of Europe.

gradireland Director Mark Mitchell attended a symposium on the importance of creating awareness of the importance of maintaining and encouraging Irish involvement in international organisations such as the European Union, the United Nations, World Bank, Organisation for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and many more.

Speaking at a reception in Farmleigh House to mark the initiative, the Minister for European Affairs and Data Protection, Mr Dara Murphy TD, said that Irish people working as international civil servants with international institutions have “advanced our national values, brokering critical agreements, developing far-sighted policies and delivering progress in the areas we hold dearest-human rights, international security, disarmament and development.”

However, he added that “while our international commitment is stronger than ever, I’m concerned that it’s not fully reflected in the numbers of Irish graduates joining these institutions. This applies, above all, to the EU institutions.”

To emphasise this point, Catherine Day, former Secretary General of the European Commission was then invited to speak, in which she detailed the many opportunities for careers within international institutions, and why Irish personnel are well regarded and respected by their international colleagues. She went on to say that there have only been five Secretary General’s during the lifetime of the European Commission, and that two of them have been Irish, highlighting the successes which Irish people have had at the highest levels of these organisations.

The launch of the ‘Global Horizons, International Careers’ initiative, promoted via the Public Appointments Service, will be followed by renewed outreach to third level institutions with junior diplomats visiting campuses and careers fairs across Ireland.

For more information on opportunities for graduates with international organisations, visit here.

For more from gradireland on working abroad, visit here.

A new face to guide you through the 2016 gradireland/postgradireland directory

It’s a hectic time here in gradireland, and this week the first two of our range of titles for 2016 have been sent off to the printers. Along with the 2016 Finance Sector Guide, we are very happy to send our 304 page, bigger and better, gradireland and postgradireland directory to print.








To help you guide you through the various sections, whether it be job hunting tips, career sector advice or postgraduate study help, we are delighted to introduce ‘gradman’, your perfect guide to the 2016 gradireland/postgradireland directory. Keep an eye out for it on your campus from mid-September!


We’ve a host of other titles off to print over the coming weeks, packed with careers and postgrad information. If you’ve missed any of our current publications, download them here.

UN intern story is a dramatic example, but the organisation should know better



When a story like that of David Hyde gains global coverage; a 22-year-old New Zealand graduate who said he had been living in a tent while on a United Nations internship, the long running debate about the merits of interning reignites.

Unfortunately much of the debate around internships is framed through a lens of ‘black and white’ divisions. The debate is shaped around whether an internship is unpaid (black) or paid (white). That doesn’t take into account the importance of internships as part of today’s HR processes, the complexity of the many structured programmes out there or the many positive internship stories. The fact is that gradireland’s own research of major graduate employers in Ireland shows that 86% of employers offer internships, and 93.5% of them pay. The average rate of payment was between €1,400 and €1,800 per month. Employers value interns greatly as part of their strategic recruitment objectives, as the employability skills learned contribute to their potential as future full term employees.

What this story does show is that the United Nations needs to get its house in order when it comes to how it is running its internship programme. Indeed, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights states;”everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration.”

Mr Hyde’s torrid experiences of living in a tent by Lake Geneva, one of the world’s most expensive cities, represents a PR disaster for the UN, but, in his own words – he accepted the job knowing what he wasn’t getting and that his decisions to accept the role, and indeed to subsequently quit, were purely his own decisions. “The UN was clear about their internship policy from the start. No wage or stipend, no transport help, no food allowance, no health assistance. I understood this, and in that regard I have to take responsibility for accepting the internship in the first place.” It subsequently came to light that he had planned to live in the tent to publicise the situation which UN interns were facing. So while his planned publicity stunt, that was obviously going to precipitate serious financial hardship, does colour the story it doesn’t excuse the UN for operating its internship programmes in such a manner. An organisation such as the UN depends on diversity in order to realise its objectives, under its current modus operandi for interns, it can only really attract affluent students from developed nations. Notoriously slow and bureaucratic, it’s unlikely that Mr Hyde’s story will act as a silver bullet to address this situation. UN officials, responding to the story, said that change to their internship programme would have to be submitted as formal proposal to the General Assembly. They did however say that while the Secretariat in Geneva did not pay anything to interns, other parts of the United Nations did.

The UN, by its very nature, is an idealistic organisation, for all its many faults. In this case, it has displayed itself as faceless, bureaucratic and cold. While Mr Hyde must share a large portion of the blame, it’s not really acceptable for the planet’s only global organisation to reward the enthusiasm of today’s graduates, who want to contribute the organisation, in this manner.

For more on what you should expect as an intern, and how you can make the best of the experience, visit here. It is the policy of gradireland to only advertise paid internship positions.


Skills supply report points to particular graduate opportunities in science, IT and health


‘Monitoring Ireland’s Skills Supply 2015’ is the tenth in a series of reports produced by SOLAS on behalf of the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs (EGFSN). The purpose of the report is to provide an overview of the skills profile of the population.

The main findings of the report point to the fact that there are over one million qualification holders, or a third of the population, who have studied in one of the following areas:

  • (SSBL) Social science, business & law (including commerce)
  • Accountancy
  • Marketing
  • Business management

Further to this, another 320,000 persons have post-secondary qualifications, with engineering/construction, such as craft awards, accounting for a third.

Areas of opportunity

Science: Highly-skilled professionals such as actuaries, statisticians and teachers are particularly in demand in this field.

Engineering and construction: The difference between those with post-secondary qualifications and those with third level qualifications is much smaller in these areas, with the report revealing employment rates almost as high for those with qualifications such as apprenticeships, as for graduates.

SSBL: The career paths in this sector, according to report are very much determined by the level to which the candidate has studied.  However, there are many business related occupations which have been identified as experiencing shortages and growth prospects are positive for the financial and professional services sectors.

Health/welfare: There are high levels of employment for graduates with the right qualifications in this field. Employment opportunities in the health sector are mostly in government funded organisations; although there have been limited opportunities in recent years due to restricted healthcare budgets, demand for these skills are expected to be sustained and most likely to increase.

Education: Third level graduates are very much in demand for certain posts in this area and there is a higher than average proportion of recent university graduates employed overseas in the education sector. However at home, employment opportunities depend very much on government policy and funding according to the report. Demand for educational professionals is also affected by the size of the school going age population; “these factors will impact on the demand for teachers in the coming years,” says the report.

Arts/humanities: Graduates in these fields are most likely to continue their studies, specialising in a particular area, according to the report. The report also says that arts/humanities graduates may be more flexible in meeting labour market needs “but they may also be susceptible to having to accept lower skilled employment as many arts/humanities courses do not have a vocational element.”

Services: Tourism and hospitality is a sector highlighted by the report as one which presents significant opportunities to graduates. The report adds that while graduates in this area do find employment opportunities, it is a sector particularly affected by the economic climate.

The report comes only a short time after its companion research, the National Skills Bulletin, was released. Read our article on the Bulletin here.  For more on sector based advice from graduates, visit our sector hubs.



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