Top reasons to look for an internship that has a smaller intake

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Don’t limit your internship options by only focusing on larger graduate employers. If you’re looking for an internship experience that allows you to see the effect of your efforts quickly you should consider looking for opportunities with small and medium-sized businesses, typically organisations with fewer than 250 employees.

Small, high potential businesses can offer you wide-ranging opportunities to put your talents to good use and are a great source of graduate employment. They also tend to be less oversubscribed than big, high-profile graduate recruiters. You may well find that these types of internships can give you a good head start in the race for a graduate job.

Why choose a smaller internship intake?

  1. In a smaller organisation, you can make a bigger impact. Processes in smaller companies tend to be shorter and more visible, so you can see the effect of your work relatively quickly.
  1. The work you do will impress graduate recruiters. Many placements with smaller companies are project based. This means that you can take ownership of a task and see it through to the end – something that will impress recruiters when it comes to graduate job applications. You will be closely involved in the employer’s whole business process and gain a real insight into how they operate.
  1. Early responsibility. If you have the chance to take ownership of a task and see it through, your initiative will be tested and you’ll be able to develop your leadership, team work, time management and organisational skills.
  1. Your contribution will be highly valued. In a smaller organisation a spare pair of hands can undertake tasks no-one else has time for. Interns often provide a valuable resource to employers who are busy working hard on the core business and don’t have the time to look at issues such as competitor analysis, marketing or market research. An intern can dedicate their time to one of these areas and offer enterprising ideas to improve the business.
  1. Your placement can be tailored to suit you. Work experience at a small organisation is unlikely to follow a standard, predetermined schedule and it should be possible to give you opportunities that reflect your interests.
  1. Do well, and there’s a good chance you’ll be asked back. A high proportion of small employers may be able to offer students further work after their placement, from additional one-off projects to full-time employment when they graduate.
  1. If you’re a budding entrepreneur you should see a small organisation in action. If you’re interested in starting your own business in future, a placement is an excellent way to gain insight into how a small to medium-sized business is run. You may even have the opportunity to work with the company’s founder and find out first-hand how the business was set up.
  1. Think local. Whereas many work experience schemes and internships with large graduate employers are likely to be based in larger cities, small businesses can be found in locations across the country. Why not start building up your network of local contacts now?
  1. Companies with fewer than 250 employees may be more likely to offer opportunities to focus on particularly niche areas.

How to apply for work experience with small companies

You can research opportunities for internships with small and medium-size companies via gradireland and your university careers service. If a company that interests you hasn’t formally advertised a work experience opportunity, make a speculative application.

Your university or employment service may advertise vacation work with local companies. This will give you a chance to gain some practical evidence of your skills and develop your understanding of how businesses work.

Or if you think a larger graduate employer is a better fit read our blog “How to land an internship with a large graduate employer


On the 27th of April, gradireland will host its annual Graduate Recruitment Awards at Dublin’s Mansion House and the following companies are nominated for the Best internship programme less than 50 intake:

A version of this article first appeared on targetjobs.co.uk


Where are the graduates of 2015 now? #1

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In the first of a series of articles, we’ll be taking a look at where the graduate class of 2015 are, based upon the HEA’s recently released ‘What do graduates do? The class of 2015’.

This survey, the 25th of its kind, was published on February 15th and, mostly, points to an optimistic prognosis when it comes to graduate careers in Ireland.

Snapshot:

There were 18,526 students surveyed, with qualifications between levels 8-10.

Overall, 68% are in employment, with 57% employed in Ireland and a further 11% are working overseas. Only 6% of all graduates surveyed are still seeking employment nine months after graduation.

Those with Honours Bachelor Degrees

From the class of 2014, nine months after graduation, 58% were in employment. This has risen to 62% for the class of 2015, with the vast majority (85%) of them working in Ireland. Only one in ten graduates are going overseas to seek their first job, with the UK still viewed as the most favourable destination.

In terms of where the jobs are in different sectors, there is still a huge demand for teachers, and graduates in this area have the highest rates of employment. After education, IT has the highest proportion of employed graduates, at 70%, which reflects the consistent growth in this area.

One of the stranger results of the study was that graduates who were awarded a pass degree demonstrated the highest levels of employment (74%) while those who received a first-class Honours degree had the lowest, at 57%. The reverse is true in terms of progression into further study. While this finding is unusual, it is perhaps attributable to the fact that a higher award is necessary for acceptance into postgraduate study, with those who obtain first class honours more likely to pursue further study.

Those with Higher & Postgraduate Diplomas 

78% of those with these Diplomas are in employment, up from 76% from the class of 2014, with 75% employed in Ireland, compared to 68% from the class of 2014. This has led to only 3% seeking employment overseas, down from 8% in the previous year’s research.

Those with Masters/Doctorates

80% of Masters and PhD graduates are in employment, with 64% finding work in Ireland and the remainder overseas, with the UK the most popular. The sectors with the highest rates of employment for Masters and doctoral students were Business, Administration & Law and Education students at 87% and 86% respectively.

