The InterTradeIreland Graduate programme allows you to work with a leading SME on the island – offering exciting and diverse opportunities to match your ambition. These companies are carefully selected by InterTradeIreland and include some of the leading innovative SMEs North and South.
Each year we support companies to actively recruit around 60 graduates from across the island, into project leadership roles through the programme from within the science, engineering and technology disciplines. Many of our graduates now hold key senior positions within these same companies.
Two years after completion, Mackle Snacks continue to benefit from the Fusion project through the Quality & Product Development processes put in place during the programme strengthening our position in the snacks market to become recognised as an ‘innovation partner’ within the snacks industry. As a graduate, the Fusion programme opened many doors for me in terms of gaining a permanent management role within Mackle, earning my Post-Graduate Diploma in Business & Management and introducing me to many contacts within the food industry, including our academic partner, Michael from St Angela’s Food Technology Centre, whose passion for this area has been both inspirational and invaluable. I would have no hesitation recommending the Fusion programme for any company with a keen ambition to drive success through innovation.
The FUSION programme and my project has provided me with invaluable insight and experience as a newcomer to the food industry. The programme has given me an excellent opportunity to work at management level and contribute to this dynamic and rapidly-expanding business using newly acquired skills and knowledge.
A Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Management from the William J. Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen’s University Belfast was another huge benefit of the programme. Modules included Strategy, Finance and Human Resource Management; and all were hugely applicable and beneficial to my role in the company. Academic mentors, knowledge centre staff and University lecturers were motivated and enthusiastic throughout the project, and always available to help in any way.
I have been offered a permanent position in my partner company and I will continue to grow in my role and career with thanks to the skills gained from my FUSION programme. I highly recommend the FUSION programme to any recent graduates looking to further their career, or anyone looking to change their career direction.
The FUSION project involved the company I work for, ABC Nutrition, partnering with the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) in the University of Ulster. I worked for ABC, as an InterTradeIreland and Queen’s University Belfast Graduate, for the 12 month duration of the project, which was completed in 2015, and I have since been offered a role as a product developer with the company. I am very happy working here as a valued member of the team at ABC Nutrition.
Through the course modules I have gained experience in market analysis, project management and nutritional science literature review. Having a Postgraduate degree in Business Management is a fantastic achievement to have and something you can take with you worldwide. I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity to partake in this course and I would highly recommend it.
I found the FUSION programme to be challenging but very rewarding. Reflecting on the experience, the QUB Business & Management course inspired me to think about business topics while I gained new knowledge and perspectives on how a business operates in its environment. The company placement provided the opportunity to apply the QUB course theory and learning while gaining valuable career and project management experience. In summary, I am now in a full time role in my placement company. I have a new set of business skills that are transferable to any company. I have been inspired and have found new motivation for business issues and actions. I have gained confidence and competence in dealing with business issues. I feel ready to take the next steps in my career. Combining my experience, skills, and motivation, I feel I have a competitive advantage to offer any employer. This is evidenced by the Graduate Diploma and by winning the Mary Breslin Award.
The FUSION programme has had an immense and immediate impact on my career. Within one year of starting the FUSION Programme, I could demonstrate that I had designed and delivered a transformative programme of innovative technical and organisational change in my place of work. This led to me being invited to lecture in IT Project Management and to gaining additional professional certifications as a Software Architect and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. I am now a Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer teaching MBA classes in Innovation, IT Management and Cloud Computing while also leading the design, validation and delivery of innovative academic programmes to rapidly deliver graduates to meet the skills gap in the high growth field of Data Science and Analytics. None of this would have been possible without the FUSION Programme and its professionally managed approach of placing candidates into leadership positions in innovative companies and supporting the entire process with a very practical and applied Post Graduate Diploma in Business and Management.
The FUSION experience provided a huge number of positive outcomes. The programme was structured in such a way to ensure the maximum benefits were taken from it, with myself, the company and the university all benefiting together through the joined effort and teamwork ethos.
I can’t imagine being able to acquire the quantity and quality of experience over a two year period in any other company / project. It has given me a thorough insight into how an SME operates, this was gained in a two pronged approach, with school learning and experiential learning occurring side by side. I would recommend any graduate to consider the project as an option of continual development.
The aim of my role at Mash Direct was to design bespoke, nutritious and flavoursome product range taking the products through from concept to launch with an emphasis on food safety while implementing “a market led NPD model”/innovation culture.
One of the main features that attracted me to the FUSION program was the opportunity to gain "hands -on" experience while backing this up with accredited courses and certificates. Another aspect that I thoroughly enjoyed was the Post Graduate Diploma, it allowed me to learn about a totally new subject area but also gave me the chance to avail of expert teaching and support from Queen’s University Belfast. Throughout the project I have made many contacts and forged working relationships within the food industry and academia sectors, these relationships will undoubtly prove to be vital in the progression of my career in the future. My time on the FUSION program has exposed me to the food industry at an accelerated rate and on completion of the project helped me to secure my new position as Technical Manager at Mash Direct, I believe that without FUSION I would not be in the position I am now.
The FUSION graduate program has paved the way for me to develop from a student to a professional. The program provided me with the training I required to quickly settle into my new role. As a Graduate Engineer with OxyMem, I have had the opportunity to travel extensively which is something most young graduates want as part of their job description. The post-graduate diploma was really enjoyable and is a big step towards gaining Chartered Engineer status. One aspect of the course was Project Management, which is a career path I now wish to pursue in the future.
Great opportunity to kick-start my career. Pleasure to work with field experts in manufacturing and engineering (Trinity College Dublin) and software development (UC Berkeley). Developed a new on the island of Ireland system that actually had tangible impact on the business. Traveled to Trade Shows (EMO Hannover 2013). Part time course and finally a Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Management. Great follow-up career progression in high level automation.
Being part of the FUSION programme has been a hugely rewarding experience. FUSION has not only helped with my professional career development but also played a huge role in my personal development. The opportunity to work and learn at the same time is fantastic. Within the programme you lead a real life project that you personally are responsible for but also have a wealth of support available to you. This is very valuable experience that has taught me a lot. The option to integrate with different academic centres and meet a wide variety of people has also been brilliant.
Over my time of being involved in the FUSION programme I have developed many skills that have been beneficial to my career progression. I have been involved in all stages of a software product's life cycle and have been able to develop my knowledge and skills within each of these areas. Being able to attend a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management has helped me understand all stages of management and has also allowed me to interact with other graduates involved within the FUSION programme and speak about each other's experiences.