Capitalism loves to bang on about competition and the value of the marketplace. So why do does a degree in business deserve your precious business, and what exactly are these colleges trying to sell you?
“I’d always advise people to study what interests you the most,” says Brabazon. “But many do know when they’re filling out that CAO form that they want to pursue a degree in business. It provides an excellent education that prepares people for a wide range of careers and is proven to be a good choice.”
Brabazon, who worked as a chartered accountant with KPMG before moving into academia, says that he has seen major changes in the world of business over the past 25 years and that a degree can prepare graduates for the changes that will come.
“The biggest changes I’ve seen are globalisation, an increase in the role of technology in the workplace and a transformation in how people view their career with people no longer expecting to have one job for life. These changes have big implications for the design of business education. We need to prepare students for the world they will face so that they can thrive in this environment, so business education has moved from concentrating on the technical aspects of business to a broader focus on communication, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership skills. Cultural awareness is also really important, because careers are so global these days: if you are working for an Irish firm you will be competing internationally and will also work with different people from all over the world.”
Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig is chief commercial officer and founding director of Sigmar Recruitment, which recruits hundreds of business graduates every year. He has a keen insight into what employers want, so are business graduates on their wish list?
“The real benefit of a business course is that it uses case studies to give a broad awareness of a business, and it also helps students to build a network of contacts,” he says. “The world of business is broad, vast and varied and won’t always neatly align what is learned in a module. But what is being assessed when a graduate enters employment is their competencies in areas such as communication, teamwork and problem-solving. The ever-important soft skills are being developed. It’s less about what is learned than how it is learned: with case studies, complex problems to be solved, guest speakers and examples which help to develop an entrepreneurial subculture among students.”
It’s not all about grades and academic learning, Brabazon agrees: a business course helps students to grow into the well-rounded people that employers value.
“There is a war for talent, and companies want the highest-calibre talent they can get. If you are going to have an impact in the workplace you need to be able to communicate well, work in teams, lead teams and collaborate with international colleagues. The best way to show you can have an impact is to show that you have made an impact in the past, so I advise students to go beyond their academic studies: get involved in a sports club or student society, volunteer and take on part-time work. It’s about being able to show you have made a difference in what you have done, not just getting high grades for yourself.”
Increasingly, major firms are less concerned about graduates having high grades and much more interested in assessing their competencies in these key areas, with a range of psychometric tests now common for job applicants.
That said, Mac Giolla Phadraig is far from dismissive of the intrinsic value of the academic content on a business course. A broad business course may contain a selection of modules across a range of areas such as sales, marketing and supply chain management as well as more formulaic classes on finance and business maths, which can help students to pivot and multitask across the full range of a company’s operations.
The alumni network which students build up on a business course is really important, says Brabazon. “As you pass through a degree, you are automatically building up this contact base of your classmates, and that alumni network will mean that you know people all over the world. In our courses, we offer a mentoring programme which connects every student with a panel of experienced alumni which can really help their career progression.”
When it comes down to it, what makes one business course stand out over another? “An internship or placement can be really valuable,” Mac Giolla Phadraig advises.
“It’s really helpful if a graduate has an understanding of what it is like to work in a certain industry, because it helps them to focus on the right fit once they have left. The more examples of experience and relevant skills that a job applicant can bring to an interview, the better. It’s particularly valuable when an applicant can show what they have learned on the placement instead of just coasting through it. We had a management buy-out of Sigmar about nine years ago, and I learned so much of that through doing; business learning does come from real experience.”
No college graduate, of any discipline, can expect that graduation will be the end of their education. Continuous professional development is increasingly important and a good business course should help prepare students for a world where they need to constantly pivot, says Mac Giolla Phadraig. “I’d advise graduates to compete on merit and to show their merit through work, academia and extracurricular activity.”
Would he advise students to opt for a broad, general business degree, or to hone in on a specific area like marketing or accounting?
“Decisions are often driven by influencers such as peers and, in particular, parents. But if someone knows from a young age what they want to do, that is a gift, so they should go for it. For the other 95 per cent of us, it’s probably the case that a broader degree is better.”
“I decided on business and marketing because these were the subjects I really enjoyed in schools and where my strengths were. I wanted a course that would allow me to go into an area where I had lots of different opportunities, so I chose marketing at the Dublin Institute of Technology.
“When choosing my degree, I researched a lot of courses, and I found it really beneficial to speak to friends and family who were already studying business or marketing; this can sometimes tell you a lot more about a course than any prospectus can.
“A business course gave me an academic grounding in the field I wanted to pursue. It was an intense course which was challenging at times, but this gave me great experience on how to prioritise, plan and deliver in the timeframes we were given, and these are the foundations of what you need to do in your daily job. The course covered a wide variety of subjects with a great mix of theory and more practical case study projects. We worked as a team on a projects and this is valuable experience for the workplace. I was also grateful for the level of support and interaction we had with our lecturers at DIT, and lecturers pushed us hard but were always there to guide and support us. The course taught me prioritise, plan and deliver on work.
