Tell us a few things about yourself.
From a young age, I knew that I always wanted to build a career in business. After fuelling my passion through my addiction to The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den, it seemed like a natural fit to continue my love of business at university level. I studied Business with Marketing at Ulster University Coleraine and graduated with a First-Class Honours. During my time at university I lived away from home on the North Coast of Ireland, a stone’s throw from the beach. It was during this time that I found a new passion – a love for the country’s natural beauty.
As part of my degree programme, I completed a Diploma in Professional Practice (a fancy way of saying, I completed a placement year working in a role related to my degree!). I completed this year within Tourism Ireland in their Coleraine office within the Consumer E-Marketing department, specialising in CRM and email marketing. I enjoyed working within the company so much, I knew that one day I would be back! I’m passionate about music and spend a lot of my spare time at live gigs. I also enjoy sports such as NFL, ice-hockey and F1. Like everyone else, I can’t wait until I can get back to normal life when Covid-19 is no longer a threat.
Tell us about your role in Tourism Ireland.
I work within the Business Partnerships team in Tourism Ireland which is primarily a B2B facing role within the marketing division. However, within Tourism Ireland, you are always encouraged to broaden your horizons and recently, as part of our ongoing #FillYourHeartWithIreland campaign, I have become part of our consumer content teams for Music/Dance and Genealogy.
The Business Partnerships team primarily works to help external stakeholders in the areas of access, liaising with the industry to get them involved in overseas opportunities, working collaboratively with the National Tourist Boards – Fáilte Ireland and Tourism NI, overseas Trade Co-ordination, product marketing such as Golf and Business Tourism, working with the ITOA (Incoming Tour Operators Association) to help increase their business to Ireland and luxury such as through events like ILTM.
It is rare that two days are the same when I am in the office. Of course, I have my daily tasks: creating and uploading content to the trade website, working with the ITOA on their applications for funding and reporting on the co-operative campaigns that take place in the markets. But I also get to represent the company at industry events and explain how we can help get their product in front of the eyes of overseas consumers.
I am also heavily involved in Meitheal and Meet the Buyer, events which facilitate the business transaction between overseas trade and the Islands’ industry, and the developing, testing and support of a new CRM system to manage our relationship more efficiently with overseas trade. Additionally, I have been able to lead on an exciting project working with the regional island of Ireland airports. What I love most about my job is the variety of skills that I need day to day. It is important to have technical knowledge as well as those soft interpersonal skills for networking and relationship building.
What attracted you to the Ibec Tourism Graduate Programme?
I found out about the programme whilst I was on my placement year with university. After hearing about the opportunities that other graduates working in the company at the time were getting to be involved in, I knew that I would want to return after I finished at university. The ability to continue to study, get experience in the field and travel was an opportunity too good to not apply for! Tourism is such an important economic driver for the Island and being so passionate about the product and people here was also a driving factor. If you’re the type of person to proudly tell everyone you’re from Ireland when you’re abroad and spread the love of the island – then this programme is for you!
Unfortunately, Covid had other plans for my second year of the program. I was supposed to be heading to New York to work in the trade and Business Tourism department but instead am continuing in my role within Business Partnerships in Dublin. After taking some time to mourn my American dream, I’m super excited to be able to continue working on some of the projects that I have begun during my first year and getting to play a vital part of kickstarting overseas Tourism when it’s safe to do so.
What is your biggest tip you would like to share with future Global Graduates?
As cliché as it sounds, don’t be afraid to give your opinion and ask questions.
Over 70% of people will suffer from imposter syndrome in their professional careers so even if you feel like you have nothing to contribute or you don’t want to look silly, challenge yourself as much as you can and feel confident in the knowledge that you are in a safe space to learn and develop. As a graduate you are given both the responsibility and support you need by your team to become a full work-load bearing member of the team. Being part of the programme is one of the best learning opportunities you’ll get and you’ll never be short of people to reach out to for advice, people are always happy to help.
Why would you recommend this Tourism programme to other graduates?
Being part of the Tourism programme has allowed me to put so much of the theory I learnt at university into practice in the real-world. I’m a real advocate of never stopping learning so the fact that you can study, travel and work all at once is the perfect fit for me.
The responsibility that you get to help develop your time management, organisational and creative skills is second to none. My favourite aspect of the programme is the mentorship you receive. Being able to talk through my long-term career plans and get involved in projects that will help give me the skills and knowledge I need to apply for these jobs has been extremely helpful.
The people I’ve met through the programme will be life-long friends and are a continuous support to my professional development.
If you would like to apply to a Tourism placement click here to create your online application!