Career support for an international student

One of the many benefits of being an international student at Trinity College Dublin is that you have the pleasure of being under the care of the Career Advisory Service within the University.  The centre has many workshops, including one that I attended called “Finding work in Ireland”.

This particular workshop attracted my attention because, a few years into a degree in Trinity as a foreign student, I started to wonder how I could make myself appealing to employers when there are other thousands of other Irish and international students. I attended a four week course where I met with a group of international students in one of the rooms in the Career Advisory Building. We learnt about: how to write CVs and cover letters, how to perform well in interviews, and the ways in which you can use LinkedIn to your advantage. These workshops were targeted specifically at finding employment in the Irish market, and we were under the care of a very helpful careers advisor.

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The most important information that I gathered from this workshop came in the first part, “the eligibility to work in Ireland” (something I had never thought about before I attended the workshop). I had always been concerned about having a correct CV and cover letter, when I should have known more about my rights to work in Ireland and the conditions that I must obey to work here. There is no point in having a perfectly set up CV and cover letter with good grades if I, or my future employer, do not know about whether I can work in Ireland. Some Irish employers may not know if foreign students, and especially non-EU students, can work in Ireland; therefore I think it is always good to know your rights and explain them to the interviewer in case they have any doubts. I learnt a lot in this first section of the workshop and found it very helpful and insightful.

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Another workshop taught us how to write CVs and cover letters, something very familiar to most students. Interview technique was something I found tricky, so the careers advisor gave me advice on how to improve this skill. Many students with similar degrees are likely to get identical grades, so most are interviewed by their potential employer. This is a crucial chance to stand out from the crowd and show the interviewer your unique skills, abilities and ambitions. Being interviewed can make some people very nervous, so the workshop helped us learn how to handle the pressure. Learning how to perform at interview in theory is very different to putting what you’ve learnt into practice; however I found the information from this workshop was effective and beneficial when I was applying for internships.

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One of the current trends when finding work is to use “LinkedIn” (which many students find unfamiliar), therefore the highlight of this overall workshop for me was to learn how to use LinkedIn. Employment trends are moving away from old fashioned CVs and cover letters, towards online-based recruitment (which can be done efficiently through LinkedIn). We were instructed by an experienced careers advisor on the use of LinkedIn, how to use it and what to write.

Overall I found the various aspects of the workshop “Finding work in Ireland” incredibly useful. The careers advisor who ran the classes was very helpful and insightful, and I now feel in a much better position to pursue employment in Ireland.

Sanyeob is a Student Ambassador in the Trinity Global Room:  https://www.tcd.ie/study/non-eu/global-room/

For more information on the Careers Advisory Service, go to their website: http://www.tcd.ie/Careers/       

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