My name is Ryan Ludden and my work placement involved a 6 month long position as a Marketing Specialist with Aviva insurance, a leading Irish insurance provider and one of the largest global players in the insurance industry, serving millions of customers worldwide. It was a huge step for me as I was going from working in a local family GAA business to a large corporate environment, but being thrown in the deep end turned out to be one of the most beneficial things to happen to me and my career.
Inside Aviva Direct Galway I was exposed to every nook and cranny of the business. I worked directly under the Contact Centre Manager as well as his team of senior level management. There was no such thing as being a coffee boy in this workplace, in their eyes I was there to add real value to the company and I cannot even begin to explain the incredible environment that they provided me with to churn out that value for the company.
Whilst there I worked with the Digital marketing team to oversee key changes to the Aviva website, such as turning it responsive for mobile. When I wasn’t with the Digital Marketing team I was travelling to Dublin to oversee the new Aviva television advertisements alongside the Senior Marketing Managers, advertising agencies and directors. I was the person offering an outside in view to the company, a fresh way of looking at the way Aviva operated. This also resulted in me implementing new sales, social media and operations strategies and saw me sitting beside senior level management in a corporate box in the Aviva stadium to offer recommendations to improve the company’s performance. I can’t begin to explain the things I learned from this work placement and I have only this programme to thank, for providing me with the bridge between what I had learned from the B.Comm Degree and the physical application of those learnings in the real working world.
The work placement provided me with an incredible amount of confidence and drive to enhance my career in Marketing going forward and the learning taken from this programme are still being applied first hand today in my current marketing role
The B.Comm global experience year had an incredible impact on both my life and career today. This programme is a no brainer for anyone with a drive to learn and succeed in the working world.
My name is Erika Feerick and I completed a three-month placement in my third year of my commerce degree with the HR department of The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. The Shelbourne Hotel is one of the most prestigious in Ireland with a rich history including hosting the drafting of the Irish Constitution in 1922 and being a temporary hospital during the 1916 rising. The hotel receives around 780,000 visitors annually and has over 500 associates with over 50% representing 33 different countries worldwide.
During my placement in the HR Office in The Shelbourne Hotel, I was given an invaluable insight into the many areas involved in HR in an environment where standards are sky high. I provided support to the whole HR Team therefore gaining the best exposure I could. I completed a huge variation of tasks over the few weeks including;
• Assisting in the recruitment process such a conducting reference checks, screening CVs, scheduling interviews & making offers to candidates.
• Drafting contracts of employment & relevant documentation for new employees
• Providing administrative support to the whole HR team such as drafting employment letters, setting up employees on our various systems and chasing unfilled paperwork.
• Managing the HR Information systems ensuring accuracy & integrity of data at all times.
• Editing of the associate newsletter called “An Nuacht”, which involved proof reading for content & grammar, creation of promotional articles and ensuring the timely completion of the newsletter.
• Keeping track of Associate anniversaries & when they were due.
• Setting up & maintaining personnel files.
• Organising monthly themed associate lunches, including designing menus and promotional materials.
• Guiding new employees through their induction process.
• Allocating students on work experience to various departments.
• Organising a large recruitment event in order to hire temporary Christmas associates which included scheduling over 200 interviews, putting together the paperwork for the approximately 96 successful candidates, and assisting in their orientation day.
This wide-ranging experience allowed me to fully understand the workings of a HR department. I also enjoyed how approachable and friendly all the associates were and how the many associate events made it easy to make new friends. During my placement in The Shelbourne Hotel I gained so much more experience than I ever expected, I was really thrown in the deep end and I was all the better for it.
Everything I learnt from my first two years in Commerce really helped me to apply this experience to my theoretical knowledge. Although this placement was specifically in HR, I felt as though my exposure to all areas in business helped me to be a more effective HR assistant as I was able to relate to the work being done in all departments. I particularly found any work we covered in employment relations, finance and employment law to be helpful for this placement.
For anyone thinking of applying for a placement, I would advise to submit your placement early and to ensure that you have all your paperwork filled out correctly. Most importantly, I think it is important to be yourself throughout the application and interview process. If you are confident and happy in yourself, it will shine through.
My name is Patrick Hynes-Foy and I completed a six-month internship with Aerogen, a Galway-based innovate medical devices company that specializes in the production of aerosol drug delivery systems. The company moved me to Chicago and I now work with them as a Sales Analyst in their US headquarters. Our patented technology revolves around the Aerogen Solo, a vibrating mesh nebulizer which has been used to treat over 2 million patients worldwide in over 70 countries. Our patients range from asthmatics to people with cystic fibrosis and congestive heart failure. The company has recorded revenue growth of 30% year-on-year for the past eight years and just this year opened up a new pharmaceuticals business in California.
During my six month internship I worked as a Marketing Intern. The work that I did at Aerogen far exceeded my highest expectations. On day one I was made project lead for the development of the company’s Chinese website as it prepared to launch into one of the largest world markets. I was also involved in the organization of two major international medical trade shows in Barcelona and Las Vegas. One of the most enjoyable projects that I coordinated was the Aerogen Incentive Trip. This was a prize for the top-selling sales reps in the United States. I worked with a tour company to create an itinerary for the trip which included visits to the Guinness Storehouse, Cliffs of Moher and Kilbeggan Distillery. I was even able to go dinner with the group, after which we attended the Connaught vs Leinster match at the Sportsgrounds.
Studying commerce in NUIG prepared me for my internship as I had already gained a broad knowledge of the business disciplines which proved to be essential. I worked daily with accounting software while managing the purchase orders as well as applying my marketing knowledge while creating promotional materials for the EU, China and the US.
Be proactive, not reactive. I met the CEO of the company and laid the foundations for my internship in a first year Skills to Succeed class. The CEO was giving a guest lecture and I approached him afterwards and asked him for an internship. He said that it was the first time in 8 years of visiting NUIG that someone had asked about an internship which shows that students need to engage more. You honestly have to make your own opportunities, nothing is handed to you, especially in the working world.