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Onwards & Upwards

A Little About Life

Ever get stuck in a rut? You can’t tell which way is up and you begin to feel like you’re in a continuous circle. Well that is exactly how I feel at the moment. Since coming home it has been go..go…go..! At first a huge amount of my energy went into finding a job, now I am nearly two months into my new job and I have a chance to breathe again.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about A Little About Life and the direction I should continue in. When living away from home everything was so new and exciting and as the saying goes ‘worth writing home about’. My instagram has even felt the hit! This being said I have decided to continue with my blog keeping the tone nice and light. I am also going to to do some posts about my time in the states as I am getting a lot of questions from friends and friends of friends looking for advice and wanting to know about my experience.

By nature I am a person that likes to continuously challenge myself. Sometimes it is something small like committing to go to the gym five times that week, other times it is something more substantial like enrolling in a html class. What can I say… I like to keep busy :)! At the moment I am not keeping busy enough… but that is about to change.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you ― Fred DeVito

For those of you who know me know that I am extremely interested in the tech industry. My family often slag me saying if there is an app for something I already have it. Not going to lie when in San Francisco this was definitely true. I think I currently have over 90 apps downloads on my phone…most don’t work in Ireland but for some reason I can’t bring myself to delete it. With this in mind it is something that I am going to put a lot of focus on over the next few months and you never know that interest could make an appearance here too!

Stay tuned!

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Guest Blog: USIT 1 Year USA Graduate Programme

1 YEAR USA GRADUATE PROGRAMME – APRIL PARTICIPANT SPOTLIGHT

This month we caught up with Ciara Ennis, a Business/Marketing graduate from DCU who is currently in San Francisco on the 1 Year USA Graduate Programme.  Like a lot of participants, Ciara stayed in Ireland right after she graduated college and gained some experience before deciding to take part in the programme right before her 12 month cut off point.  We asked Ciara why she decided to take the plunge, what she’s working at now and what advice she would give future participants.  Here’s what she had to say.

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WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO GO FOR THE 1 YEAR USA PROGRAMME?

For years I had spoken quite openly about wanting to working abroad, to the extent my family thought I might never leave! On graduating I started working on the marketing team in Microsoft and loved it. However, I knew if I did not take the opportunity of the graduate visa it would be a lot harder to in the future to attain a working visa. With this in mind I set a date and arranged to leave a month before the anniversary of my graduation.

WHAT KIND OF INTERNSHIP DID YOU FIND AND WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS DID YOU/ARE YOU WORKING ON?

I am working as an Account Management Specialist for Viscira. Viscira is a provider of interactive, new-media communication solutions and software products for the life sciences industry. Finding a job in the technology industry was a priority for me, however, I never thought I would also be working in the pharmaceutical industry. Each project is very different from the one before, ranging from iPad Apps, speaker portals to promotional videos, and trade show booths.

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What has the highlight of your time in the USA been so far?

I must have only been here 2 weeks and was invited to a networking event for Dreamforce. It took place in a swanky Irish bar and the attendees were all successful professionals. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and you could easily walk up and have a conversation with a manager for one of America’s most profitable companies. As the night went on I found myself with a VIP ticket to the Bruno Mars concert at City Hall that night, with an after-party performance by Will.i.am. It happened be the eve of my birthday, and a 24 hours I won’t easily forget!

ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT GOING ON THE PROGRAMME?

Network!!! Ever heard the phrase ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, it could not be more true over here. Keep your LinkedIn profile updated, upgrade to a premium account and connect with your universities alumni network. Not everyone you meet will be able to help you, it may just lead to another conversation, however, there is always something to take away from every conversation.

Are you interested in taking part in the 1 Year USA Graduate Programme? For more information, visit our website here, or email melanie.young@usit.ie to make an appointment to come into our office to talk about your options.

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Finding THAT Job

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I was very active throughout university, always getting involved with extra-curricular activities even in my final year. As a result I have met some inspiring, dedicated, successful individuals and I continue to do so. Little did I know all these extra-curricular activities were building a foundation for my professional career. These experiences have proven to be invaluable! On graduating I was approached (via: LinkedIn) about a marketing position in Microsoft. This particular position was advertised for someone with 3+ years’ experience. Several interviews later an offer was extended to me and I started work the following week. I will be forever grateful to my manager who did not label me as ‘just graduated’, but saw beyond that to all the experience and knowledge I had gained through my involvement in extra-curricular activities. All this made moving to America more daunting for me, as I was going to have to enter into a very competitive job market, something I had not done before.

Starting out on your job search you can be faced with filling out hundreds of job applications/screening questions and on average only 10% of the them may make it to a recruiter. The best advice I have received was… step away from the computer and go network!! Ever hear the phrase ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’well it’s true! Here are some tips I found to be useful:

  • EventBrite -Register yourself and look for networking events in your area.
  • Meetup.com is also a good site to check out for meeting locals.
  • LinkedIn – Study your connections, who knows who, ask for introductions to people in companies/industries you’re interested in working. Ask them for a 15min coffee.
  • Referrals –  Know someone working where you are interested in applying to? Ask for a referral. Most time it’s a win win, you get moved to the top of the pile and they receive compensation if you’re hired!

I have always believed in finding a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. While I know finding a job is tough I still stand by this! You may not absolutely love every aspect of you job you should love about 80% of it. Keep that in mind throughout your search.

A few more tips to help you along your job search…

  1. LinkedIn – upgrade your account to the Job Seeker Premium, you get the first 30 days free. However, there is no point in doing this unless your profile is up-to-date. The thing to remember is LinkedIn is a platform to advertise yourself, only put up experience that is relevant to the job you’re looking for.
  2. Business Cards – get personal cards made. If you’re Irish you’re guaranteed to feel like a twat, but get use to it! There is a different format for American business cards so if you’re getting them made overseas make sure they are the correct dimensions, otherwise you’ll stand out… and not in a good way. Moo.com and Vista Print are 2 good sites to check out.
  3. Alumni Network – most universities have an alumni network, connecting past and present students. It is a fantastic facility, make use of it! Meet others that attended your university, you can even share war stories. Dublin City University (DCU) have a fantastic network with Chapters all over the world, including San Francisco.
  4. Glassdoor – not only can you get an overview of salaries in different companies, this is also a good platform for finding jobs.

Good luck 🙂