RecruitIreland's blog
General discussion about life and work and life!

Week 4 of the UK Apprentice

May 26, 2011 12:48 by Charlie


So episode number 4 and I still haven’t been able to pick a candidate that I think could be a potential winner. Of course, we’re backing Jim for the moment, simply because he’s Irish (a bit like Jedward in Eurovision) but to be fair he seems to be doing well in the tasks too. I don’t even find myself particularly disliking any of the candidates in this series either. Who would have thought we’d ever miss “Stuart Baggs the brand”?

We’ve heard Alan Sugar say a number of times that the beauty & cosmetics industry has the highest profit margins so the candidates knew they were under pressure to bring the money in on this task. The key to that was getting the right product, which in this case was the tanning product and Susan did a great job of pushing her experience in the industry and showing enthusiasm. Felicity however, on the other team, did also want the product but showed not even the slightest interest, which lost her the product and probably the task.

From there both teams seemed to be in utter chaos. Susan found her experience in the industry to be less useful than expected and wasn’t able to make many sales. Project manager Zoe made sure to let Susan know she’d be taking the blame in the boardroom if their team lost.

On Felicity’s team, they didn’t manage to book a treatment within the first four hours and it was clear early on that the fake hair pieces were not going to be what would win them the task.

It was hilarious to watch the guys trying to sell the beauty products. They all desperately tried to show enthusiasm and ended up coming across as creepy. Leon’s cheesy finger grabbing technique did seem to be working quite well though!

Vicki had a good idea last week to include some comments from Twitter so I’m going to pick a few favourites too:

potts93 @bbcapprentice false tan: £35, massage: £1-a-minute, the look on that guy's face when Jedi Jim ran into the treatment room: Priceless!
 
@ DonnyHotspurs:Just watched #theapprentice on #bbciplayer, how could she not take £14 Jim and Clark Kent back into the boardroom? @Lord_Sugar

@callEmily: I have to actually gird my loins in preparation for watching the VAST AMOUNT OF WHINING on #theapprentice

@Serendipity2Ltd: Four hands are definately better than two. creepy massages on #theapprentice reminds me of an x rated version of animal farm propoganda.


Let us know what you think of this series so far? And if you’ve picked your winner let us know below.


Career Paths

May 18, 2011 12:31 by Charlie


We have another very interesting Career Paths post for you as this time we're profiling Gareth Cuddy, Managing Director of Ireland's only dedicated eBook store, www.directebooks.com and an eBook distribution company, www.epubdirect.com . Thanks to Gareth and if you know know anyone who would like to be included in this blog series please email and let us know: [email protected]

Profile

Name:  Gareth Cuddy
Age: 31
Birthplace:   Waterford
Marital Status: Married
Children: 3
Highest Education: BA Hons, English & History, Post graduate diploma in Education
Institutions attended: UCC

About You

1) What is your current role? Managing Director of Directebooks Ltd, an eBook company. We operate Irelands only dedicated eBook store, www.directebooks.com and an eBook distribution company, www.epubdirect.com

2) How did you get into your current role/ industry? By chance – began researching opportunities in the field and saw some niches that could be exploited.

3) How many years have you been in your current role/ industry? 3

4) What other roles did you do before finding your current role? Sales and Marketing manager and various management positions in the hospitality sector.

5) What was the worst job you ever had? Recruitment! Seriously.

6) Did you always want to work in your role/ industry or did you get into it late? Arrived late – love technology and books, so a perfect marriage.

7) What advice would you give to other people looking to get a career in your industry? Technology and entertainment of every sort are becoming increasingly entwined. Ours is a great industry for ambitious talented people who can have a genuine impact on a worldwide scale.

8) What do you like most about your job? The variety of work that I do each day. Meeting clients and thrashing out ideas with the team is great fun too.

9) Anything you don’t like? The workload is incredibly heavy – but it will all be worth it someday. (I hope!)

10) What time do you get up for work? 6.30

11) Where would you like to retire to? West Cork

12) Favourite website(s)? Twitter is great for industry news and there are a lot of very useful sites out there, but I can’t live without checking www.teamtalk.com & www.football365.com at least twice a day.

13) What would be your dream job? I would love to be in a position in a few years to invest in start-up companies, passing on experience as well as getting wrapped up in the excitement of early-stage companies.