In our next article, we’ll look at the relevance of each qualification for the graduates surveyed for the report. The entire report can be downloaded here. For further analysis of trends in different sectors, download the 2017 edition of gradireland’s Ireland’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers, the largest independent student survey of final year students in Irish universities, north and south.

 


Guest blog: What design can help your graduate recruitment display stand out from the crowd?

Cathy O’Donohoe of Pluto, official partners of gradireland, has compiled some tips on why your need to make you display truly stand out and represent something that can align with the values of the graduates you are seeking to attract. 

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Every exhibitor recruiting at a graduate recruitment fair has a ‘cut-through’ challenge. How does your corporate brand resonate in a room full of graduates, with dozens of other brands competing for the exact same talent? Exhibitors need to excite to attract. Large corporations need to examine what attracts a graduate to an exhibiting employer, when so many other doors are potentially open to explore in the very same room. Given the number of years that an employee can invest with an employer, graduates need to feel that a potential employer has brand values that align to their own. Those values need to be aspirational, current and relevant. At the very least, the basic design of the stand needs to be current and ‘on –trend’, given the multitude of brands that graduates and students are exposed to through various mediums and platforms on a daily basis. Time and time again, corporate employers invest in taking space at graduate recruitment fairs but don’t invest in updating their stand – often taking out something that was used previously and merely dusting it down. If the stand isn’t exciting, the perception will be that the opportunity for employment with that company isn’t very exciting either. Graduates should leave your stand incredibly excited about the opportunities that the journey ahead may bring them, should they choose to invest their future with you. To invest in a space, without investing in the stand design, can be potentially lethal for an employer brand.

The strong trend for design in 2017 will be led by the following key influences: Scandinavian touch, steel and wood, theatrical elements, geometric imagery and mesh and Lighting. So what do these mean?

  1. Scandinavian touch: Continues to influence design. This trend includes light pastel hues, strong  colour accents, clean and light wood, mix & match furnishings and a general sense of playfulness.
  2. Steel and wood: A box section & feature wood cladding dominates this trend.
  3. Theatrical fun: Creates a tangible zone for customer interaction, such as installing a single feature piece.
  4. Geometric: Creates immediate modernity with seamless patterns creating depth.
  5. Mesh and lights: Stands out with opaque lighting features, abundance of mesh types and the use of mesh partitions.

For more information about what Pluto do, click here.


Guest blog: Debunking the geek myth – Women in IT

There is a long-standing belief that the IT industry is geeky, male dominated and hard to break into but these views are out-dated and do not reflect the exciting opportunities available in the sector.

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A recent study by the FDM Business Sustainability and Innovation team investigated what can be done to encourage more women into IT. As can be seen in the word clouds below many women from non-STEM backgrounds misunderstand the opportunities available in IT and perceive themselves as not technical enough to work in this sector. Soon after joining a tech company, these perceptions changed as the creativity and innovation central to the sector were brought to light. This shift highlights the need to expose students to the IT industry; not only to break down these stereotypes but also to increase the flow of women into careers in the IT sector

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IT offers a wealth of exciting careers across all sectors, and the global economy is becoming ever more digital. Taking the plunge into the world of IT could be your ticket to an exciting and successful career.

At FDM you do not have to have studied IT to work in IT – it’s all about the passion! We provide industry relevant training most suited to your skills across both business and technical specialities, followed by commercial experience when placed onsite with one of our 180+ prestigious clients. We work with multiple organisations across a wide variety of industries, including third level, leisure, banking and finance.

To Find out how you can join one of FDM’s award winning programmes, visit our website today!


Guest blog: Top 5 tips for a successful video application

Are you noticing more employers are moving away from traditional application methods and moving more towards video as part of their recruitment process? At the Jameson International Graduate Programme we introduced video applications to our recruitment process in 2010 and we’ve never looked back! If you’re not sure where to start with your video, here are our top tips so that you can complete the application process without fear!

 By Sinead D’Arcy, Jameson International Graduate Programme Manager

Jameson Global Ambassador Summit. Photo Chris Bellew / Copyright Fennell Photography 2015

Jameson Global Ambassador Summit.
Photo Chris Bellew / Copyright Fennell Photography 2015

  1. Attitude

The first thing we’ll look for in your video application is that you have the right attitude to become a Jameson Brand Ambassador. We’re on the look out to find someone who embodies the Jameson spirit of warmth, charisma and wit. Show us that you’re passionate, driven to succeed and have the dedication it takes to work with the world’s fastest growing international whiskey brand.

  1. Be Yourself

This is definitely one of the most important things to think about when creating your video application. We want to get to know your personality, your individuality, the things that make you, YOU! We completely understand that talking to a camera about yourself isn’t necessarily the easiest and most comfortable situation in the world, so here’s what to do- take a breath, grab your camera, sit down, relax and chat to us as if you’re chatting to an old friend.

  1. Tell us what’s relevant

You don’t have a lot of time so make sure your video application is full of relevant information. Tell us about yourself, your interests, your skills and why this is relevant to the Jameson Graduate Programme.

