Irish Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle blogger Louise Cooney’s insight into her time with Tourism Ireland as part of the Ibec Global Graduates programme

Tell us a few things about yourself

I studied Communications Studies in DCU followed by a Masters in Marketing in DIT. I had done 3 internships prior to working in Tourism Ireland – 2 in marketing roles, and one in a sales role. My hobbies include blogging (which is now my full time job), exercising and travelling as much as possible (both in and outside of Ireland).

What first attracted you to the Ibec Global Graduates – Tourism Programme?

Definitely the international experience on offer was the initial draw for me. It’s very rare to find a grad program like this; that allows you to get so hands on in an international role so early on in your career. It also gives you big opportunities to continue learning and growing with the Post Grad degree you do while on the program.

Tell us what a typical day was like for you on your placement?

I worked with Tourism Ireland in PR and Business Tourism roles. I worked on a variety of different projects throughout the program – database management and event co-ordination was a big part of my first year while I was based in New York, and planning, managing budgets & building relationships was a big part of my second year when I was based in the head office, Dublin.

I managed some of Tourism Ireland’s webpages and social media accounts throughout my time as well.

What were the benefits and challenges within the programme?

Benefits:
– Getting international experience and learning about a different professional culture
– Learning to time manage efficiently while. balancing work and the post graduate course work.
– Working in a company that had lots of exciting campaigns that I felt passionate about

Challenges:
– An exciting challenge was moving away to New York for my first year of work after college, it was an invaluable learning experience with lots of challenges.
– Balancing work/ post grad course work. I had to learn to plan ahead and use my time more effectively.
– Learning to adapt to office life. This program gave me my first opportunity to experience a corporate/ office environment – learning what’s expected and what’s appropriate/ inappropriate can be a challenge and interesting when you’re starting off.

How do you think this programme has helped you with your future career?

I developed lots of new skills such as time management, communication, organisation, to name a few. I also got amazing experience in an international market that really helped kickstart my career. The travelling I experienced on the program made me realise this is something I want to be a part of my career forever, so it has definitely helped focus my efforts.

What are top tips you would like to share with future Global Graduates?

– Plan your time effectively. Deadlines can creep up and it can get overwhelming if you are particularly busy in work that week. It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have time to get everything done.

– Take time to learn and understand different cultures. Each market is very different and you have to be able to understand how to communicate locally in order to work effectively in that market.

– Don’t be afraid to ask for help and feedback. Staff in the companies you will be placed in will understand that you are a grad and new to everything, and I found that most people are always willing to help and offer constructive criticism if it’s needed.

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If you would like to apply to a placement with Tourism Ireland as part of the Ibec Global Graduates programme click https://eop-ibec-candidate.thehirelab.com/Account/WizzkiLogin to create your online application and apply to the 2019 Tourism Programme!