Top entrepreneurs to take 24 graduates under their wing

20 Sep 2010

Some 24 graduates will be given three months of tutelage by some of Ireland’s top entrepreneurs, including Jolt’s Dylan Collins, and if they are lucky, may be in with a chance obtaining full-time jobs.

The graduates will be awarded internships with the finalists of this year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

The internships are being offered for a minimum period of three months, and will give the budding business people a rare glimpse into the working lives of an entrepreneur – and a chance to impress them enough to be kept on.

The entrepreneurs listed this year include Dylan Collins of Jolt Online, Brian Conlon of First Derivatives, Conrad Burke of Innovalight and Dan Byrne of Lincor Solutions.

“We are delighted to be the drivers behind this unique employment opportunity for Irish graduates,” said Frank O’Keeffe, partner-in-charge, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year.

“The internship period will take place over 2011, and the competition is open to all graduates, including third-level students now starting their final year – and looking for some never-to-be-repeated high-end job experience.”

New website

Candidates can apply through the new-look Entrepreneur Of The Year website, where they will find profiles of each of the entrepreneurs and sound bites outlining exactly the qualities they’re looking for in their individual interns.

It’s worth noting that graduates in any discipline are welcome to apply as the companies run by the 24 entrepreneur finalists operate across a wide range of business sectors – from healthcare to food production, from solar energy to hospitality, dental health and online gaming,” said O’Keeffe.

The most in-depth way of choosing an entrepreneur is to follow the series of three weekly programmes profiling the Entrepreneur of the Year finalists, the first of which is screened on RTE 1 on Friday, 1 October  at 7.30pm.

The programmes will follow each of the entrepreneurs, looking at how they set up and developed their businesses, how they run them on a day-to-day basis, and how they innovate, compete and win in a difficult business environment.

The series is being screened in the run-up to the televised awards ceremony on Thursday, 21 October, at which one winner will be chosen in each of three categories, emerging, industry and international – and the overall Entrepreneur Of The Year will be named.

Having done their research into the entrepreneurs, the intern candidates must then select just one entrepreneur as the person they would most like to work with and learn from – submitting a CV online, along with a maximum 500-word pitch outlining the value they feel they would add to that entrepreneur’s business. The closing date for applications for the internships is Friday, 19 November.

Each entrepreneur will shortlist candidates from among the applicants for interview – and the lucky winners will be notified before the end of the year. The internships are for three months, and any extension of that period is at the entrepreneurs’ discretion.

“Their participation in this new initiative is welcomed and is unquestionably a win win for both the company and successful intern alike. The introduction of new talent to any organisation provides an opportunity to further energise a business”, said Tom Hayes, Entrepreneurship and Human Resources, Enterprise Ireland.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years