MBA Graduate Donna Leahy, Production Unit Coordinator, Structural Heart at Boston Scientific shares her advice on successfully managing a career and home life every day.
How work success helped her succeed at motherhood:
“To succeed at work you need to be highly motivated and focused but also enjoy your work. With motherhood it’s similar. You need to be focused on getting your children ready for each stage of their lives, but also enjoy every moment along the way.”
How she integrates life and work to feel fulfilled in both:
“Through the years, I have brought my sons to numerous Boston Scientific Kiddies Parties and Family Days, which they really love. Plus, I am lucky to be surrounded by really good friends at work, who my family and I spend time with on the weekend.”
How she disconnects:
“When I leave the plant each evening, I spend my time in the car prioritizing my ‘to do’ list for the next day. But, from the minute I put the key in the door, it’s family time. As well as the obligatory dropping and collecting of the kids, I do a lot of walking in the evenings and love going to hurling matches.”
Ailish Kelly studied the BSc (Business Information Systems) & MSc (International Management) at NUI Galway. She has been working in sales for a company selling medical devices since 2012.
“We have to look at the good in what we have right now. With the big tech and social media multinationals, there’s a lot of flexibility and people have the idea that that’s a fantastic way to work, they feel that that should be the way in every organisation. Other workplaces are moving towards that model, but it’s not the reality of every single organisation, nor should it be the expectation.
No matter what company you go into, you have to work really hard and if you work hard enough, the company will want to retain your talent
My experiences have all been positive. The transition from college to work took some adjusting to – I definitely had to adapt, I didn’t expect it to be as it was. You have such a different lifestyle in university, and going into the professional world with complete independence, it’s a completely different ballgame. I don’t think graduates realise when they do leave, the change that is ahead of them.
When I had completed my undergrad, a lot of people that were getting employment had postgrads or Masters, and because it was so competitive, I thought it would benefit me to bring me to the standard of where the majority of people were. I feel like the Masters is the new degree these days.
My company is very friendly to millennials, they really welcome them into the organisation. There’s an older generation there, and I think the younger generation has something to teach them, too.
It’s critical to be recruiting millennials in terms of technology and social media, and they can really add value when they’re given the floor space to share opinions. Having them more a part of the team is crucial to success on both sides.
Dr. Srinivas Raghavendra recently spoke at the international conference on Gender and Macroeconomics organised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC. Dr. Raghavendra’s talk was based on his work on the macroeconomic loss due to violence against women.
Dr. Raghavendra’s research is focused on a number of major themes in the areas of Macroeconomics, Finance and Complex systems, and Political Economy. The broad theme that connects various strands of his research is the issue of dynamic interrelation between economic growth and distribution of income, and his current work focuses on this question in the context of financialisation. Dr. Raghavendra also served as the Associate Director for Multidisciplinary Research in the Whitaker Institute. Dr Raghavendra collaborates with people in two institutions in India; Jawaharlal Nehr University (JNU) in New Delhi – his alma mater, and also the Indian Institute of Sciences in Bangalore (IISc).
For more information, see the conference website: https://www.imf.org/en/News/Events/Gender-and-Macroeconomics
Well from the beginning of the programme in September I knew it was going to be a busy and challenging yet very rewarding year ahead. In the first three weeks of the programme, we were set short deadlines for different projects and at times this was a struggle, however, I feel as a class we helped each other through and kept each other positive. It’s in the first few weeks of the course, you really develop skills in resilience and how you best cope with stress. These skills have helped me all through my placement. The people you meet on this course become your friends almost immediately and even though everyone leaves college to go on placement, there is a great sense of community and support from your classmates.
The best aspects of the programme in my opinion were the guest speakers who we met in the first few weeks of the programme, these first few weeks really prepare you for the year ahead, the guest speakers told their stories and it really gets you thinking about your goals for the year and what you want to get out of being on the programme. I enjoyed the online lectures while you are on placement, I found that the lectures really helped me to bring new ideas to my placement as the weeks went by. But overall, my favourite aspect of the programme has been my placement.
I was placed in Burke Insurances an insurance brokerage in Galway. My placement was a little different to others in that I worked for Burke Insurances Monday to Wednesday and on Thursday and Friday I worked for a group of 18 brokerages based all across Ireland part of the Source Broker Network. At first, this sounded a little daunting to me, that I would be essentially working for two different companies; however, looking back now I couldn’t imagine my placement any other way. I have learned so many new skills, I have developed old skills, I have practiced marketing and I have learned a lot about myself. My placement gave me the opportunity to conduct a lot of research into new markets, I managed seven different websites, I managed a number of social media pages and gained knowledge into Facebook and LinkedIn advertising, I created content in the form of blogs and videos, I developed product information brochures, I attended numerous networking events where I met many people who were interested in this programme and wanted to help me in any way they could with the programme and my placement.
Upon completion of this programme, I feel confident that I have developed the right skills I need in order to go out into the working world. I feel that I can bring what I learned from my placement into any company which I move to next.
I would highly recommend this course to anybody who has an interest in marketing. I may be biased but I really believe it is one of the best programmes out there. The experiences you have in the classroom, in your placement and with the people you meet on this programme really are incredible.
Spending four years studying Commerce with German in NUIG was a decision which I will be forever grateful for. The course gives you a broad overview of Commerce in general while also giving you a full degree in business level German.
In school, I had always struggled with German as a subject. However, I found studying German at college to be very different. Smaller interactive class sizes combined with dedicated lecturers greatly enhanced the learning experience. German, once my least favourite subject in school, ended up being one of the most enjoyable throughout college.
Erasmus is a once in a lifetime opportunity which I would highly recommend to any student who gets the chance. My Erasmus was not just a way to improve my language skills but I also got to meet new and interesting people and explore several European cities along the way.
Having a language makes you very employable. My current employer, an international firm with their European headquarters here in Galway, were impressed by my Business knowledge and my ability to speak German in my role.
I’d advise anyone who is looking for a versatile yet specialised degree in Commerce with a language to definitely consider studying Commerce International with German in NUIG.
For more infomation about the course visit: https://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/undergraduate-courses/commerce-with-german.html
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.