My postgraduate study: Zara Gleasure (International Management, Trinity College Dublin)

“In an increasingly competitive job market, having a Master’s degree provides a significant career advantage.”

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Primary Degree: Business Economics and Social Studies (TCD 2015)

Postgrad Degree:International Management MSc. (TCD 2016)

What convinced you to further your
studies and why did you choose the
course in TCD?

In an increasingly competitive job
market, having a Master’s degree
provides a significant career advantage,
as employers recognise and value the
dedication and commitment involved in
taking your education to Masters level.
The International Management (IM)
course offered a great mix of core
learning modules, team building and of
course the opportunity to partake in an
International Residency Week in a very
highly regarded Chinese University. It
offered me the opportunity to challenge
myself academically, but also more
importantly to develop my soft skills
and intercultural learning.

How does postgraduate study differ
from undergraduate and was one of the
biggest challenges you faced?

Postgraduate study tends to be far more
intensive then undergraduate; it was a
full-time commitment for 11 months of
the year. In contrast to my
undergraduate degree, there was a huge
focus on collaborative effort. I think that
is so important, as the work dynamics
are increasingly team centric nowadays,
and the nature of these teams is
frequently cross-functional and crosscultural.
group tasks such as business
simulation modules also allowed me to
develop strong bonds with my
classmates. I really needed to work on
developing my cross-cultural skill base in
order to socialise and work effectively
with my international classmates, and
also to have the best experience on the
residency week in China. Being immersed
in groups made up of individuals from
cultures so vastly different from my own
and studying abroad has taught me
resilience, the ability to think on my feet,
and to navigate the unfamiliar.

How do you think your postgraduate
study will add to your employability
skills?

The emphasis on soft skill development
has greatly improved my professional
confidence. From an academic standpoint
this programme offered so much in terms
practical knowledge, and the mix of
academic and industry professional
speakers was central to this. Moreover,
many company visits provided great
insights and networking opportunities.

What are your ambitions over the
next few years in developing your HR
career?

I believe the business impact of HR will
become increasingly important in the
coming years, particularly in the area of
strategy development. Companies are
coming to recognize that by hiring the
most suitable talent they can
concentrate on growing the business
instead of dealing with problem
employees. The Pareto Principle would
suggest that 20% of the employees
take 80% of your time, and that 20% of
your employees do 80% of the effectual
work. Identifying the employees that
induce enthusiasm and engagement
for a company’s mission is becoming a
most pivotal competitive advantage.
This is relevant to staff across all levels,
and it’s true that employees don’t leave
bad companies, they leave bad bosses.
Being able to think critically, abstractly
and innovatively to align the various
interests in such a way to most
constructively engage talent will be the
central driver of business success. I
hope to focus on the strategic side of
HR and to help firms achieve a real
tangible impact in this way.

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