Making winning applications: IntertradeIreland’s FUSION programmePosted: September 26, 2012
There are a number of graduate programmes run by government or industry bodies which provide excellent opportunities for Ireland’s graduates across a wide range of industries, employers and sectors.
Here, we take a look at IntertradeIreland’s FUSION programme and get the inside track on how to make a successful application for this programme.
What is the FUSION programme about?
FUSION is an all-island graduate programme linking academia and industry, predominantly focusing on science, engineering and technology roles. It incorporates a paid placement, lasting 12 to 18 months, with a Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Management.
Graduates are placed in SME companies to create and develop technologically innovative and commercially viable products and services and gain project management experience. They are supported by both the company and an academic mentor from a university or college with specialist expertise in the subject area required.
What is the key to getting on the FUSION programme?
FUSION runs a two-step application process – an online application, then company interview. As with any application, meeting the basic criteria is a must. If you do not demonstrate this clearly and unequivocally they won’t even read the rest of your application.
In the case of FUSION, all job descriptions list essential (as well as desirable) criteria – so in your application give clear and unambiguous answers, in the correct order, to each of the essential criteria. Then do the same for each of the desirable characteristics that you meet.
Just doing this will see you onto the shortlist for consideration. It seems obvious, but if you make it easy for the person considering your application to move you on to the next stage in the process, the more likely you are to progress. You would be amazed how many applications don’t even contain the correct contact details for the applicant, especially email addresses, so be meticulous and double-check your application at the end before hitting ‘send’.
The interview stage
The essence of the FUSION programme is collaboration, so, while it is not important to go into great detail about your communication, teamwork and project management skills in the online application, these will be key themes at the interview stage. It will be important that you prepare to demonstrate these traits through examples at interview.
Equally important will be that you can show you have a clear understanding of the FUSION programme – its purpose and objectives – and that you have done your research on the company where the role is based. Bring the job spec with you as it will form the basis for the questions you are asked at interview. Prepare answers for each of the elements contained within it as best you can.
Lastly, do not forget the postgraduate study that is built into each of the FUSION placements. The creators of the programme have included this because they believe in the importance and value of further study within the context of the placement. So demonstrating that you are motivated to continue to learn and keen to undertake the Diploma in Business and Management is another way to give yourself an edge in the selection process.
You can find out more about FUSION and other graduate placement programmes on gradireland.com.