“In 2008, I joined BMW Group Ireland as a sales and marketing assistant. In that role, I supported the various different sales and marketing functions in the business. Then, in 2010, I took up the position of product manager, which involved product pricing, communication, online management, product training analysis and organisation. In 2012, I became national parts manager which required me to manage all the commercial aspects and the strategic development of the retailer network parts performance and manage the marketing and promotional campaign for parts; most importantly, I ensured that customers were well looked after. From here, I took up my current position of national used car and internal fleet manager in 2015, and I’m responsible for the strategic development of our used car programme for the retailer network, retailer support and used car marketing.
“I was lucky that I chose I course I loved and was able to do it well. The key is to have a consistent approach to working hard to ensure you keep on top of what you need to do. Some of the most important attributes in business are good logic and a lot of cop on. It also helped to have a strong network of friends around me on the course, because we all supported each other - and, in business, your personality and communication skills shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Written by Peter McGuire in The Irish Times. Read the article here.
Posted by Peter McGuire on 27 April 2018
The Benefits of Using LinkedIn Effectively
The Benefits of Using LinkedIn Effectively
LinkedIn has been around since 2002 and you’d think 16 years is enough time to master something but essentially people are still using LinkedIn wrong or avoid using it because they don’t know how. This blog will give you a guide to LinkedIn and how it can be used effectively to benefit your career. Who Should Use LinkedIn? Some people understand LinkedIn to be an online CV and it should only be used by jobseekers. This isn’t the case. There is a certain audience for LinkedIn and it does include jobseekers but that’s not all. This is who should use LinkedIn: Anyone in a job Anyone looking for a job Students Freelancers Recruiters Someone who has something to contribute about their industry Someone with an interest in connecting with professionals If you’re any of the above, LinkedIn could be the perfect social media platform for you. However, you will need to know how to use it effectively, depending on your reason for using it. Benefits of LinkedIn if you are Employed: Networking LinkedIn has 500 million users from all over the globe in different industries. This gives you the opportunity to connect with so many different people and broaden your professional connections. This could give you new opportunities for you in your current role. Sharing Ideas & Learning New Things In our current day to day tasks we come across many obstacles. LinkedIn can be a great opportunity to share these difficulties and how you overcame them. Chances are if you found it difficult, so did another person. Sharing your experiences on LinkedIn can help other professionals like yourself with issues and vice versa. LinkedIn gives professionals the opportunity to learn and share new things. Motivation Motivated was the most overused word on LinkedIn in 2014 and 2015 and it’s still in the top 10 of most used words in 2018. Motivation can be infectious on LinkedIn. Everyday new posts on new learnings and achievements are illustrated. If you’re looking to boost your creativity or just looking for some inspiration, then LinkedIn’s newsfeed is a great place to start. Benefits of LinkedIn if you are Job Seeking: Showcasing Your Talent and Experience Your profile is essentially an online CV and it can highlight all your relevant experience and skills to potential employers. A lot of job applications and job boards, require a LinkedIn page to submit your details. In order for you highlight your professional resume, it is essential for you to have a LinkedIn account. Reach Out to Employers/Hiring Mangers/Recruiters LinkedIn gives jobs seekers the opportunity to approach hiring managers about available positions. If you’re thinking of applying for a job or you already have applied, why not connect with the hiring manager and introduce yourself? It could be the thing that makes you stand out and be offered a job. Keeping Active During Your Job Search LinkedIn has 3 million active job listings on the platform. Even if you don’t have any interviews lined up, you can stay active by networking on LinkedIn and searching for available jobs. LinkedIn is a great way to stay active in your job hunt. Benefits of LinkedIn if you are a Student: Learn from Professionals in your Industry Following and connecting with professionals who work in the field you are studying in is a great way to learn more about what you are studying and what to expect when you receive your qualification. Build a Network Before you even start your professional career you could already have a bank of professional people in your network, all from LinkedIn. Benefits of LinkedIn if you work Freelance: Showcase your Work You can have an entire online portfolio on your LinkedIn profile that can showcase all your experience. You can share this among your connections who can also do the same. It's a great way to advertise your expertise.
