The international placement in year three drew James to study International Business at WIT and led him to study in France and work in French-speaking roles
De La Salle College, Waterford past pupil James O’Neill graduated from WIT in 2017 with a BA (Hons) in International Business. Here he tells his experience of the benefit of learning a European language at third level.
Since I finished my course I have:
After graduation I spent a year as an English Language Assistant in France. I was recruited by the French Embassy in Dublin and I was employed by the French Dept. of Education. I worked near Lens and I live in Arras which allowed me immerse myself in French culture.
I moved back to Ireland and I spent two and a half years working with a wholesaler in the automotive industry. I was a French speaking Account Manager where I managed the full sales cycle for our "France North" territory. I travelled to France two weeks per month and I also attended trade shows in Paris, Hamburg and Louisville, Kentucky.
I've joined ServiceNow where I am a member of the Solution Consulting Academy. We make the world of work, work better for people by empowering employees with seamless workflows. The academy rotates its members through intense training on ServiceNow’s technology, as well as presentation and communication skills. Graduates of the nine-month academy are people who are not only technical experts on ServiceNow’s solutions but can also translate the power of our platform into real customer outcomes.
I wanted to study BA (Hons) in International Business at WIT because:
The international placement in year three is the biggest reason why I chose to study International Business at WIT. I studied in Montpellier, France, attending classes and sitting exams through French and English. When I was deciding which course to pursue I was also wary that I didn't want to specialise at that age. The course offers a broad range of subjects over the four years and I have found it very beneficial to be able to draw on different competencies since my graduation.
Some of the highlights of my college experience at WIT include:
I have so many highlights at WIT, I couldn't recommend it highly enough. When I was a student, I enjoyed the year abroad, the diversity of my classmates, the range of modules we followed. Even at that moment I was very aware of the benefits I would gain from those experiences. Since graduation, I've realised how high the standard of French classes is and particularly how relevant the curriculum is. Since my graduation I've spoken to CEOs, start-up founders and independent business people. The more conversations I have each month the more I would realise how lucky I was to receive such a good French education at WIT.
Erasmus participation benefited my college experience in the following way:
I can say with certainty that going on Erasmus was the best decision I've ever made in terms of education and personal development. On the surface you discover a new country, make friends and enjoy your time away. Below the surface you're faced with new challenges daily: language barriers, people skills, culture shock, the education itself. Inevitably you will see yourself rise to each challenge and develop a sense of resilience and adaptability - two key traits for when you're establishing a successful career.
Why I would recommend studying in Waterford/WIT:
I would recommend WIT primarily for the quality of education. I seem to realise how lucky I was to study there more and more as time goes by. The lecturers are accessible and check for understanding. WIT has brilliant partnerships with foreign colleges which means that not only would you have a broad choice for study abroad, but that the student body is diverse as well. I'm bias having been born and bred here, but I think the sunny south-east is a brilliant place to live and study.
My advice for anyone considering the BA (Hons) in International Business course is:
The world is advancing so fast, and it will never go this slowly again. The International Business course will offer you an excellent generalist foundation with which to build upon. You will taste many different functions from HR, finance and economics through to management, politics and intercultural communication. This course will keep all the doors open to you until you find your path and it will foster the primary people skills you will need to have a rewarding and fruitful career. Good luck!