14) What are your goals or plans for the future? The above plus watching my 3 boys grow-up and become successful in their own rights.

15) And finally, the three luxury items you want if you were trapped on a desert island?

My e-Reader (loaded with 1000’s of eBooks of course), Sky Sports and a toothbrush! 

 


Yes, it’s our favourite show......

May 12, 2011 12:39 by Charlie


As regular readers will know, we all love The Apprentice around here so we were delighted to hear it was back this week. Unfortunately, the apprentice returned to our screens on Tuesday night, which threw me right off because I assumed it was Wednesday and missed the first episode! But I did tune in last night to watch the second episode and it’s clear that lord Sugar hasn’t lost his flair.

I had a look at the candidate profiles on the website and they look like they will be an entertaining bunch. My personal favourite quote from the candidates so far has to be from Melody:

“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon”……I have a feeling she’ll be crashing back down to earth shortly….

Great to see the tasks moving with the times as candidates competed to create and promote a smartphone application. I wonder if Alan and Nick had to have the whole “App” thing explained to them in advance of this episode???

It looked like the boys were absolutely going to walk this task. I thought the girls app was terrible, Edna’s presentation was abysmal and to top it off they had lost out to the boys on 2 out of the 3 pitches.
So I was stunned when it was revealed the girls had trounced the boys in this task, achieving over 10,000 downloads compared to the boys modest 3,000. The boardroom is full of surprises.

Leon brought Glenn and Alex back into the boardroom with him and apart from the fact that Alex hadn’t contributed much to the task, he also came across as entirely dislikeable. So we’re happy to see Irish hopeful Jim still running and Vicki has already posted on Twitter that she’s backing him to win…..come on Ireland!

Anyone spot any other potential winners? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


Career Paths

May 4, 2011 14:28 by Charlie


This week we have a treat for all you budding entrepreneurs as we are featuring Owner of internet startup Umnumnum.ie, Margaret Smith. A big thanks to Margaret and hope you all enjoy. I highly recommend visiting her blog also but be warned it will make you hungry!

Profile

Name:  Margaret Smith
Age: 42
Birthplace: Cork
Marital Status: Married
Children: 2 
Institutions attended: College of Commerce Open University
Academic achievements: not a lot

About You

1) What is your current role?
Owner of Umnumnum

2) How did you get into your current role/ industry?
I decided I wanted to work for myself doing something I was passionate about and good at.

3) How many years have you been in your current role/ industry? Just over 1 year

4) What other roles did you do before finding your current role? I worked in various Offices as an accounts clerk and am a director in my husbands company also.

5) What was the worst job you ever had?
I worked in a few pubs in my time –one was a real dive.

6) Did you always want to work in your role/ industry or did you get into it late?
I had no idea I wanted to do this it just sort of happened and everyone around me loves the idea and has been so supportive- I have been very lucky.

7) What advice would you give to other people looking to get a career in your industry? Don’t do it- I could do without the competition- no seriously no matter what you want to do give it a go.  Do your research, make your plans, get back up and support then JUMP.

8) What do you like most about your job?  I love the creative side- I have to do everything as I am a one man band but I love ideas and new ways of doing things.  I love people and socialising so I have incorporated that into how my company works.

9) Anything you don’t like?  I (ironically) hate the accounts side and got very good advice recently to leave that to someone who loves it and I have done. Trust her implicitly and she tells me what the reality is when I come up with one of my hair brained schemes. It’s good to have someone to ground you.

10) What time do you get up for work? It varies can be any time from 6am to 8am depending on what I have on

11) Where would you like to retire to? Not bothered where just want to be comfortable when I do

12) Favourite website(s)? I am a Twitter addict

13) What would be your dream job? I love being creative so something where i can dream up weird and wonderful ideas all day long and still get paid.

14) What are your goals or plans for the future? I hope to make a success of the big move I am in the middle of orchestrating at the minute and then maybe a further expansion down the line.

15) And finally, the three luxury items you want if you were trapped on a desert island? my Iphone, wifi and cookbooks
 


Career Paths

April 20, 2011 12:25 by Charlie


This week we are delving into the area of Social and Community work with Alison Corr, who works as Children and Young People’s Programme Manager in Southside Travellers Action Group. Thanks to Alison for her contribution and hope you all enjoy!

