Making Ireland greener than it already is! How Caitriona Doran successfully launched Dublin on the Global Sustainability Index on her Fáilte Ireland placement.

Tell us about yourself

Not only am I a Dub, but I’m a walking Irish stereotype – fair skinned with curly red hair so it’s only fitting I ended up promoting Ireland for a living. I went to Maynooth University and graduated with a first-class honours degree in International Marketing. During my time in college I found my passion for social entrepreneurship and social change – I even got to represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup in 2015 in South Africa after being part of the winning team at the National Competition in Ireland that year. As part of my degree I studied abroad for a year in the United States at the University of Dayton, Ohio. I’ve always loved travelling but living abroad really emphasised to me just how much I love travelling to new places, meeting new people and learning about new cultures.

Leaving college, I knew I wanted a career that challenged me, that would develop my skill set and something that I could make a real difference in the world with.

Tell us about your role in Fáilte Ireland – how it started out

My graduate programme placement was with the Meet In Ireland team in Fáilte Ireland. Meet In Ireland is the business tourism brand for Ireland, working to promote the destination as the ideal meeting place. It was a very people-oriented role, working with the Irish tourism industry and international planners to bring large scale conferences and meetings into Ireland. It also meant I got to travel and fly the Irish flag at trade shows in Barcelona and Frankfurt, as well as organising networking events across Europe.

In my interview I asked “Is there much CSR to the role?” and as a result of that I got to lead out on a brand new project Fáilte Ireland was getting involved in. I launched Dublin onto the Global Destination Sustainability Index, and had the rest of regional Ireland join the following year. It was brilliant to see the industry progress in something I’m so passionate about (sustainability) and knowing I was a key player in instigating that change is a huge source of pride.

Where are you now

I’m still working with Fáilte Ireland but moved to a new role within the company to work for Dublin Convention Bureau. Having the experience from the graduate programme has really stood to me and gave me an advantage when it came to the interview for my new role. I’ve been able to build on that experience and take on new and exciting projects – including running a sustainability workshop that was attended by nationwide Irish hospitality members. We even trended number 1 in Ireland on Twitter with that workshop, and that’s all from a project I stated as a graduate and got to grow with me as I progressed in the organisation.

Top tips you’d share for other grads

1. Ask questions – No one is expected to know everything, least of a all a graduate just starting out. I was once praised in a performance review for asking so many questions – you’d be surprised how much everyone around you will learn as well!

2. Take tea breaks – Networking is key to any job, and Fáilte Ireland has a huge number of staff. Going out to the tearoom to make a cuppa and starting up a conversation with whoever else happens to be there is great for not only getting to know your colleagues, but for helping you network across the wider organisation. It’s honestly helped me learn about the organisation and who works where much more than any formal induction.

3. Be confident in your abilities – You’ve gotten onto the graduate programme for a reason, so have faith in yourself and don’t overthink things too much.

4. Raise your hand – Volunteer for any projects you can. You’re on the graduate programme to learn as much as you can and jump on every opportunity that comes your way. Even things that don’t sound that exciting at the time can lead to more exciting projects down the line as your capacity grows.

5. Track your progress – You’ll learn so quickly on the job that you’ll forget to take a step back and look at how far you’ve come. Monitor your progress and achievements because that will be a great basis for any future job applications when you finish up in IBEC.

Why you’d recommend the Ibec Global Graduates programme

The Ibec Global Graduates programme is great for exposing you to new opportunities and even roles you might not have known existed before. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door with a company, get a taste of what a role or company entails and then use those insights to guide your career path. I also loved that there were other graduates on the same journey with me – both in Fáilte Ireland and other companies. That in itself is a huge network to link in with for your career going forward. Ultimately, you get out of the grad programme what you put in but it’s a great starting platform for anyone looking for a challenge after college!

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If you would like to apply to a Fáilte Ireland placement click here  to create your online application and apply to our August 2020 Tourism Programme!