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

Signposts at the gradireland Summer Fair

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!

 


Guest blog: Irish Feet Touchdown in España

Ever wonder what it is like to teach in a foreign country? Check out this blog by Sarah G. about life as a teacher in Spain with Meddeas.

A small fish in a big pond is how I’d describe the initial shock I felt in January of this year when I came to teach in Spain as a language assistant.

On mid week Wednesday mornings, when it’s almost 8:45am, before you finally get the courage to get out of bed, it’s arriving at school and one of the children from my one year old class coming up to me saying “Hello Sara” -instead of the usual “Hola”-, that makes teaching worthwhile; or when a three year old boy comes up to me and says “¿Cómo se dice ‘te quiero’ en inglés?” and then proceeds to spend the day telling every man woman and child “I love you”.

Those are the moments that make me want to do this forever and those are the moments that make me already apprehensive about leaving! The same three-year-old also melted my heart with love for him on February 14th of this year, Día de San Valentín, when he came up to me with a ring and said “Quieres ser mi novia?” (Do you want to be my girlfriend?).

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This experience abroad to date has been incredible and I regret nothing: I am learning more Spanish working with kids and living with a Spanish family than I ever would in University. Why? Well it’s difficult to explain. I’m completely immersed: my family speak English quite well but apart from the conversations I have with Javier (eight year old host brother), I tend to speak Spanish for the majority of the time I spend in the family home. Every day I’m learning new words and phrases. Every day there is something different to eat, something with a new difficult-to-pronounce name: “Gazpacho”“Albondigas” (meatballs),  “Pulpo a la gallega” to name but a few. With every new dish that’s placed before me is a new word to learn, so by eating (a favourite pass time of mine), I’m learning too!

Initially, coming to teach in Spain I knew I was going to find out so much about the culture and the food and the language, which was one of the reasons why I felt theMeddeas programme of staying with a family was ideal: you have no choice but to immerse yourself in everything that is España. I knew that the life of the people in Jerez would be different to that of what I had been used to in Spain. I don’t think it’s possible to live in Jerez without being constantly reminded of “caballos”“tinto”and, of course, bull fighting!

The initial feeling I received in school was fame. You would think children, from one to five years old, that a pale-skinned ginger-haired girl from Ireland would scare them, that they’d take awhile to get used to you. This is not the case, the more you stand out the more they like you. Clearly, I can never be mistaken for Spanish. Constantly, I have kids hanging out of me “¿Me toca? ¿Puedo ir contigo? Señora Sara, Señora Sara, Señora Sara” (Is it my turn? Can I come with you? Miss Sarah, Miss Sarah, Miss Sarah) , most days I love it! (Note: Most days). Within my first week, I had marriage proposals and invitations to birthday parties. I was both humbled and overwhelmed by the welcoming I received from the children in my school.

But the experience is not all that rosy rosy rosy: teaching children who have limited English at such a young age is difficult. I wanted nothing more than to be swallowed alive half way through my first class with the 3 year-olds. I constantly have to remind myself to breathe. My three and four year-olds are the most difficult to teach as their attention spans are short and their need for movement is quite substantial. Surprisingly, facial expressions, tone of voice and lots and lots of pictures can keep the one year-olds entertained for the duration of the class quite easily. Side note: Do not say/do anything you don’t want the children to repeat. If you say “Touch your head” and, while you are waiting for the children to do it themselves, you get an itchy nose so you scratch it, your nose will forever be your head in their eyes!

Both Meddeas and the teachers in my school have been amazing. I really have got two families here in Jerez: one with my host family and the other in my school. I’m growing so much as an individual. I love the independence that Jerez has offered; it’s been an incredible experience so far. I can’t comprehend the fact that I arrived to teach in Spain almost two months ago.If someone could please slow down time that would be “estupendo”, I really don’t want to leave!

Meddeas are currently recruiting for teachers in Spain, find out more here.


6 ways to make the most out of the Graduate Careers Fair

Careers fairs are an amazing opportunity for students, graduates and young professionals to get the ‘inside scoop’ of a company, find out the opportunities they have available as well as the disciplines that they are interested in hiring in.

Preparation is key when it comes to careers fair, so we have put together some helpful tips for the day of the fair:

Use the Jobs Wall

There will be several jobs walls within the hall at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair. These will have live graduate schemes and opportunities listed, use your phone and take a photo of any that you are interested in applying to – then go home, find the job, internship or graduate programme on gradireland.com and start applying!

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Bring your CV

Many employers are happy to receive CVs at Careers Fairs. In addition, at the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair we will be running a specialist CV Clinic, hosted by careers advisors from your University providing over 50 hours of specialist advice, at which you can have your CV reviewed. However, a word of caution – the CV clinic has a limited number of slots and gets booked up very quickly, so get there early to book your appointment and don’t expect the advisors to write your CV for you – they are there to review and advise but you’ll have to do the hard work first yourself!

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Research

Make sure you have researched the exhibitors who are attending and decide beforehand which ones you would like to talk to. Think of questions which might not be answered already in brochures or on their websites. Many exhibitors bring recent graduates now working in their business to their stands, so ask them what life is really like in that company.

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Attend the Seminars

Make sure you attend one or more of the specialist careers seminars – they are designed to give you the edge when it comes to applications and interviews! From Assessment Centres to Interview advice there is a seminar to benefit everyone.

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Download the gradireland Events App

The brand new gradireland events app is your personal assistant for the Graduate Careers Fair. You can create a profile, directly contact employers, personalise your seminar schedule and much more! Download it from the App Store or Google Play now.

