Category Archives: Inside Track

The Network Effect

By Brid O’Donnell

Key Points:

  • Be Brave
  • Prioritize Questions
  • Know when to move on
  • What’s next
  • Execute the follow up

Networking is hard, but necessary to be successful in the business world. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind as you begin your networking journey.

  1. Be Brave

Networking can sometimes feel like a game of luck, at a certain event, you may meet strangers who you can develop into good friends and allies or else you don’t. However, you can increase your luck by putting yourself out there as much as possible. Regularly try something new and be curious. That can be intimidating and challenging, but a good networker is continuously expanding their networks and leaving their silo. Thus you must put yourself in new situations, and you need to be ready to make the first move, a lot.

In the same thread as being brave, be the person who introduces people. Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships; you must ask yourself what you can give, as opposed to thinking about what you want out of this connection. Often the answer to what you can give the other person is connections to new people as everyone needs a hand at networking. By bringing people together, you not only help other people network, but you are also signalling to those around you that you are a leader and creates a good reputation for yourself.

  • Prioritize questions, not stories

Everyone has stories that they enjoy telling. It is fair to say that you need to know your own story, aka your elevator pitch; the 60-second round-up of who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It’s important to make sure you get exposure and make yourself memorable and interesting. Thus you should prepare your story in advance and be ready to say. However, it should be brief and quick. After you make that introduction, the focus of the conversation should not be on you, but everyone else and the best way to achieve that is by asking questions.

Therefore, along with preparing your own story, you should also have a good list of go-to questions; broad, open-ended questions that help develop the conversation further. They are useful to fall back on when you are jumping into the deep end with someone completely new. However, don’t treat these questions like a checklist. Think of questions on the go, adapting to how the conversation unfolds. This shows that you are an active listener, which is a vital skill in networking.

  • Know when to move on

It often gets overlooked, but at a busy reception, it is easy to get end up in a conversation that has received its full potential; however, you feel too awkward to end the conversation. Don’t be afraid to shake their hands and say “Thank you for your time; It was so nice meeting you” or something similarly polite. You don’t need an excuse like I need to go to the bathroom, you need to acknowledge that you enjoyed the conversation and leave. If you are feeling like the conversation is nearing its natural end, the other person most likely feels the same way and appreciate the chance to start other conversations.

  • Next Steps

Introducing yourself to someone and having a chat isn’t enough to consider them a connection. Even adding them on Facebook or LinkedIn isn’t enough. You need to recall and formalize. I’m forgetful, especially when it comes to exact details, and the best advice I have ever received is to get a contact book or rather a personal CRM. Of course, you should take note of the person’s name, organization, background and contact details but don’t forget the small things. If you spoke about a certain topic or the person has a particular interest, include it. Even the stuff which seems irrelevant, like if someone mentions that they are a fan of Arsenal, remember that. Later on, when you reconnect, your contact will appreciate you remembering the small irrelevant things. There are many CRM apps out there you can use, but a well-designed spreadsheet could also suffice.

  • Execute the Follow-Up

The last step to networking is the follow-up. Emailing or reaching out to a new contact on LinkedIn soon after your first meeting can reenforce your first introduction and creates a new channel of contact. Use this opportunity to thank the person and show your appreciation and delight at meeting them. A specific thank you to someone can create a lot of goodwill and don’t be subtle about it. Finally, remember to keep your word and be thoughtful. If you said you would check something for them, follow through. This shows that you are reliable and quickly builds trust. As for being thoughtful, don’t be shy about sending people articles or clips that you think will interest them. This stage of networking can quickly become relationship-managing, and it can seem slow going, but networking is about continuous efforts that lead to future successes.

If you are interested in developing your networking skills further, Trinity graduate Kingsley Aikins has established The Networking Institute (www.thenetworkinginstitute.com) and has worked with major global corporates in finance, accounting and consultancy as well as governments and non-profit. Visit the website to pick up even more tips and advice on networking!

Foreign Language Skill: How it opens up a world of Job Opportunities?

Key Points:

  • English is not enough!
  • Speaking another language makes you stand out from the crowd.
  • Helps to discover new cultures.
  • Helps to meet new people.
  • You develop 4 key skills; listening, reading, speaking and writing.
  • Speaking more than one language increases your brain capacity and causes you to have a better memory.
  • It’s an impressive achievement to speak a foreign language and you’ll have better options for your future!