*Alison has graciously decided to feature the award winning artwork, "Happiness" by young members of Southside Travellers Action Group, rather than a picture of herself. We know you just didn't want your own photo here alison but we think this artwork great so you get away with it ;)

Profile

Name: Alison Corr
Age: 34
Birthplace: Dublin
Marital Status: Single
Children: None
Highest Education: Higher Diploma
Institutions attended: NUIM
Academic achievements: Leaving Cert, Degree, Higher Diploma Post Grad

About You

1) What is your current role?  Children and Young People’s Programme Manager in Southside Travellers Action Group

2) How did you get into your current role/ industry? I had been working in the Private Sector (Insurance- for the German Market) and after volunteering in a project in Dublin, went back to college in 2005 to do a Post Grad in Youth and Community Work. My first college placement was with Southside Travellers Action Group and when I completed my studies, I was lucky enough to get a job in the centre.

3) How many years have you been in your current role/ industry? Almost five years

4) What other roles did you do before finding your current role? As above, I previously worked for an International Insurance Company. I also spent a couple of years in Germany working in Hotels and an Irish Bar.

5) What was the worst job you ever had? Developing photos in a photo shop.

6) Did you always want to work in your role/ industry or did you get into it late? I got into my role late after realising I didn’t want an office 9-5 job.

7) What advice would you give to other people looking to get a career in your industry? Get some experience volunteering in a project first to make sure you are really interested in the sector. Working with young people is highly rewarding but be aware there are challenges too!

8) What do you like most about your job? The variety of the work and the young people in the project

9) Anything you don’t like? Not always enough hours in the day!!

10) What time do you get up for work? I normally aim to be in for about 10 as we work in the evenings so I am up about 8am.

11) Where would you like to retire to? Madrid

12) Favourite website(s)? Holiday websites- definitely not Facebook!!!

13) What would be your dream job? My dream job would be to travel the world and write about it.

14) What are your goals or plans for the future?  To be happy !

15) And finally, the three luxury items you want if you were trapped on a desert island?  Ipod, Beer and enough food !

 


Career Paths

April 6, 2011 09:41 by Charlie


This week we are delighted to have Stevie Howlin, Software and Web Developer (and part time DJ) giving us an insight into the IT industry. Hope you all enjoy!

Name: Stevie Howlin
Age: 27
Birthplace: Co. Wexford, Ireland
Marital Status: Single
Children: 0
Highest Education: Third Level
Institutions attended: Waterford Institute of Technology
Academic achievements: Bachelor of Science (Honours, 1st) in Applied Computing, Commercial Stream

 

About You

1) What is your current role?
Software and web developer

2) How did you get into your current role/ industry?
My college degree was very programming orientated. Over time I moved myself more in to the design and usability aspect of software development. I've been in my current position for six months

3) How many years have you been in your current role/ industry?
Seven years

4) What other roles did you do before finding your current role?
Shop assistant, Labourer, Call centre agent

5) What was the worst job you ever had?
Working on building sites

6) Did you always want to work in your role/ industry or did you get into it late?
I've always been in to computers and always figured this is where my career would go

7) What advice would you give to other people looking to get a career in your
industry?
Learn the basics of programming and practise them. I learnt BASIC in my spare time in school and it helped me immensely when I started college. Good software development is like playing an instrument; if you don't practise you'll never get better.

8) What do you like most about your job?
The inherent creativity involved in coming up with solutions for the problems faced by the project

9) Anything you don’t like?
Moving targets, badly planned projects

10) What time do you get up for work?
8.45am

11) Where would you like to retire to?
Canada

12) Favourite website(s)?
I'm currently working on Trust Passport (http://www.trustpassport.com) which means it's the site taking up most of my time at the moment.
Facebook is probably the site I visit most often and I'm also a big fan of Twitter (@StevieHowlin http://twitter.com/#!/steviehowlin).
My favourite website outside of those would probably be The Gutters (http://www.the-gutters.com/)

13) What would be your dream job?
Professional wrestler or DJ! Failing that, highly paid CTO or CEO of a top software company.

14) What are your goals or plans for the future?
Start or buy in to a promising young start up company and guide its direction as it grows. Continue work on my DJing skills and hopefully start to make some waves in that scene also.