More information about the event can be found at www.graduatecareersfair.com


Not in final year? Four things that you may get the answer to by attending the Graduate Careers Fair

It’s not unusual for students who are not yet in final year to be unsure about attending the Graduate Careers Fair. You lucky souls are still out there enjoying college life and may not have thought a lot about careers or the future.  Well here are a few of the questions that you may get an answer to by attending this year’s Graduate Careers Fair:

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

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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 120 employers are attending this year’s Graduate Career Fairfrom 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, to get a better understanding of what it is you would like to do.

What do I need to get a job?

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Putting together all the documents you need to land 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?

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Internships are amazing opportunities to gain experience in a particular job or to find out about the culture of a particular company. Employers also take this essential experience into account when recruiting graduates, giving your CV an edge to get a 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?

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Finding the perfect postgraduate course to suit you is really important, whether in Ireland or the UK.  gradireland are hosting seminars  with industry experts at this year’s Graduate Careers Fair to discuss postgraduate studies. There is also a Further Study Zone on the day with more than twenty exhibitors, offering a wide range of postgraduate options and information.

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


US Grad Visa Success Stories and How You Can Write Your Own

Into its seventh year, USIT’s USA Grad Visa continues to be an exciting and often life changing opportunity for graduates in Ireland. Most recent graduates face uncertain times once they have finished their degrees, with a jobs market that’s increasingly competitive, coupled with rising accommodation costs and, of course, the attraction of travelling, living and working abroad.

Plenty of grads, as a result, look at their options post college as being career focused or travel focused but seldom both. That’s where a Grad Visa to the US comes in, with US companies more than receptive to pooling employees from Irish and therefore international backgrounds. Heading towards the US presents Irish grads with an incredible opportunity to both travel and add some heavyweight experience to your CV!

USIT have placed thousands of Irish graduates in the likes of New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco over the seven years and with less than 300 positions available for the rest of 2016, all indications are that this will sell out yet again.

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USIT have had success stories from all areas of third level study, just like these students who have all flourished in the US in recent months:

Andrew Morrissey left Ireland for New York in May 2015, armed with a Politics & Geography degree from UCD. Having had some exposure to the American way of life and working culture with members of his family working within the US market, Andrew saw a Grad Visa as a ‘rite of passage’ following his studies. After a couple of false starts, Andrew landed an internship with BerlinRosen, a political PR firm in Manhattan and has described the experience as ‘the greatest working experience I’ve ever had’. You can read more about Andrew’s story here.

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Alan McGeever, graduated from GMIT in 2014 with a degree in Hospitality Management and with the US, world leading in his industry he decided the US Grad Visa was a no-brainer. After initially locating in San Francisco, an early trip to San Diego had Alan, head over heels for the city so he packed up and headed to SD to look for a suitable role. Taking full advantage of the huge Irish presence in San Diego, Alan landed a role with an Irish-owned research and sales company and ended up travelling throughout the US working with the American Military, researching soldier’s experiences and backgrounds. 8 months in, Alan has seen plenty of the US, including taking in a Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas. Read more here.

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Rachel Lynch graduated from the University of Limerick with a degree in History in 2015. Having spent time in Boston in 2010 on a study abroad programme she knew her stay in the US was not finished. Leveraging her degree, Rachel landed a role at History San Jose, allowing her to continue her passion for the past. Her biggest tips in going on a Grad Visa to the States is to do your research before you go and understand the cost of getting yourself set up. Once that’s taken care Rachel got to experience all this…

Will you be the next graduate to relocate to the land of opportunity after college? USIT’s One-Year US Grad Visa Program is still accepting applications until the end of 2016 and there are now less than 300 places remaining with no guarantees as to the future of the Program.

Interested in finding out more? Drop USIT’s Program Manager Melanie.Young@usit.ie a line and find out the right option for you! Alternatively you can ring USIT directly on (01) 602 1747.

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Five ways to make the most out of the gradireland Summer Fair

The official gradireland Summer Careers Fair is taking place on Wednesday 8th June from 11am – 5pm in the RDS Simmonscourt. Ireland’s top graduate employers will be in attendance, actively recruiting students and graduates in a whole range of disciplines. In preparation for the Summer Fair our team have put together five tips to help you make the most out of the event!

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Use the Jobs Wall

There will be a large jobs wall in the hall at the gradireland Summer Fair. This will have live graduate schemes and opportunities listed, use your phone and take a photo of any that you are interested in applying to – then go home, find the job, internship or graduate programme on gradireland.com and start making applications!

Bring your CV

Many employers are happy to receive CVs at Careers Fairs. In addition, at the gradireland Summer Fair we will be running a specialist CV Clinic, hosted by careers advisors from your University, providing 50 hours of specialist advice, at which you can have your CV reviewed in a one to one setting. However, a word of caution – the CV clinic has a limited number of slots and gets booked up very quickly, so get there early to book your appointment and don’t expect the advisors to write your CV for you – they are there to review and advise but you’ll have to do the hard work yourself first!

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Prepare

Make sure you have researched the exhibitors who are attending, and decide beforehand which ones you would like to talk to. Think of questions which might not be answered already in brochures or on their websites. Many exhibitors have recent graduates now working with them available to talk to you at their stands, so ask them what working life is really like in that company.

Attend the Seminars

Make sure you attend one or more of the specialist careers seminars – they are designed to give you the edge when it comes to applications and interviews! From Assessment Centres to Interview Dressing there is a seminar to benefit everyone. Check out the line-up of seminars for the Summer Fair here.

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Download the gradireland Events App

The brand new gradireland events app is your personal assistant for the Summer Fair. You can create a profile, directly contact employers, personalise your seminar schedule and much more! Download it from the App Store or Google Play now.

The gradireland Summer Fair is completely free to attend. Students and graduates can register for free entry here and will also have the chance to win an Android Tablet! Looking forward to seeing you there!


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.

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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.