Today’s world is full of different and very interesting cultures. So why not to use this opportunity and learn something new – a new language. Having this skill, will help you in so many ways:

  • Open up a world of Job Opportunities

In English speaking countries it is important to stand out. You can do it by learning another language.

The world is changing fast. More companies than ever are doing business around the world, but they can’t do it without hiring globally minded people who can speak at least one foreign language. Ever wanted to be like those people you see in the airport travelling to foreign countries “on business” all the time? That can be you.

  • It’s great for traveling

Knowing more than one language opens up your vacation destination possibilities. Traveling to a foreign country becomes much easier if you can speak the language of that country.

Getting to a comfortable speaking level in a foreign language is a great motivator to get you out there – practise!

  • You build multitasking skills

Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech and writing easily. According to a study from the Pennsylvania State University, this “juggling” skill makes them good multitaskers, because they can easily switch between different structures. (Employers love this one)

Interesting Fact: It is also known that people who spoke more than one language made fewer errors in their driving tests.

  • You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia

For monolingual adults, the mean age for the first signs of dementia is 71.4. For adults who speak two or more languages, the mean age for those first signs is 75.5. Studies considered factors such as education level, income level, gender, and physical health, but the results were consistent.

  • You become smarter

Learning a second language improves your memory and increases your attention span. The process of becoming bilingual exercises your brain, challenges you to concentrate and boosts your problem-solving skills.

Bilingual students tend to score higher on standardized tests than monolingual students, especially in the areas of vocabulary, reading and math. As you learn to switch from one language to another, you improve your multitasking abilities. Bilingual individuals have also been shown to be more logical and rational, be more perceptive and aware of their surroundings.

  • It boosts your creativity

Researchers are also concluding that multilingual speakers are more creative than monolingual speakers. Learning a foreign language improves not only your ability to solve problems and to think more logically, it also makes you experiment with new words and phrases.

Leveling up your second language skills forces you to reach for alternate words when you can’t quite remember the original one you wanted to use. It improves your skills in divergent thinking, which is the ability to identify multiple solutions to a single problem. This is exactly what kind of people employers are looking for!

  • It builds up your self-confidence

You’re about to teach yourself to believe, “yes, I can.”

Confidence increases when a new skill is mastered, and learning a foreign language is no different. And let’s face it: confident people are more interesting than those who are unsure of themselves. The techniques you use to develop a second tongue result in a greater sense of open-mindedness.

In order to master a new language, conversations with native and fluent speakers are essential. If you’re shy but want to meet new people, using the excuse that you want to practice your speaking skills is a great opener and a doorway to making new friends, expanding your horizons and broadening your life experiences. Plus, who doesn’t want to be more interesting?

  • It aids in self-discovery and self-actualization

It is an interesting outcome, not at all something that you list as your expected result when you embark to learn a new language. But trying to understand a language and the heritage that goes with it will put you in a position of self-discovery. It makes you come to terms with how you view the world and other cultures.

So which language are you starting to learn first?! In Trinity we have a choice from Russian to Spanish, from Polish to Italian and many more. Don’t miss this brilliant opportunity to have something unique along your creative business mind!

Differences between Hard and Soft skills? Why are they so important for employers?

  • What are the skills employers are looking from the graduates?
  • How can YOU learn those skills and become a better candidate for an internship or a job?
  • What are the differences between soft and hard skills?
  • Why are they so important?

What are the Hard skills?

  • Hard skills are the tough skills.
  • They show your knowledge about the job and your ability to do the work right.
  • They are specific to each job and are basis of job requirements.
  • They are quantifiable and are often learned in school, through earned certifications or in previous work experiences.
  • These skills can also be considered “resume keywords,” which are words recruiters use to search for applicants. Each resume should use the exact hard skills found in the job description.

What are the Soft Skills?

  • Soft skills are interpersonal skills.
  • These are much harder to define and evaluate.
  • They show how well employee can interact with customers.
  • They are non-measurable and so not specific to any job or career.
  • Soft skills are “people” skills.
  • These skills are personality traits that help define character but offer less proof of experience than hard skills.
  • Soft skills include communication skills, listening skills, and empathy etc.

