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 River LiffeyWe1266052[1]‘ve interviewed Margaret Purdy, the Owner and Director of INTERNSPLUS and a member of WYSE Travel Confederation. Margaret shared their success story with us and explained the importance of a good internship.

Tell us your story. How did your business get started? INTERNSPLUS was formed in 2012 having identified a need for an agency that focused on arranging quality professional internships for young people. In today’s highly competitive job market it has never been more essential for a young person to have practical experience as well as a Degree to make them stand out and attract a potential employer. An internship in an English speaking country such as Ireland equips them with improved English language skills, increased professional knowledge, business networking opportunities and an awareness of living and working in another European country. Dublin, where we are located is home to many multinational companies who have their European headquarters here, it is therefore the ideal destination for any young person hoping to get a start on their career.

What are your IMG_9312unique selling points? What makes you different? Our focus is on getting the perfect internship matching the applicants previous skills and training and taking into account their requests, we also offer a total support system throughout the internship, regularly checking in with the intern and company to ensure the internship is going well. We have a database of over 800 companies across a wide range of sectors that we continually work with and know that the intern will be taken care of and have a good internship experience. We also offer accommodation in carefully selected Irish host families who offer a ‘home from home’ atmosphere thus enhancing the whole internship experience.

What are some of your success stories? Approx. 20% of our yearly interns end up getting job offers in their internship company and relocating to Ireland, so we feel extremely proud that we were responsible for making this happen and perhaps changing a young person’s life. For the last two years we have also worked closely with Dublin Institute of Technology, arranging internships for their Brazilian undergraduates who were in Ireland on the Science without Borders programme.

What are your future plans? We are about to launch a new website aimed at offering Spring and Summer internships to American and Canadian students for 2017. We are already working with a College in the US, who have been sending us interns since 2013. Other markets we plan on entering for 2017 are young people who qualify for a Working Holiday visa to Ireland, these countries are Australia, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan,South Korea and New Zealand, so 2017 is looking very exciting.IMG_9304

Which trends do you see in types of programmes you offer? Many companies are now using an internship as a way of recruiting a potential employee, the internship gives them the chance to assess their capabilities and see, will they be agood fit for their company. This is one of the reasons some of the big companies have a special Graduate Intake programme at certain times of the year, whereby they offer internships to several trainees with the added value that some of them will end up getting a permanent job after they complete theinternship. Europe is very much following America on this trend as it has been the norm there for quite some time.

What activities outside of work do you offer for young people? We work with two of the biggest tour companies in Ireland and can offer a range of discounted tours/trips in Dublin and outside Dublin to places like Galway, Belfast, Cork, Kilkenny to all our interns. We also put them in touch with other interns, so they have a social network. If we are receiving a group, we can design a cultural programme, which can be included in the internship stay as well as English language course and host family accommodation.

What support is provided for young people joining your programmes? Internship is confirmed in advance before the applicants leave their home country, together with the accommodation details and contact information for the host family. We provide airport transfers and a free phone sim card and local tourist information. The orientation meeting is provided during the first few days after arrival, where full information is given about the company, dress code, directions, contact person etc. as well as general information about transport, banks, doctors etc. Emergency 24 hr help line as well as office emails, mobiles and landline numbers available. Regular contact is maintained throughout the internship for quality purposes.

What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation? We are very familiar with WYSE having attended their workshops and networking events over the years, we were always impressed with the calibre of the members and the professional support of WYSTC staff. It is important for us to be part of such renowned organisation and keep up to date with all the latest trends and information in the Youth Travel industry, being a member also helps us to continually improve our services, expand our professional network and establish our brand on a global stage. We are proud to be members and look forward to meeting new and old friends at next year’s events.

For more information about INTERNSPLUS visit experience std. (1)

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