Brían Donnelly considers the post-university options for final year students
FOR many final year undergraduates, having settled back into the second semester, the prospect of being well and truly done with collegiate life is likely thrilling and daunting in varying measures. However, the question remains as to what to do having dispensed with several years of ferrying one’s self between nightclubs, lecture halls, and the library.
Many consider travelling, or applying for a postgraduate course. However many others spend days pouring over innumerable application forms for the various graduate contracts offered by some companies such as Accenture, Jameson, PwC, and Arthur Cox. Enterprise Ireland also offers a similar programme.
PwC is the largest professional services firm in Ireland, employing over 3,300 people. The company offers graduate roles in tax, assurance, risk assurance solutions and advisory positions. It also gives graduates the opportunity to work with businesses of all types, from start-ups to large manufacturers and more.
Among the benefits offered by the firm are paid study leave and exam support, global secondment (temporary international transfer), yearly salary increases, and continuous coaching.
UCD Business and Law graduate Cian O’Sullivan is quoted in the programme brochure having said “there’s a long list of reasons why I chose the graduate programme with PwC: interesting people, great support and study leave, an unbelievable office, the social scene and the range of career options were just a few that made the decision to apply here an easy one.”
Business consultancy and technology firm Accenture offers year-long contracts in consulting, analytics, and technology. Operating in over 200 cities and 120 countries, Accenture’s programmes may be the first step towards an internationally-focused career. The firm offers support for professional qualifications, private health insurance, and two days paid leave for charity work.
“For graduates who are torn between travelling and searching for a job, blended whiskey distillers, Jameson, offer a three-year-long Graduate Brand Ambassador programme.”
While graduates of any discipline are able to apply for the consultancy programme, STEM-centred degrees are necessary to apply for the analytics and technologies programmes. Ronan, a UCD Economics graduate and self-taught programmer quoted on Accenture’s website wrote: “since joining, I have worked on the technical architecture team of a Major Public Service client, enabling me to utilise both my degree and programming skills.”
For graduates who are torn between travelling and searching for a job, blended whiskey distillers Jameson offer a three-year-long Graduate Brand Ambassador programme. Successful applicants develop the Jameson brand around the world in distinctly different locations from France to Japan, and from Vietnam to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Finian Sedgwick, a Commerce and Chinese graduate, spent a year in Saigon, Vietnam, learning the language while working for Jameson, before being transferred to Tokyo, and subsequently Shanghai, China. Praising the programme, he said that “being able to utilise all [his] skills, from sales marketing across to event planning and [sic] language has been absolutely amazing.”
Arthur Cox is one of Ireland’s leading commercial law firms, with offices in Dublin and Belfast, as well as London, New York, and Silicon Valley. Employing 300 lawyers and a total of 700 staff worldwide, Arthur Cox is regarded as a prestigious employer among law graduates.
The firm’s Trainee Development Programme provides graduates with a chance to work in areas of corporate law, finance, litigation, and property, as well as the opportunity for a rotation in the firm’s London offices.
Fran Moran, a graduate of Business and Law from UCD and trainee in employment law, is quoted on the company’s website as saying: “despite being relatively new to the firm, I was involved in top-class transactions, matters and cases, some of which have featured prominently in the very public Irish business world… I was also heavily involved in the research of specific areas of employment law in order to ascertain the most suitable way to proceed in a particular case.”
“Resources such as GradIreland.com and the UCD Careers Development Centre, and their website, are worthwhile when weighing up options.”
Enterprise Ireland offers two graduate programmes centred on business development; one based in Ireland, and an international programme for those who want to work abroad and support Irish businesses in foreign markets. Both programmes are two years long.
EI’s national programme is focused on building relationships with Irish businesses, and supporting clients develop their businesses at all stages, while the international programme allows graduates to assume a role in sales & marketing, connecting foreign markets with Irish producers.
Both programmes provide graduates with an understanding of business models, market research, project management, and organisational development.
Resources such as GradIreland.com and the UCD Careers Development Centre, and their website, are worthwhile when weighing up options. The CDC maintains an up-to-date and searchable list of programmes available to final year students, as well as opportunities for students of all years.