15) And finally, the three luxury items you want if you were trapped on a desert
island?
Assuming a power supply is inherent;
High end laptop, highspeed internet connection and high end sound system


Career Paths

March 24, 2011 10:37 by Charlie


We hope you are enjoying our series of Career Paths blog posts. This week we are delighted to have Fred Schelbaum from Pressieport.ie giving us an insight into setting up on your own and running a successful website.

Profile

Name:  Fred Schelbaum
Age:  6.3 (in doggie years)
Birthplace: Menton, South of France
Marital Status: In a long term relationship
Children:  Nope
Highest Education: Third level
Institutions attended: St. Paul’s Raheny and UCD
Academic achievements: Masters (Econ.)

About You

1) What is your current role? M.D. of Pressieport.ie

2) How did you get into your current role/ industry? Decided to set up on my own after working in a corporate environment for way too long.

3) How many years have you been in your current role/ industry? 4 years in my current role but about 15 years in eCommerce altogether.

4) What other roles did you do before finding your current role? I was a director for a German company called Arvato Financial Services, based mostly in Dublin

5) What was the worst job you ever had? Lounge-boy in Sands Hotel when I was a kid

6) Did you always want to work in your role/ industry or did you get into it late? I always had (and have) a fascination with the internet and doing business online so you could say my current role was a dream come true.

7) What advice would you give to other people looking to get a career in your industry? If you’re thinking of becoming self-employed, just be prepared to work at it night and day, but otherwise, go for it!

8) What do you like most about your job? Watching it becoming successful and getting positive feedback from people who’ve shopped online with us.

9) Anything you don’t like? Stock-taking… that’s a bit of a pain in the ….

10) What time do you get up for work? Normally about 6.00am but don’t seem to wake up till my 3rd cup of coffee

11) Where would you like to retire to? 6 months in the south of France and 6 months in New Zealand

12) Favourite website(s)? Pressieport.ie, BreakingNews.ie, TheJournal.ie, BBC.co.uk and Met.ie (I live in hope of a heat wave)

13) What would be your dream job? Gadget researcher or coffee taster

14) What are your goals or plans for the future? To get a 1 month holiday and chill

15) And finally, the three luxury items you want if you were trapped on a desert island? a Starbucks, broadband and an iPad (if I’m trapped for longer than a week, could I bring my other half too?)


This week is for Mad Men wannabes

March 9, 2011 14:42 by Charlie


This week we have an insight into the world of advertising from Aiden O Byrne who is an Account Director with Electric Media. So for all those Mad Men wannabes out there - read on...

Name: Aiden O’Byrne
Age: 40ish
Birthplace: Dublin
Marital Status: Married to Mrs Right, first name Always!
Children: Twin Girls, 3 in May.
Highest Education: Leaving Cert 1983
Institutions attended: University Of Life.
Academic achievements: Got consecutive Gold Stars thru 1st & 2nd class in Nature walks.

About You

1) What is your current role? Account Director in Electric Media

2) How did you get into your current role/ industry? Returned from U.S. late 2007 when Mrs Right fell pregnant with twins and was approached by Irish Times (50% Owners) to join company Pre Start Up.

3) How many years have you been in your current role/ industry? Since January, 2008.

4) What other roles did you do before finding your current role? Was Vice-President with Private Equity firm in U.S. who had interests in Media amongst others.

5) What was the worst job you ever had? Stone picking at 50p an hour aged 12.

6) Did you always want to work in your role/ industry or did you get into it late? Got involved with Print media in 1994, have been infected since…

7) What advice would you give to other people looking to get a career in your industry? Embrace change, the Internet is a game-changer.

8) What do you like most about your job? Creating innovative solutions for traditional brands that deliver much more than was expected.

9) Anything you don’t like? Corporate survivors

10) What time do you get up for work? 7:00am approx courtesy of my daughter’s.

11) Where would you like to retire to? Gaffneys of Fairview, Dublin 3.(Creamy Stout).

12) Favourite website(s)? I love the social interaction opportunities that Facebook provides with my friends overseas, however I’m a News addict so Irishtimes.com, Irishexaminer.com, Guardian.co.uk, BBC.co.uk, you get the picture.

13) What would be your dream job? Charlie Sheen’s party planner?

14) What are your goals or plans for the future? To balance my life between career, family and secret desires.

15) And finally, the three luxury items you want if you were trapped on a desert island? Broadband, Apple Mac & My Family.

