I enjoyed almost everything I did in Maynooth and my experience as a whole was brilliant. No greater feeling each year than when you get your results and realise you are one step closer to having a degree. Every year I studied in the library during exam time and to be able to walk out the library door and within 30 seconds be in a nice quiet field was amazing. Great way to just relax for a few minutes between study by going for a walk around the south campus.
I was involved in the rugby club from 1st - 3rd year but then I couldn't play anymore but still attended games. I think we came second in a cup in first year. I did enter the entrepreneur competition in 4th year but I didn't win in the end. It was fun to be involved and got great advice from the people running it. Advice that I actually use in the company I work for now. The advice was that when selling a product/service don't say the product/service is cheap, call it affordable or that it has a competitive price.
Where it is without a doubt - Maynooth is small in comparison to Dublin City but it has everything you need and the people around Maynooth are so friendly. The location as well brought a huge amount of security for both myself and my car and I know it did for a lot of my friends too. It's not something you'd get being in a college in one of the cities.
I learned to prepare for things. To prepare for exams, interviews, meetings, presentations or anything else that you possibly need to prepare for. "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail" To be organised. In college I organised everything per subject, in work I organise everything by different categories. To review and to double check my work. It is boring to do but when someone pulls you up on something you didn't look over, you'll regret not doing so. All of these skills play an essential part in my career and I learnt a lot of them during my time at Maynooth.
A business based degree is a great thing to do. It is a broad enough degree and allows you to choose from a lot of different type of jobs. I'd recommend doing it in conjunction with something like computer science or biology for example. With a primary degree in a business based subject, I really think it is no harm to do a postgrad after too. As I've said, it is a broad enough field with plenty of jobs, but it is also a competitive one so the more degrees you have to your name the more you narrow down the competition.
I actually did 3 months work placement in Pigsback when I was in my second semester of 3rd year. After 4th year I did a masters degree and that was 2 days every fortnight so I went back to Pigsback and did some part time work (2 days a week). It was fantastic experience to gain as well as finally securing a full time job with them once I completed my degree. I am with Pigsback 3 years now and I don't plan on moving.
I started off part-time helping in different departments, mainly in member services. I then got a full time job as a marketing executive. Marketing was a small part of my degree and I didn't know a whole lot about it but as I went on in the role things I had learned in college emerged. After a year as a marketing executive I moved into a Brand Manager/Account Manager Role. Essentially I was looking after the marketing but at the same time bringing the company in some money from different accounts. I am now fully in charge of all of the marketing in the company and I want to go back and do a postgrad in marketing so as I can move into the Marketing Manager role.
I suppose being in charge of the marketing is fun and rewarding. Highlights? I suppose my first promotion to Brand Manager was a highlight. It came with a company car, laptop, 33% pay rise and a few other perks. However a lot of responsibilities came with that too.
My role at the moment is varied and it's great to have something different to do each week. Mainly what I do is the following:
- Growing member numbers by organising trade and consumer events.
- Managing a yearly budget of c.€500K.
- Budget planning and marketing scheduling.
- Maintaining the brand positioning.
- Carrying out research for new opportunities for the brands.
- Managing all social media for the brands
- Analysing market data and identifying key market opportunities
- Managing all contra agreements
- Providing sales teams with adequate marketing and sales collateral.
Consumer events are great. You get to meet with a lot of members who have interesting things to say about the business.
I arrange all of the contra and working on new designs for magazines or script for radio is really interesting.
Challenging would be to get money from clients to promote on site. Not really my job but I always feel like if you can bring in a little bit of income to a company, you serve a far greater purpose than those who don't.