Ireland’s biggest language event is just two days away. The gradireland GRADchances event brings together Ireland’s most prestigious language employers with students and graduates with fluency in over 60 languages. One attendee of last year’s event tells us how one quick chat turned into a full-time job, writes Fergal Browne.
Mariana Reis went to the 2014 GRADchances Language Fair expecting to get a good chance to talk to employers and to explore future career opportunities.
Born in Brazil’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, she moved to Ireland at 19 in order to improve her English. Six years later she’s still here and works full-time with the Higher Education Authority (HEA) after a chat with a HEA recruitment member at gradireland’s Language Fair.
At the time of the gradireland event, Mariana was still in college just finishing up a four year International Business and Spanish degree in DIT. “A career advisor told me about the Language Fair and recommended I talk to the HEA. They actually told me they weren’t looking for anybody at the time but I gave them my CV anyway,” she says.
The HEA rang her two weeks after the Language Fair and after a quick meeting had “two/three weeks” of part-time work which got extended to June, and finally turned into a full-time position after she finished college in June.
Mariana points out that the best thing about learning foreign languages is that you learn for personal fulfilment and satisfaction, but then the skills can be transferred over to your professional career.
“I love learning languages. I actually never thought of learning languages for my professional life. I’ve done it because it’s such a magnificent opportunity to meet lots of different types of people and have great experiences. But now in my working life, I’m beginning to recognise how it can enrich my workplace experience as well”, says the native Portuguese speaker.
“Having foreign languages opens up more possibilities to expand into different things and just makes you and the company a lot more flexible”, says Mariana. The Brazilian graduate speaks four languages fluently; her native Portuguese, English, Spanish and Italian. She uses all four languages day-to-day dealing with clients and students across Europe and in her native Brazil.
“Be able to speak in the other person’s language is great customer service. You make your client feel comfortable and ensure nothing is lost in translation,” she says.
Mariana advises all students with languages to go to the gradireland event. “It’s a great opportunity to meet employers and even just to understand the types of jobs out there”, she says.
gradireland’s GRADchances Language Fair takes place this Wednesday, March 4th! For more information and to register for the event for free, visit the Language Fair website.