Lisa Archer, Business Development Executive, Sigmar Recruitment Consultants Ltd
Degree subject BSc Sports Management, UCD; Postgraduate Diploma PR and Events, Fitzwilliam Institute; MA Marketing, Michael Smurfit Business School; Postgraduate Diploma International Business Growth, Michael Smurfit Business School
Job title Business Development Executive
Employer Sigmar Recruitment Consultants Ltd
I was always interested in pursuing something that combined marketing, development and travelling, which is why I was so interested in G4IG. The programme gave me a fantastic opportunity to work with a great Irish SME, play a key role in a major escalation project and of course to work abroad as well. I applied to the programme shortly after I finished my MSc in marketing and I think my degree helped me to get into this programme.
My colleagues would probably most appreciate my problem-solving skills. I am usually the go-to person when something needs to be figured out, anything from how to word a document to how to approach a conflict situation. I am naturally enthusiastic and like to try my hand at new things all the time so a good problem is appealing as a learning opportunity. Also, in my Masters, we were encouraged to have a certain strategic and objective mindset. This has positively changed the way I assess and approach problems.
Completing my Masters and being selected out of the 1200 who applied for the G4IG (Graduates for International Business Growth) programme in 2010 gave me great confidence and belief in my skills and what I can contribute.
Also, being on secondment in Warsaw, assisting in a developmental project for the office, stands out. Since the team was small, just two senior managers and I, I was involved in a lot of diverse work and planning. It was a seriously challenging, long year with many ups and downs. But, I have proven to myself that I am resilient and can handle big challenges.
The hardest challenge that I and most graduates face is gaining your employer’s buy-in. Understandably, it can be difficult for companies to put their faith in the youngest employees and identify each person’s specific talents and interests so it’s really important to be proactive and take on more work to show what you are capable of and how you can be put to use. Do not just wait for opportunities to come to you.
You have to be determined, resilient and willing to make and learn from your mistakes (especially the latter). You have to be brave, find new opportunities and throw yourself into challenges. You will make mistakes, everyone does, but show that you are willing to reflect properly and learn from your actions. Always take a humble, flexible and objective approach: ultimately you will find the right way.
Advice for graduates
I was given some good advice when completing the modules in the G4IG course. Firstly, no one owes you anything! You have to prove yourself all the time and take full advantage of any opportunity put your way. Secondly, someone said: ‘This programme will be the longest interview of your life: an 18-month interview.’ Well, thankfully I passed and was offered the role of project executive in the Dublin office. So it was really good advice. You should treat every day like it’s an interview: put your best foot forward and show people how much you want to succeed.
Lisa was interviewed for Ireland's 100 leading graduate employers 2012/13