THE boss of one of the Mid-West region's biggest employers has advised students to put themselves "out of their comfort zone" when thinking about future careers.
Catherine Duffy, GM of Northern Trust, who employ over 900 people at its Limerick site, was speaking ahead of the StudentLife Summit in the University of Limerick this Friday, which is estimated at being one of the biggest careers gatherings ever held in the Mid-West.
Over 1,000 students are expected to attend the Northern Trust sponsored careers event which takes place at the University Concert Hall in UL and is being held in association with the Bank of Ireland, Regeneron and the Defence Forces.
"One piece of advice I would give all students today is to ask loads of questions but also put yourself outside of your comfort zone, do something you have never done before, try something new, ask questions about it, learn about it and then you can make an informed choice to see, I like this or I don’t like this," said Ms Duffy.
"If you don’t go out of your comfort zone you will never know what’s that thing going to be like and you’ll be thinking all the time, I should‘ve done that. Don’t ever have that thought I should’ve done that. Go for it and do it," added the Northern Trust boss.
Billed as one of most innovative career guidance events of the year, it will see students meet and explore career options with employers, business leaders and innovators as well attend a range of inspirational talks from captains of industry.
Niall O’Leary, vice-president and site head for industrial operations and product supply in Limerick for Regeneron, which recently announced 300 additional jobs for Limerick, said that his top piece of advice was for young people to be "resilient".
"The most important trait or attribute to have is resilience. You’re going to come up against adversity in life, you’re going to fail and that’s fine but the most important thing is to pick yourself up and drive on again,” he said.
"Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do something. When you get hit with adversity view it as learning, move on and you will succeed. Also, failure is okay. In fact with companies fail often, fail fast, move on, it strengthens you, it gives you a better understanding of life and trust me you will succeed."
Conor Gilligan, CEO of another major local employer Roadbridge said that his top advice was to make the most of education.
"My advice to students is to equip yourself with knowledge and use that knowledge, stay with the education system, learn as much as you can. When you go into employment you must know everything about the business that you’re in and that is how you will succeed in business," he explained.
Bank of Ireland Senior Leadership & Talent Manager Stuart Woods advised students to "grow your network".
"We are always told to not to speak to strangers, I’d encourage you to speak to strangers, ask them what they do, what they’re about, be curious. They are a friend you just haven’t met yet. These people might be the avenue to a new job, new opportunity, so broaden the amount of people that you know and the amount of people that know you," he outlined.