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

Why Choose NUI Galway?


We have decided to share with you some of the reasons why you should choose to study at NUI Galway.


NUI Galway is located on the edge of Galway city and is only a 10 minute walk to the city centre. Galway is known for being a student city with 20% of the population being students. It is also known for its a great night life. Galway is a cultural centre with lots of activities, festivals and events held throughout the year. You are always ensured a good time.


NUI Galway has a very friendly, vibrant and exciting campus. It has state of the art academic and sporting facilities and is currently undergoing a €400 million expansion programme with a number of new buildings currently being constructed.

NUI Galway:

NUI Galway is ranked among the top 2% of universities in the world. The university has links with over 120 other universities throughout the world. 96% of graduates are either in further education or employed within 6 months of graduating. NUI Galway has the highest completion rate of students in any university in Ireland. There are lots of extra activities offered by NUI Galway. With 100+ societies and 50+ clubs for students to join there is bound to be something of interest to everyone.


NUI Galway has over 57 undergraduate courses available for students to study ranging from business, arts, science, engineering and medicine. Here is a look at the undergraduate courses offered by J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics.


NUI Galway has many student residences located in close proximity to the campus which is perfect for those of you moving away from home. Corrib Village is NUI Galway’s on-campus student accommodation. Other student accommodations include Dunaras VillageGort na Coiribe and Cuirt na Coiribe. Check out the full list of residences here.


There are numerous buses and trains that travel to and from Galway. Students services, operating Thursday’s, Friday’s and Sunday’s, are available from a vast majority of the public transport companies. Student travel cards can be bought from from NUI Galway’s Students Union. The travel cards are valid on major operators such as Bus Eireann, Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Matthews Coaches and Wexford Bus to name a few. This allows students to buy discounted student tickets.

Posted by Leanne Dunne

Do’s and Don’ts of filling out the CAO

As the CAO closing date is fast approaching it is a very important time and can also be a very daunting time for those of you wanting to apply for courses in September. For this reason we have decided to share some Do’s and Don’ts about filling out the CAO form to help you make the right decision for you.

First of all it is important that you take note of all the important CAO dates which are shown below.

1st Feb


Put down something that you are interested in, have a passion for and have always wanted to do no matter what the points are.

It is very important that you put courses down in the exact order of preference. If you have already filled out the CAO offers go back and check it one last time to make sure the courses are listed in the right order of your preference.

Take your time to think about it. Make a list of all the subjects you are good at in school, your hobbies and your key strengths. This might spark some ideas as to what you would like to do in the future.

Take career ideas and key strength’s tests on websites such as Grad Ireland to generate potential career ideas

Get some advice. Make an appointment with the career guidance councillor and ask for their professional opinion.

Take a look online. NUI Galway’s wide range of courses can be found here.

Go to Open Day’s. NUI Galway’s next Open Day is happening on Saturday April 16th. This is a great opportunity to talk to lecturers and students about the various courses NUI Galway has to offer.

Those of you thinking of joining us in September 2017-2018, Apply for one of our summer schools to get an insight into what it’s like to be a student at NUI Galway.


Don’t apply for a college just because your friends are going there. It may not be the college for you.

Don’t choose a college just because it is the closest to home. It may not have the exact course you are looking for.

Don’t choose something you have no interest in but you know the job will pay well.  It is very important that you love your course in order to do well in it.

Don’t forget to read and research the course details. The name of the course may not give all the information away.

Finally, remember don’t panic. The CAO will re-open in May so there is still plenty of time left to make up your mind.

Posted by Leanne Dunne