MSc (Marketing Practice): Michaela’s Blog

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.


B.Comm International with German: Emma’s Blog


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:
#choosenuigalway #cairnesconnect

BComm Global Experience: Ryan’s Placement Blog

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.


BComm Global Experience: Erika’s Placement Blog

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.

BComm Global Experience: Patricks’s Placement Blog

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.

Placement overview

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.

Less Stress and More Success!

The weeks leading up to exam time can be quite stressful for most people. Exams can often take over your emotions, affect your mood and constantly be playing on your mind. We are here to help. Here are some good techniques to help you reduce stress levels and to continue with your success.


1. Manage your time

With regards to work/study, make a plan or a schedule for the week and stick to it. This will ensure you reduce your stress levels by keeping up to date and on top of your workload.

2. Set yourself some goals

Break down major tasks into less stressful mini goals and objectives to achieve along the way. Treat yourself with rewards once a small task is complete. This method will continue to keep you focused, motivated and on the road to success.

3. Take a break

If you are beginning to get stressed and worked up over something, it is a good idea to remove yourself from the situation for a moment. Take a short walk, get a breath of fresh air and return in a better mind frame to tackle the situation.

4. Perfection isn’t everything

Learn to know it is ok not to be perfect. Being a perfectionist may create stress so be aware of this. Nobody is expected to be perfect as we are only human after all.

5. Work with your classmates 

Your classmates are people you can work with. Instead of competing against them, share your thoughts with them and listen to theirs. There are many benefits from talking through a topic or assignment with your classmates and seeing things from their point of view.

6. Exercise

Get some form of exercise, no matter how little, as this has been proven to reduce stress levels. It is also a great way to clear your mind and feel good about yourself.

7. Listen to music

Take time out to lie down and listen to some music. Forget about your worries and give your mind some peace.

8. Meditation

Listening to your body in a meditation session can be the perfect way to unwind, de stress and forget about the busy world for a few minutes. It is a great way to relax the muscles in your body. Why not look up some YouTube videos on ways you can meditate at home.


Smiling has been proven to reduce stress levels as it generates positive emotions in the body. Practice smiling in the mirror and make sure to start your day off on a positive note. “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do”, (Mother Teresa).

Check out this brilliant read on The Science of Smiling. Smiling will increase your mood, behaviour, attitude and therefore it will make your day that bit better.


(Facebook/ Smiling Dogs)

Finally, don’t forget to revisit our post with tips on how to prepare for summer exams.

Posted by Leanne Dunne

Prepare Yourself for Summer Exams

We are already half was through semester 2, time is flying, and before you know it exams will be upon us once again. For this reason we have put together a number of good practices that will help you prepare for the summer exams.

exam prep

Organise yourself: A good way to begin is to make sure you have all the essential stationary you will need including folders, notepads and pens. Keep your printed sheets all together in a folder and assign certain subjects to specific notepads.

Write your study notes: If you haven’t already started, it is a good idea to begin writing study notes for your subjects. An ideal time to do this would be during the hours off in between lectures. Having your study notes ready to go will reduce the workload and stress of study week.

Set aside study time during the week: 1 hour in the evening or a few hours at the weekend, it is a good idea to begin studying your subjects. Get your brain into the study mode now and it won’t be such a big transition in April.

Decide a study approach: Whether it be a visual display of your notes, bullet points or essay style, decide on your preferred approach to study.

Past exam papers: Print out some past exam papers and familiarise yourself with the types of exam questions that have been asked previously. Try to answer the questions using bullet points or diagrams. Doing this will prevent a mini heart attack when you start looking up exam papers during study week.

Spend Easter wisely: It is a time to celebrate and spend with your family but it is also an opportunity to get a head start on your study. Assign a small bit of time during the break to get stuck into the books.

Take regular breaks: When you do get into the full swing of studying it is important to take regular short breaks to clear your head.

By carrying out any of the above practices you will be well on the way for a less stressed exam period. Another thing to bare in mind is balance.

Balance is key. It is important to remember to balance your life with regards to work and play. Here is a small picture of what we think a good work-life balance of a student might look like.


And remember, ‘By failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ (Benjamin Franklin).

Posted by Leanne Dunne