An unmissable event for IT students and graduates

The gradireland GRADchances IT event showcases the skills of students and the needs of employers in a vibrant and growing tech-sector.

GRADchances IT collage

This event will be held on January 27th in Dublin City Centre, with 100 specially selected students and six major technology employers present.

The annual IT event run by gradireland brings together pre-selected, soon-to-be graduate or just graduated, IT students with employers eager to promote their businesses and graduate programmes.

Nowadays, competition is fierce and we are competing with a lot of other big-name companies so it’s an opportunity to interact and engage with students and give them an insight into what we do”, says Denise Airlie from software development company, Guidewire.

A diverse range of businesses participated in the event, ranging top software company Guidewire to Smyths Toy store, reflecting the range of sectors that IT transcends.

Speaking at last year’s event, Swati Sehgal, who was doing a Masters in Computer Science in Trinity College stated “IT is required across every field and is one of the strongest and most diverse sectors  in which to work”, she also states that she is “very optimistic” of employment after graduation.

This event is the first of two gradireland events in 2016 with a focus on technology. The second, taking place on February 16th, will target the STEM sector (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and will offer IT students another chance to interact with some of Ireland’s top graduate employers.

As part of the GRADchances IT event, each employer will set students a task where they were looking for them to demonstrate appropriate skills. “First of all we are looking for people with a strong technical aptitude. But we require our employees to become technical consultants, so communication and teamwork is very important also”, says Denise from Guidewire.

At last year’s event, Maurice Walsh, a final year IT Blanchardstown student in Network Security and Digital Forensics stated; “Events like this are brilliant because IT is so vast in terms of the roles on offer. I feel I almost need to be in a company to see what I can offer them. Therefore, here it’s fantastic to see what companies are looking for and to see if I can demonstrate those abilities”.

For the opportunity to be part of GRADchances IT on Wednesday 27th January register today.


‘Events like GRADchances IT are vital,’ says graduate who landed Intel job

The team at gradireland are always delighted to hear feedback from students and graduates after our careers events, so you can imagine how happy we were when a student who attended the GRADchances IT got in touch to let our team know that he had landed a job with one of the world’s most influential IT companies.

On the 28th January 2014, Waterford IT student Sohail Muhammad attended the GRADchances IT event in Dublin City Centre. Little did he think that directly because of his participation in this event, he would secure a position as Product Development Engineer with IT giant, Intel.  

Gradchances blog

During this event, Sohail was given the opportunity to meet with top IT employers, discuss each company’s recruitment process and undertake tasks set by these employers to demonstrate his employability skills. Through these activities, he made the connections and impressions necessary to securing the job he wanted with Intel.

When speaking about GRADchances IT and his role in Intel, Sohail said;’ Intel is a fantastic place to work and it is all thanks to the GRADchances event in Dublin where I met all of you guys and Intel HR – events like this are vital from a graduates point of view’.

This year’s GRADchances IT will take place on Wednesday 27th January in Dublin City Centre. Top IT employers attending this year’s event include First Derivatives, Guidewire, Arista Networks, AIG, Smyths Toys and Workday. The event is strictly invite-only, with 100 of the top IT students who register being invited to the event. Register now and for your chance to have an experience like Sohail!

Life as a Jameson Brand Ambassador

I studied European Studies with French and Italian in Trinity College Dublin. In April 2013 I was preparing for my final exams when I received an email from the Trinity Italian department explaining that Jameson were looking for Italian speakers for their graduate programme. My original plan had been to move to Madrid to teach English after graduation, but after reading the Jameson job description, I knew this was too good an opportunity to pass up. After recording an application video, then heading for an interview and an Italian assessment in the Irish Distillers HQ, I was offered the job as Brand Ambassador based in Milan.

Kieran Crowe Vietnam

Before I jetted off to Milan, I completed a 5-week training programme with 35 other Jameson Brand Ambassadors. It was amazing. The passion and enthusiasm of everybody I met in Irish Distillers was really inspiring: Jameson had just reached sales of 4 million cases that year, and I got the feeling that I was lucky enough to arrive in an industry which was finally taking off. A lot of industry articles talk about the “Irish whiskey renaissance”, and it’s great to be an Irish person working for an Irish brand which is doing so well across the world.

My first year on the programme in Italy was a great experience, and was both interesting and challenging. Jameson is quite a small brand in Italy, and therefore had quite a small marketing budget, so I had to look for inventive, low-cost ways to target consumers. I really had to put my creativity and innovative thinking to work. Because of the nature of the role of Brand Ambassador, you never know what each day will bring. For example, one day I was conducting a tasting session in the Duty Free of Venice airport and I noticed a lot of Israeli tourists buying competitor whiskeys rather than Jameson, because they weren’t sure if Jameson was kosher or not. I contacted Irish Distillers about this, and it turns out that once a year a rabbi visits the Jameson distillery to certify it as being kosher. They sent me the kosher certificate, and I printed it out and displayed it in the Duty Free. Low and behold, Jameson sales increased.

A personal highlight of my year in Italy was working with an agency to roll out a series of Saint Patrick’s Day events in Rome, which culminated in a very cool rock concert in a beautiful art gallery in a suburb of the city, attended by around 1000 people. I never thought I would end up working in event management, but I learned a lot during the months of work we put in to organize the events, and it was a really great feeling to finally pull it off successfully.

After one year in Italy, I moved to Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam for my second year. It was my first time in Asia, but after the heat, chaos, and frenetic moped traffic of Naples, the transition to South East Asian life wasn’t as difficult as I expected. Again, Jameson is quite a small brand in Vietnam, but this is great from a career development perspective for me, as I am given quite a lot of autonomy to develop the brand here and implement the global brand strategy at a local level. Vietnam is a huge whiskey market with a lot of potential for Jameson, and I’m learning a lot about the Vietnamese way of doing business. Safe to say it’s different from the Irish way of working! Vietnam is technically a “dark market”, meaning it is illegal to promote alcohol through advertising or point of sale. This brings a unique set of challenges to my role here, as I have to think up creative ways of promoting Jameson to Vietnamese consumers.

I’ve completed around 40 weeks of Vietnamese lessons since I’ve arrived here, which means I can conduct basic tasting sessions with Vietnamese consumers, who are always delighted to see a “nguoi Tay” (Westerner) speaking their language. The travel opportunities offered by the Jameson International Graduate Programme are second to none, and I’ve travelled up and down Vietnam over the past 14 months conducting tasting sessions with consumers, organizing Jameson events, and training the local sales team. It’s a sometimes challenging work environment, but the responsibility and creative independence I’m given on the job makes it incredibly rewarding. I have learnt a lot here in terms of negotiating skills, event management, marketing strategy, as well as cultural understanding. I’m also putting my driving license to good use by navigating the hectic Saigon traffic on a moped!

When I was in university, I didn’t have a concrete plan of what I wanted out of a career. I knew I wanted to travel and live abroad, and I wanted to pick up new languages. I can safely say that by working for Jameson I have fulfilled both of these objectives, and have had some amazing experiences along the way. If you’re reading this and are interested in a similar career path in one of the most interesting and exciting industries out there, don’t hesitate to apply for the Jameson graduate programme. At the moment there are 75 Brand Ambassadors working in 42 different markets across the world so there’s no telling where you might end up: whether you’ll be organizing a Saint Patrick’s Day event in Hanoi, or training bartenders in Venice, it’s a truly unique opportunity to grow, learn and develop.

The closing date for the Jameson Brand Ambassador Graduate programme is Wednesday 13th January 2016. To find out more about working with Jameson, check out their profile here and see where your career could develop here.