  1. Keep to the time

Time management is a vital part of being a Jameson Brand Ambassador. Show us that you can include all the necessary and relevant information in a 2-3 minute video and needless to say, get your application in on time!

  1. Make sure your written application and your video mirror each other

Bear in mind that during our review process, we take a look at your written application and your video together. Make sure they both contribute to your overall story and there is a consistency between the 2 – just like the relationship between a good book and the movie version!

If you are looking for some inspiration on how to make your application video check out videos of past successful application video’s on our YouTube channel.

Online applications for this year’s Graduate Distiller Programme close at 13:00 on Wednesday, 16th November 2016 and applications for the International Graduate Programme applications close at 13:00 on Monday, 16th January 2017. Visit our dedicated graduate recruitment website here to get your application across the line. 

Good luck! 

 


5 Questions to ask a potential employer at the Graduate Careers Fair

The Graduate Careers Fair is a fantastic opportunity to meet and ask questions of potential employers. Many employers also bring graduates who are currently on their graduate programmes to attend their stands, so you can ask what life working with this companies is really like! These conversations are unbelievable opportunities for networking, and can help you decide on future career paths or give you that nugget of ‘insider information’ that can help you through the application and interview process and ensure that you best the competition to land your dream graduate job.

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We have put together some questions to have prepared to ask employers on the day of the Graduate Careers Fair:

How many graduates do you take on each year and do you employ graduates from courses like mine?

This question helps determine whether or not it is worth asking the next questions! It’s important to ascertain that an employer is hiring, or that they will be doing so in the not tooo distant future. Equally it’s good to know if the employer has successfully hired graduates with a similar background to you – this question can get the conversation off on a positive foot, or end it nice and early. If the answer is a no but you are keep to work for that employer or in that sector, ask about any conversion courses that you could take that they have successfully hired from.

What are the most important competencies you look for in graduates during the selection process?

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All employers have criteria they look for when hiring. Some are quite defined, others relate to that elusive ‘fit’. Discover the answers to this question and, if you decide to apply, present your application in a way which showcases your corresponding attributes.

What would my first year in your organisation be like?

This question will prompt the recruiter to talk about their induction programme, training and development, opportunities for travel and any promotion opportunities for high-performing graduates within their company. gradireland research has shown that these are the most significant factors for students and graduates when considering which employer they would most like to work for.

Tell me the single most important thing you would advise any graduate considering applying for a role with your organisation to do!

Talking to employers at the gradireland Summer Fair

Not strictly a question, but if you get the answer then you have the inside track which could give you that all-important edge over competition throughout the selection process.

And for non-Finalists

Do you have an internship programme and how can I get on it?

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gradireland research shows that  over 79% of graduate recruiters run internship programmes, and that the recruiters themselves see completing a relevant internship as the single most useful thing a graduate can do to improve their employability. It’s a great way to find out about a company, a sector of work and of course to land a graduate job further down the line.

Find out more about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair here.


4 things you didn’t know about this year’s Graduate Careers Fair

It’s less than two weeks away from the most anticipated event in the gradireland events calendar, the 14th annual Graduate Careers Fair. This event will see 120 of Ireland’s leading graduate employers, start-up companies and further study providers showcasing what they have to offer in a range of different sectors. Ahead of this event we have put together a list of four things that you probably didn’t know about Ireland’s Official Graduate Careers Fair.

Top employers will be there-it’s all about jobs!

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We have over 100 of Ireland’s leading employers attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair. The exhibitor list to date is made up of 58 of the Irish Times Top 1000 companies as well as 15 international Fortune 500 companies! The best part, all of these organisations are actively recruiting for students and graduates in a range of sectors, there are interviews happening on the day itself, so come prepared!

CV Advice to beat all other

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Have you hit the wall when it comes to getting your CV or application ready to send to employers? Worry not! The Graduate Careers Fair has not only a dedicated CV Clinic with over 50 hours of free careers advice but also a rolling CV Seminar with specialised advice for both international and Irish students. This is the perfect opportunity to perfect your CV and get ahead of the competition.

Opportunities with NGOs

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Ever considered working as part of a non-for-profit organisation? We are excited to announce that this year’s Graduate Careers Fair will welcome some nationally and internationally established NGOs, including Oxfam Ireland and The Peter McVerry Trust . Chat to representatives about any opportunities available with these organisations.

Introducing Start-Up City

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Not sure if you want to go down the traditional career route or apply for a graduate programme? This year’s gradireland Graduate Careers Fair will host our very first Start-Up Zone, which will see some of Ireland’s emerging tech talent exhibiting. Pop over to Start-Up City at the Graduate Careers Fair and find out what it’s like to be part of a high growth, fast paced start up team! Exhibitors include Gamex, Huggnote, Aromatrix and many more.

So there you have it! Four things that you might not have known about the Graduate Careers Fair, all the more reason to register now and we’ll see you in the RDS on October 5th.

Register for free entry at www.graduatecareersfair.com

We are looking forward to seeing you there!