Hard Skills List  

Examples of Hard Skills:                                        

  • Data Analysis                                                
  • Planning Skills                                               
  • Accounting
  • Financial
  • Software
  • Word Processing
  • Writing

Tips I recommend to improve your Hard skills

  • It is not a surprise that almost every type of job is in a strong connection with computers. Examples of basic computer skills are the ability to work with Windows, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook Express and Windows Share Folders. If you need education or additional learning for these essential computer skills, here are some helpful courses:

1) Microsoft Excel Course – Excel from Beginner to Advanced:

2) Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint Training With Certificate Data Analysis

  • Analyzing some kind of data is a common part of many job positions and responsibilities. There are many reasons to learn data analysis: want to start a new career, want to develop your hard skills in your current career, or you want to know how to use, collect and present data for any purpose. If you have one of the above reasons, here are 2 important courses that can help:

1) Complete Introduction to Business Data Analysis

2) Data Science A-Z: Real-Life Data Science Exercises Included

  • Knowing Foreign Languages: Although English is the official business correspondence language for many countries, it is a big advantage to know other languages. Examples of the most required languages are German, Spanish, French, Chinese. So, is it the time to go and start learning a new language? And the answer is – Yes. It will make you a better candidate for any internship or a job. Check out some courses here: https://www.duolingo.com/courses

Soft Skills List

Examples of Soft Skills include:

  • Leadership skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Time management skills
  • Willingness to learn

Five tips I recommend to improve your Soft skills

  1. Build self-awareness – Understand why you react to certain situations and certain people in a certain way. In order to develop any self-management skill, you first have to understand yourself.
  2. Change yourself not others – Some people might think or say that improving soft skills can help you manipulate other people actions. However, it is not true. Improving soft skills is all about changing yourself, your perception, your approach to situations.
  3. Understand other people’s motivations – Any action that cause a conflict and trigger yours or other person’s insecurity, will create a difficult or unexpected situation. By proactively trying to put yourself in their shoes before any interaction, you could communicate better and can better manage your reaction to unexpected situations.
  4. Start Easy and Relax –You cannot improve all your soft skills over one night, so identify one soft skill you want to start with. Start researching (books, blogs, etc…) and practice on that one skill. Once you make progress on one soft skill, it will give you the confidence to improve more on others a step at a time.
  5. Practice, Practice, Practice – Sadly soft skills are not something you can just study in a book to get better, improvement takes practice over time. Improving soft skills is fundamentally about changing your behaviour toward yourself and others. Every next interaction you have with people at work is an opportunity to practice a soft skill!

HARD Skills vs. SOFT Skills

A combination of hard skills and soft skills forms a well-rounded job applicant. While hard skills are quite different than soft skills, together, they create a good balance between hard knowledge and interpersonal attributes. Hard skills show mastery and proficiency while soft skills show communication and relational abilities.

The balance of hard and soft skills is important. Hard skills help the applicant get past ATS while showing experience level and qualification for the position. Soft skills make the applicant human, showing leadership, empathy, and character. Both of them added together can make a perfect employee or a graduate.

So, which skills are more important – hard or soft?

Of course, both of them are equal. Balance is the key and the best answer here. So, make sure that your resume and/or CV contains enough skills of both types! Good luck!

3 Lessons Every Young Entrepreneur Must Learn from Taylor Swift

I’m sure you must have jammed to ‘Shake It Off’ at some point in your life.

Or cried to “Love Story”.

Or danced to “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together”.

Or screamed the lyrics to “Blank Space” (it’s not ‘Starbucks lovers’!).

That’s Taylor Swift, who has a song for every mood.

She’s turning 30 this year, and has already been in the music industry for 13 years; that’s right, she began her career at the age of 17! Since then, she has made a successful switch in her genre from country to pop, and has won over 400 awards, including 10 Grammys. She has sold almost $935.4 million worth of tickets through 6 world tours. If you’ve watched her ‘reputation’ tour on Netflix, you know exactly how powerful she is and why she deserves to stand where she does today.

I’ve loved Taylor for years; but only now do I understand the influence this woman has over, well… the music industry!

This is what every young entrepreneur (or human!) must learn from Taylor Swift:

  • Don’t be afraid to start young

By the age of 9, Taylor knew she wanted to be a singer. She would have her mother drive around various record labels and studios in Nashville, where Taylor would walk in, give her demo cd, and say, “Hi! I’m Taylor.. I’m 11.. I want a record deal.. Call me!”. She was signed by various records by the age of 14, and finally released her first album, Taylor Swift, at the age of 17. Her debut album won her massive recognition, and helped her understand her target audience and future moves at a young age.

