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Elizabeth Conlon

Consultant, VISION Holdings

Name Elizabeth Conlon
Job Consultant, VISION Holdings
Education B.Ed, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra; Post Grad Dip. Psychology, The Open University; MSc in Marketing, DIT; Postgraduate Diploma in International Growth, Michael Smurfit Business School, UCD

During my Leaving Cert year, I was unsure whether I wanted to go into teaching or business. I opted for teaching, but began to rethink my career path after a number of years in the job.

While I enjoyed many aspects of teaching and the classroom environment, I became eager to experience a career in the private sector, where the environment is fast-paced and constantly in flux. I left my teaching job in 2008 to undertake a full-time MSc in Marketing at DIT.

After graduating, I worked in pharmaceutical sales. In August 2009, an opportunity arose with the inaugural Graduates for International Growth (G4IG) Programme. The scholarship involved a three-month screening and selection process, followed by two interviews with VISION Holdings, a management consultancy firm, who offered me a position.

I started out in VISION as a Business Development Executive but have since developed into a consultancy role.

We work with bigger companies and compete with global players. As our company is relatively small in size, I feel everything I do is valued and appreciated. As a junior consultant, I gained experience on a complex project within a large organisation for six months, embedding new behaviours and implementing new processes. As a result of my combined experience, I get exposure to operations of both an SME environment and a large multi-national organisation.

My teaching experience has helped me in my new career in terms of the skill-set I developed. Very often, graduates feel under pressure to find a job that matches their degree. However, once you can identify a skill-set that is transferable and unique to you as an individual, this will be of great benefit in terms of broadening your job opportunities and increasing your chance of success. It is important, therefore, that when compiling a CV, candidates clearly outline their skill-set and provide examples of situations where they have implemented these skills.

Advice for graduates

My advice to people looking for a job is to talk to and connect with as many people as possible in order to learn more about your industry of interest and seek out opportunities in the market. Most importantly of all, however, is to keep your spirits up – projecting a positive, energetic, enthusiastic attitude in your everyday life will make people much more likely to recommend to others should job opportunities arise.

Elizabeth was interviewed for gradireland 2013