 


Career Paths

February 24, 2011 15:26 by Charlie


We're back with another installment of our Career Paths blog posts and this week we are delighted to have Lorraine McNicholas who works with adults with intellectual disabilities as a Community Inclusion Coordinator. Thanks to Lorraine for her contribution and don't forget to check back regularly for another installment in this series of blogposts.

 

Profile

Name: Lorraine McNicholas
Age: 35
Birthplace: Castlebar
Marital Status: Single
Children: None
Highest Education: Degree
Institutions attended: NUIM, Mater Dei Institute, Tivoli Institute
Academic achievements: Leaving Cert, Degree in Psychology, Diploma in Psychotherapy

About You

1) What is your current role? Community Inclusion Coordinator working with adults with intellectual disability

2) How did you get into your current role/ industry? Left college did some voluntary work with adults with intellectual disability, then started working with children with disabilities.

3) How many years have you been in your current role/ industry? 5 Years

4) What other roles did you do before finding your current role? Worked with children with disabilities.

5) What was the worst job you ever had? Working in the print industry as an estimator costing out print jobs.

6) Did you always want to work in your role/ industry or did you get into it late? I decided to change career direction when I was 25 and went back to college to study psychology as a full time mature student.

7) What advice would you give to other people looking to get a career in your industry? Do some voluntary work to get a ‘real-life’ insight into the work. Also consider your employability without any postgraduate education. Psychology is a general degree, if you want to specialise, you need to be prepared to do further study after your degree.

8) What do you like most about your job? The people I work with. It’s nice to work to meet peoples goals rather than to meet profit margins.

9) Anything you don’t like? Yes, often I find myself working within the constraints of very slow moving organisations like the HSE.

10) What time do you get up for work? Normally 7am

11) Where would you like to retire to? My bed!

12) Favourite website(s)? Probably facebook, though it’s fast becoming citydeals.ie

13) What would be your dream job? To be a full time florist earning lotsa cash. I’d love to be my own boss

14) What are your goals or plans for the future? To save enough to have capital to invest in my own business

15) And finally, the three luxury items you want if you were trapped on a desert island?  Tea, Sky Plus and Mascara


Career Paths

February 16, 2011 11:50 by Charlie


Following on in our new Career Paths section we have a real treat this week. Author Sheila O Flanagan has kindly agreed to give us an insight into her own career path and her success in the world of literature. Thanks to Sheila for her contribution and don't forget to check back next week for another installment on the Career Path section. We'll be doing our best to represent as many industries as possible. Enjoy!  


 

Profile
Name: Sheila O’Flanagan
Birthplace: Dublin
Highest Education: Institute of Bankers/London Stock Exchange professional qualifications

About You
1) What is your current role?
Author

2) How did you get into your current role/ industry?
By sending a novel to a publisher and signing a contract with them

3)How many years have you been in your current role/ industry?
12

4) What other roles did you do before finding your current role?
I worked in the financial services industry, primarily in the following roles:

  • Forex trader
  • Fixed income trader
  • Sovereign bond trader
  • Corporate bond trader

5) What was the worst job you ever had?
Part-time work in a hospital kitchen

6) Did you always want to work in your role/ industry or did you get into it late?
I always wanted to write but was 37 before I started on my first full-length novel

7) What advice would you give to other people looking to get a career in your industry?
Read and write a lot. I wrote lots of short stories and articles before eventually getting my book published. I also wrote course material for students sitting the Institute of Bankers exams

8) What do you like most about your job?
The creativity of writing and flexibility of setting my own hours

9) Anything you don’t like?
Sometimes the demands of related industry events (like book festivals or conferences) eat in to writing time when you least want it. Also, if you’re having a bad day, you’re generally on your own!

10) What time do you get up for work?
Between 7.30-8.30 depending on how bright it is in the morning

11) Where would you like to retire to?
I want to divide my time between Spain and Ireland with lots of travel thrown in

12) Favourite website(s)?

13) What would be your dream job?
Very fortunately for me, I’m doing it

14) What are your goals or plans for the future?
To write a screenplay (though not necessarily an adaptation of one of my own novels)

15) And finally, the three luxury items you want if you were trapped on a desert island? 

  • iPad with solar charger (I’m calling that 1 item)
  • SPF 30 moisturising sun block
  • L’Occitane shampoo