If you think you’re too young to start something, you’re wrong. The sooner you start, the more mistakes you make. And the more mistakes you make, the sooner you learn from them and the better you understand how to not make them again. Starting young is a boon; allow yourself this ‘extra’ time to learn through practical experience because this is what will propel you farther.

  • Make sacrifices

Love Story, one of Taylor’s most highly acclaimed song, was written in 15 minutes as she sat on her bedroom floor. That song came alive only because she decided to give up something else and spend her time writing it down.

If you want to create a difference for your own self, you have to give up things that distract you from your goal. What sets you apart from everyone else is how you decide to spend your time while others decide to hang out or party. It’s not wrong to party obviously, but you must realise when it is pulling you away from your dreams. If you have a goal, be certain about it and take action towards it. Spend your time wisely by making sacrifices every single day.

  • A combination of skills stands out

When Taylor first started sharing singing demo cds with record labels, she hoped they would listen to her voice and give her a deal. But she soon realised that everyone in Nashville had the same dream as her, and she was doing the same thing as everyone else. That’s when she decided to stand out of the crowd by writing her own songs and learning to play the guitar. Today, Taylor writes, sings and produces her own music, while also playing multiple instruments. What helped her along the way are her exceptional conversational skills, marketing strategies, persevering self-advocacy and brilliant stage presence.

If you want to stand out, you must be exceptional. One way to do that is to have a combination of skills. The best way to do that is to have a powerful combination of a hard skill and soft skill, or to have complementing skills. If you can learn and combine various skills and use them to enhance the one skill you are best at, then there’s no stopping you! For example, if you like writing, learn a bit of video editing or graphic designing. If you have an idea for a startup, learn pitch development and the art of effective written and verbal communication. (We really need to update the quote “Jack of all trades……”)

Whatever be your opinion of Taylor Swift, you can’t deny the staggering numbers she has achieved. These 3 attributes are what helped Taylor Swift get where she is now. So, why not give them a shot?

Career Choices: What’s Hot in Dublin?

John Fink

The Dublin Economic Monitor indicates in its most recent edition (February 2019), that as of Q3 2018 the employed workforce of Dublin measured at 696,200, the highest value since records began by the Central Statistics Office in 1998. Obviously, there is no shortage of available labor and as such, it takes talent to impress employers. Corporations seek the best from a wide pool of potential hires, and to stay competitive anyone seeking future employment will need to hone their professional skills to satisfy the requirements of the corporate world. Taking courses or reading literature on a new skill auxiliary to that of your primary studies might one day make the difference between you and another candidate for your ideal career, or help you discover a completely unexpected career path. Trends on sector growth in Dublin provide valuable insight into what industries are expanding, thus making new hires and from that one can approximate what skills might make them a more valuable member of the workforce:

Read more

The Big Four – What is it and How Can You Get in?

Eva Rapkauskaite

If you have never heard of the Big Four Accounting Firms – You have been living under a rock. But don’t worry I am here to help you and brighten up your knowledge about The Big Four.

What are they? 

The Big Four Accounting Firms include PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG.
They are leading players in the accountancy industry, with their services spanning advisory, audit, tax, risk consulting and management consulting.

All four firms work across a variety of industries, including: aerospace, automotive, banking, construction, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, transportation, wealth management, media, government and public sector, manufacturing, private equity, technology, oil and energy, financial services, healthcare, insurance, professional services, real estate, retail, and telecommunications.

As part of firm strategy and direction, all four firms have strengthened their focus on tackling key economic and social issues affecting both the accountancy sector and the UK as a whole in recent years. These issues include Brexit, diversity, the gender pay gap, social mobility and digital transformation.[1]

PwC

  • Have offices in 157 countries, 721 locations
  • More than 223,000 people employed
  • PwC ranks as the second largest professional services firm in the world behind Deloitte
  • The firm was formed in 1998 by a merger between Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse. Both firms had histories dating back to the 19th century.
  • The trading name was shortened to PwC in September 2010 as part of a rebranding effort
  • As of 2017, PwC is the 5th-largest privately- owned company in the United States

At PwC, employers or intern progress is their priority. You’ll be working with clients, learning from your team, sharing your unique perspective and making a difference. The work you do will be as varied and interesting as the clients you’ll work with. You can expect to work with the biggest brands in Irish and international business, building strong relationships and getting the chance to learn from the best.

How can YOU join them?