20 Disney Quotes That Will Inspire You To Succeed in Your Career
20 Disney Quotes That Will Inspire You To Succeed in Your Career
There's a lot of wisdom in Disney films so here are some of the best quotes to inspire you today.. "Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it." - Rapunzel (Tangled) "All it takes is faith and trust." - Peter Pan (Peter Pan) "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." - The Emperor (Mulan) "Don't just fly, soar." - Dumbo (Dumbo) "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun." - Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins) "Life's not a spectator sport. If watchin' is all you're gonna do, then you're gonna watch your life go by without ya" - Laverne (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem." - Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) "Believe you can, then you will." - Mulan (Princess Stories) "Today is a good day to try." - Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) "If you don't know where you want to go, then it doesn't matter which path you take" - The Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland) "Admit defeat, and defeat will surely admit you into permanent custody" - Beret Girl (An Extremely Goofy Movie) "Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it" - Rafiki (The Lion King) "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think" - Winnie the Pooh (Pooh's Most Grand Adventure) "Always let your conscience be your guide" - The Blue Fairy (Pinocchio) "Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own" - Donald Duck "Just because it's what's done, doesn't mean it's what should be done." - Cinderella (Cinderella) "Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one." - Grandmother Willow (Pocahontas) "The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability." - Remy (Ratatouille) "Now, think of the happiest things. It's the same as having wings." - Peter Pan (Peter Pan) "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." -- Walt Disney
Future Jobs for Irish Youths
Future Jobs for Irish Youths
Below we look at the sectors that hold the best chances for economic and job growth in the near future. Broadly the global economic performance and Ireland’s position are positive for the foreseeable future. With unemployment now at 5.1% and decreasing quarterly, all signals point towards continued, sustainable improvement. ICT Sector If there’s one thing that is evolving at break-neck speed, it’s technology. And with new developments and improvements every day, it can safely be said that the field of technology, whether machinery or software, is only going to grow by leaps and bounds. The ICT sector has been of tremendous importance to our economy, with 37,000 people employed and generating €35 billion in exports annually. 8 of the top 10 ICT companies in the world are based here. Ireland has proven itself to be one of the world’s best locations for ICT. However, to maintain this reputation Ireland needs to continuously produce highly skilled IT professionals. However there are already significant skills shortages in a variety of areas such as IT project management and of ICT professionals with foreign language skills. ICT will continue to be one of the most important sectors of our economy for the future, as technology continuously advances, making it as close to a safe bet as you can get these days. Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry “Ireland is now operating in the same ballpark as major science-funding countries around the world ” - Professor Mark Ferguson – SFI Director Already one of Ireland’s best performing industries, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry looks set to grow further. With a growing and ageing population worldwide, the number and degree of health related issues is continuously on the rise. People will always need medical care ensuring a continued demand for research, development and production of new drugs. There are now over 60,000 people employed in the industry, either directly or indirectly. This trend looks set to continue into 2018 with major expansions of many of the big pharma players across the country. The IDA reports the biopharmaceutical industry has made a capital investment of approximately €8 billion in new facilities in Ireland, predominantly in the last 10 years. This represents one of the largest investments in new biotech facilities anywhere in the world. As a result of the growth in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical device industries in Ireland, it is very likely that a student about to graduate with a third level qualification in science will find interesting employment in one of the following areas; research, manufacturing, regulation or sales and marketing. Financial Sector The financial services jobs market for accountancy professionals continued its upwards growth trend last year. Even without the added benefit of companies relocating to Ireland post BREXIT, the confidence of both employer and employee alike has produced a healthy landscape with more opportunity for those who wish to change jobs. There is no doubt BREXIT has been a major contributor to the growth in the financial services jobs market. We have seen major international companies relocate operations to Dublin and others who already have a presence here have laid out plans to significantly increase their headcount. This is all positive news for graduates who studied in this area. Not only does this create opportunities that would not have existed without BREXIT, it also increases churn in the market involving more established financial services companies in Ireland who subsequently end up with more vacancies themselves. Particularly for accountants, regulatory reporting accountants and in Funds if you specialised in fund accounting, risk & control, depository, compliance and AML you will find interesting and worthwhile employment when you graduate
What To Do If Your Leaving Cert Results Are Not What You Expected
What To Do If Your Leaving Cert Results Are Not What You Expected
Over 55,000 students sit their leaving certificate each year. Whilst many are happy with their results, a lot end up not so thrilled. If you did your leaving cert this year and you didn't do as well as you planned, it’s not the end of the world. Step back and take our advice below and you’ll be back on track before you know it. 1. Don’t Panic! It’s easier said than done when you’re overwhelmed with disappointment but give yourself time to come to terms with your results before you look at the long-term implications. Remember, you are not the first student to be disappointed with your exam results. Remember, some of the world most successful business men didn’t do well in their leaving i.e. Billl Cullen, Richard Branson. 2. Self Assess Take the time to consider what you want to do, where your interests lie and what your strengths and weaknesses are. You had your heart set on a certain course, but was it really for you? Figure this out before you make any decisions. via GIPHY 3. Research Possible Career Routes Think carefully about the career you would like to pursue and research thoroughly all of the possible routes to get there. Just because you think you’ve missed out on your ideal course, doesn’t mean there’s not another route to your end goal. If you don’t know what you want to do, look for a general course which will give you plenty of options. via GIPHY via GIPHY 4. Consider Repeating It’s big step but if you’re sure of the course you want and didn’t get the points, consider repeating. But remember to ask yourself will repeating actually help you get to where you want to be? Do not repeat for a lack of other options. via GIPHY 5. Gain Work Experience (Get a job) This is an excellent opportunity for you to develop skills and competencies, which would be attractive to employers. It also give you the opportunity to experience different industries and to see if you are happier in a working environment rather than the academic. via GIPHY via GIPHY 6. Don’t Let Friends Influence You Whilst it’s great discussing your option with friends/family/teacher/career advisors, only you know what to do. Make your decision on self assessment. via GIPHY via GIPHY 7. Take Time To Relax Do still find the time to relax, unwind and enjoy your hobbies despite the pressure you are under. Try listening to music, going to see a film or reading a book to escape for a while. A clear head can help you think more objectively. via GIPHY