Sara Sue left Peru for Ireland in 2012. She has a background in Business Management, Systems Engineering plus seven years of experience as an IT consultant. “With my experience I thought it was going to be easy to find a job, but I was wrong.”
She experienced a variety of challenges trying to adapt to life in Ireland such as her lack of networks. “Moving to Ireland was a very big change. At the beginning I didn’t have connections, friends or the opportunity to work and to be productive, so, I was totally dependent of my partner.” In the meantime, she kept busy and continued her training improving her skills. “I took some training online to keep upskilling accordingly with the current needs of the labour market.”
She had experience working in English for the North American market, and yet she struggled with Irish culture differences as she became aware that she needed to adapt to the new environment.
In 2013 she joined the EPIC Programme and learned about CV standards in Ireland. “Before starting the programme, I was questioning myself professionally because all the job applications I sent were rejected and not getting into any interview stage. After the program, I stopped questioning my capacity and experience as a professional and started to understand why my job applications did not get any answers.”
One of the most valuable teachings she learned through the EPIC Program was the cultural difference existing between Peru and Ireland.
Business in the Community Ireland’s networks with companies was key for Sara Sue’s progression into employment. “The mock interview provided by CPL was definitely one of the most valuable experiences I went through with the programme. It allowed me to learn what recruiters expect from candidates and I kept using all those tips I have learned over the years.”
While she was attending the EPIC training, she applied for a job, got to the interview stage and at the end of the training she was hired by a leading ICT company in her area of expertise. Five years later she is working for another leading company in Ireland “What I appreciate the most from my current role, is the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures.”
Sara Sue keeps collaborating with the EPIC Programme delivering peer talks for different groups in training, sharing her experience and providing tips that could assist them in their job seeking. “I believe that having the support of the EPIC Program allowed me to get my first job in Ireland and it was a life changing experience.”
Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) specialises in providing advice and guidance to leading companies on corporate responsibility and sustainability and also works in education and employment. Regarding employment, BITCI runs programmes tackling issues on integration and social inclusion working with businesses, the government and the non-profit sector. The EPIC Programme support immigrants to become economically independent and more socially integrated in Ireland. Participants develop job seeking skills through pre-employment training, one-to-one support and work experience opportunities. Since its inception in 2008, over 3,200 people from 101 nationalities have engaged with the services. 67% of clients have secured employment or entered training or volunteering positions.
More information is available at: https://www.bitc.ie/business-action-programmes/business-action-on-employment/are-you-a-jobseeker/