Luckily for us, PwC does a lot of Internship Programs throughout the year. Currently you can apply to the Summer Internship 2019, it will give you a real experience how it is to work for the PwC and discover the first-hand if professional service is the career for you. You can choose to intern in any of their offices: Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford or Wexford. You will have a chance experience the life of a PwC graduate during a fully paid internship that can last for either eight or 12 weeks.[2]

Deloitte

  • Largest professional services network in the world by revenue and number of professionals.[3]
  • Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services with more than 286,200 professionals globally.[4]
  • In FY 2018, the network earned a record $43.2 billion USD in aggregate revenues.[5]
  • As of 2017, Deloitte is the 4th largest privately-owned company in the United States.[6]
  • In June 2016, Deloitte changed its branding and adopted a new logo with Deloitte written in black colour instead of earlier blue.

How can you join them?

Just like the PwC, they do a lot of internship programmes. As they say: ‘’An internship at Deloitte is a fantastic way to get up close to the world of business, find out what excites and inspires you, and where it could take you. As well as vital work experience, you’ll get a good idea of whether we’re the firm for you.’’[7] They had Summer Internship 2019, sadly it is already closed – take a note of this and definitely try applying next year!

More information about the Internships at Deloitte: https://www2.deloitte.com/ie/en/pages/careers/articles/faqs1.html#

EY

  • Multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
  • EY is one of the largest professional services firms in the world
  • EY operates as a network of member firms which are separate legal entities in individual countries.
  • It has 270,000 employees in over 700 offices around 150 countries in the world.[8]
  • It provides assurance (including financial audit), tax, consulting and advisory services to companies.

How can you join them?

EY does a lot of internship programmes, currently they have a Summer Internship 2019 and Graduate Programme 2019 – applications are still open!! ’’This summer internship gives you experience to develop your commercial and personal skills, gain a thorough insight into the world of professional services. You’ll meet partners and clients and get an opportunity to show us what you’re best at. You’ll receive regular feedback from your counselling manager, showing you how you can develop. And we’ll assign you a buddy who’ll be there to answer any day-to-day queries. The social side is important too, with plenty of opportunities to meet people and a night out before you return to university.’’

KPMG

  • Headquarters in Amstelveen, the Netherlands
  • KPMG employs 207,050 people.[9]
  • Has three lines of services: financial audit, tax, and advisory. Its tax and advisory services are further divided into various service groups.
  • The name “KPMG” stands for “Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler.” It was chosen when KMG (Klynveld Main Goerdeler) merged with Peat Marwick in 1987.
  • In March 2017 KPMG launched a campaign designed to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology-based professions.[10]

How can you join them?

Just like the other three companies, KPMG has many student internships and graduate programmes throughout the year. Currently, the applications to Graduate Programme 2019 are open and many other opportunities with the KPMG can be found here: http://www.kpmgcareers.ie/graduates/opportunities/

’’ Our Summer Internship Programme predominantly takes place in KPMG Dublin and Belfast offices, with a number of roles available in Cork and Galway. Summer Internships in Dublin are 8-10 weeks duration and aimed at college students who are in penultimate year of study. Summer Internships in Belfast are 3 weeks duration and aimed at college students across all years of study. You will have the opportunity to work for the Audit, Tax Consulting or Advisory Departments.’’[11]

SO… 

Dear Senior Fresh and Fourth Year Students listen up! The Big Four is the perfect place to get work experience that would get you ready for the future careers. If you are still doubting yourself – DON’T!  Because of the constant programmes, many students get a chance to work there and even come back to work full-time once they graduate!

  • If you are thinking should I even, try to apply? Definitely do!

[1] https://www.accountancyage.com/rankings/big-4-accounting-firms

[2] https://www.pwc.ie/careers-ie/student-careers/summer-internships.html

[3] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/10/04/deloitte-overtakes-pwc-as-worlds-biggest-accountant/

[4] https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/global-revenue-announcement.html

[5] https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/global-revenue-announcement.html

[6] https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/global-revenue-announcement.html

[7] https://www2.deloitte.com/ie/en/pages/careers/articles/summer-intern-programme.html

[8] https://www.ey.com/en_gl/news/2018/12/ey-global-chairman-and-ceo-mark-weinberger-to-step-down-effective-july-1-2019

[9] https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2018/12/global-review-2018.pdf

[10] https://www.computerweekly.com/news/450415622/KPMG-launches-campaign-to-encourage-women-into-tech

[11] http://www.kpmgcareers.ie/graduates-landing/graduate/

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