The Business School organises (voluntary) business engagement treks to visit a particular industry or investigate a particular theme which they feel supports the ongoing professional development of students and supports network building.
The trek to Dublin was a lifetime opportunity for me. Coming from an engineering background, it is always a dream to land a job in the world renowned tech companies such as Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Facebook. I’ve been hearing and using the products of these companies since my childhood.
When I got the opportunity to visit the renowned companies and university – Murex, Twitter, Google, International Development Association (IDA) Ireland, Guinness factory and Trinity College Dublin, I felt on cloud nine. The trek to Dublin was a 3 day, non-stop opportunity to find out what these potential employers look for in aspiring employees, what the work culture is like, what kind of work employees do in these companies, and to see up close how awesome the people are in these companies.
During the visit to this financial software company we learnt about the different financial sectors around the world. Staff shared insights about the next big idea in the financial sector and how banks have been preparing since the economic recession. We also had the opportunity to talk to our alumni, consultants, and Head of Departments from Human Resource Management, Finance and Operations. The interaction was very helpful and provided insight into the critical changes taking place in the financial world.
Our next stop for the day was a tour of the ‘Guinness factory’. Yes! The famous Guinness beer is produced here. I never knew the drink that I often quaff in the bars of Edinburgh had a history of perfection, resilience and struggle. Our team was lucky to get a private guided tour of Ireland’s seven-storey iconic drink building.
The storehouse, an old fermentation plant at St. James’s Gate, beautifully depicts the heritage that began over 250 years ago. We all enjoyed a pint of Guinness at top floor of the factory (Gravity Bar) that captures the complete panoramic mesmerizing view of the Dublin city.
While having Irish breakfast in the hotel the next day, everyone in our group was exulted. The reason was our next visit to the company – ‘Twitter’. We were hosted by Lari Numminen, alumni and Marketing Manager at Twitter Dublin office. It was a wonderful experience to see the beautifully designed office spaces of Twitter. We discussed how Twitter is changing the way people communicate in today’s world. We also talked to the Recruitment team, interns, account managers and tried to understand what key skills they look for in a new intern.
Our next destination was to a company that doesn’t need an introduction. From technology to innovation, the company has always stayed ahead in the competition. Google the office was as creative as its products. Colourful walls, designed doors and a tech savvy office environment. We got glimpses of Google’s future self-driving car project, which was really amazing. We met alumni from the Business School, Mr. Denys Grabchak, Manager at Google, and got to know more about the Google work culture. We all were delighted to meet the employees, to see Googles’ business closely and to get a feel for Google.
After the visits to these fabulous companies, our final stop for the day was at HQ Bar, near the Grand central square. Many of the visits to companies were hosted by UEBS alumni, it was a pleasure to see them in person. They were an inspiration to us, so a chance get a drink and chat further with them was an amazing experience.
IDA (International Development Association) – Ireland
This is the organisation that looks after the foreign direct investment in Ireland. Sounds serious right?!! But actually it was fun to be at this place. Our interaction with Mr. Barry Heavey, Head of Life Science and also alumni of our Business School was very interesting and insightful. We discussed the growth story of Ireland, its participation in European economy and its vision for the future. Overall the session was very motivating, knowledgeable and thoughtful.
University visit: Trinity College Dublin
The University is huge in size, with a sprawling green campus and enormous opportunities to learn. The university isn’t just known for world class education but it also has a brilliant heritage. Our team attended a product development workshop to learn why ‘CustDev’ is ultra-important in understanding and identifying who your customer is early on and how best to talk to your potential customers. Also we took part in an experiential entrepreneurship program open to students, alumni, staff and faculty of Trinity College Dublin offering coaching, ideation, and venture creation support. We were hosted by Kevin Sexton, Founder of Mobstats and Alison Treacy, LaunchBox Program Manager.
By evening, we all were packing up to get back to Edinburgh. The trek came to an end. The experiences, knowledge and networks that I’ve created in this trek will always remain close to my heart.
What we learnt from the Trek:
Networking, talking to corporate leaders, getting insights on tomorrow’s technology and exploring the corporate side of Dublin is something that one can’t get in a classroom setting. We learnt what skills today’s corporates are looking for in prospective employees. The most important of these are strong communication skills, an analytical mind-set and if you possess technical skills in addition, that makes the best combination. Companies’ today hire aspirants based on their ability to translate numbers and logic into plain English; the ability to build relationships and who possess organisational awareness.
From all our discussions, chats and conferences, we learnt that to be successful, just to be hardworking, sincere or intelligent isn’t enough. You have to be aware of today’s changing technological world, develop excellent leadership skills and have great professional and communication skills.