Degree subject BSc International Business with a Modern Language, Queen’s University Belfast (2013)
Job titleGlobal Business Services Graduate Leadership Programme
I began studying German in secondary school. I had no links to the country but my teacher’s enthusiasm was infectious and I developed a real appetite for the language, culture and history.
As a successful applicant for the 2008 UK – German Connection Pupil Course, I took part in a two-week exchange to Kaarst, Germany. I fully immersed myself in the language and culture, taking multiple trips to surrounding cities, improving my language skills and gaining a cultural awareness of Germany. This led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in International Business with German at Queen’s University, Belfast.
I applied and successfully secured a position on the Global Business Services Graduate Leadership Programme (GBSGLP) at EMC Corporation. When recruiting for the programme, the hiring team focused specifically on candidates with language proficiency. Our centre in Cork provides services for all of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and our roles span across 23 countries speaking 17 different languages. My German proficiency transcends the various service areas, and in each I will have the opportunity to use my skills.
Currently in Credit & Collections, I manage a portfolio of German customers and partners and interact with them on a daily basis. My linguistic ability enabled me to differentiate myself from other business graduates and stand out from the crowd. I believe my language skills, combined with my International Professional Placement, which I undertook with Allianz SE in their Global Headquarters in Munich, has led me to the GBSGLP at EMC.
The training at EMC provides a vast range of both professional and personal training & development. GBSGLP is leadership-centred, with the core competency being communication. This year I will undertake a presentation skills course and negotiating skills training course.
There are multiple international and global roles in EMC and other multinationals, which place a great emphasis on the ability to support teams and processes remotely. Fundamentally the IT sector is about connecting people. English is the predominant language of international trade but in a truly global environment people must be cognisant of other languages.
For a young, hungry, graduate who is bilingual in languages that are in demand, the sky is the limit! If one is willing to work hard, be open to international mobility, languages can open the door to exciting careers in dynamic industries, such as technology, science, food and transportation.