Great Final Results from EU Project


31 people completed two-week internships in Germany, Norway and Spain in the framework of the Strengthening the Capacity of Managers project and have returned glowing reports of their experiences. This project, which finished at the end of May 2015 was funded through the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme.

The aim of the project was to provide Irish-based graduates and employees with the opportunity to spend 2 weeks working at a company in Germany, Spain or Norway to practise their foreign language skills in a business environment and gain introductory first-hand knowledge of country-specific business culture. More information about the progamme can be found here.

Final Results: 


Name:  Sarah Barrett
Host Company:  IDB Deutschland GmbH
Host Country:  Germany
Internship Period: 7th December - 20th December 2014
Excerpts from her experience: “The mobility was a fantastic opportunity for me to use and refresh my German. Everyone in the office spoke German with me and were very encouraging. I think the mobility will benefit me in my career as it was very interesting to observe the workings of a marketing department in a big brand like Kerrygold. On a more practical note, I had never worked with Excel before this mobility and I have a lot more experience and confidence with such software as a result, a skill that will be easily transferable when I commence my traineeship as a solicitor. I also established some connections over in Germany and hope to keep in contact with the marketing department of IDB Deutschland. Overall, this was an excellent opportunity to visit places in Germany I had never been, expand my German vocabulary and experience and learn from a different business culture.

Name:  Laura Bowen
Host Company:  IDA Ireland
Host Country:  Germany
Internship Period:  10th August - 23rd August 2014
Excerpts from her experience: “One of the core benefits I received was the fact that I now have experiences working in a different culture. I also was able to use my German language ability on a regular basis which was one of my key goals.

Name:  Michelle Buckley
Host Company:  Munch Museum
Host Country:  Norway
Internship Period: 
Excerpts from her experience: “My vocabulary, comprehension and fluency have improved enormously, and I am far more confident with speaking. Apart from that, however, I have also gained a great insight into the culture and policies of Norwegian art institutions. From my work with audience research, I learned not only about the audience of the Munch Museum, but also about Norwegian gallery audiences in general.

It was a fascinating area to explore, and I learned a lot from the experience. In addition to my own work, however, I was given a fantastic opportunity to see the rest of the gallery departments. The museum’s ethos and work environment particularly impressed me. The other employees were very friendly, and I was delighted to get the chance to talk to them about their work. All in all, this mobility placement has really sparked my interest in Norway and the Norwegian culture/heritage sector.


Name:  Andrew Paul Desmond
Host Company:  EnergieCity Leipzig GmbH
Host Country:  Germany
Internship Period:  24th November 2014 - 5th December 2014
Excerpts from his experience: “I gained work experience in a German-language environment. This should prove very valuable because Germany is one of Ireland’s largest trading partners and a great deal of business is conducted between entities in both of these nations. I have gained confidence and proficiency in using German in a workplace environment. I learned a great deal about energy, one of the most important and changing sectors across Europe in the immediate future. I learned a great deal from Prof. Dr. Schneider, who taught me a lot about business and his career. I have gained familiarity with German business culture and norms. The experience has given me great confidence in using German professionally. It has also made the possibility of working and living in Germany very real to me.

Name:  Ciara Gilroy
Host Company:  Gabriel Rechtsanwälte
Host Country:  Germany
Internship Period: 
Excerpts from her experience: “This placement has provided me with practical experience in the field which I intend to work, this experience will be essential in securing a training contract in the future. Having studied German, this experience has definitely improved my language skills and will show employers that I have the ability to work in a German speaking environment. Also having worked abroad is extremely impressive to employers; I have experienced the working life in another country and have gained an insight into the practicalities of the German legal system.

Name:  Raymond Grennan
Host Company:  Bau-Medien-Zentrum GmbH & Co. KG
Host Country:  Germany
Internship Period:  13th April - 24th April 2015
Excerpts from his experience: “I feel that I can live in a country where English is not the primary language and manage day to day activities as well if I were in my home country. I feel that my German language skills have benefited from the experience and my confidence in general has improved as a result of this experience. I can attribute this to the seminars on various construction methods and to the group activities that I would be more than willing to seek employment in that country in the near future. I also feel that my construction knowledge has benefited from observing communication between German construction professionals and various seminars on practices and materials utilized in Germany.

Name:  Una Kelly
Host Company:  Bubblebridge Interactive
Host Country:  German
Internship Period: 
Excerpts from her experience: “I am much more confident in using my German in a professional environment. It was also very encouraging to see how successfully the founders of the company, two Irish people, had set up their company in Germany. It showed me that not being a native speaker of the country’s language need not be an impediment to professional success. I learned that there is lots of room for creativity and innovation in marketing and communications, and my eyes were opened to possible career paths I had not previously seriously considered.

Name:  Niamh Maria Leonard
Host Company:  Salesianos Atocha
Host Country:  Spain
Internship Period:  15th April - 28th April 2015
Excerpts from her experience: “My Mobility abroad has really proven to me that I have very strong interpersonal skills, I communicate easily with people from a different culture and can do so in their native language. I think that I am very adaptable to new environments and I work well in sudden spontaneous situations.

Name:  Matyas Lukacs
Host Company:  Mott Mobile Systeme GmbH & Co. KG
Host Country:  Germany
Internship Period:  27th April 2015 - 11th May 2015
Excerpts from his experience: “I have acquired a very good experience in professionally dealing with Germans in an office environment and learned new skills such as market research and gained confidence in using German in everyday situation as well as in a business environment. I believe the Mobility will enable me to qualify for better positions and potential employers will regard it as a proff of adaptability, reliability and a good work ethic.

Name:  Daniela Sanda Macrai-Macrai
Host Company:  International Formation Center, S.L.
Host Country:  Spain
Internship Period:  13th April - 24th April 2015
Excerpts from her experience: “I feel very grateful for this great opportunity I had to work in a business environment for two weeks in Spain. This programme offered me the chance to practice and improve a lot of my Spanish language by speaking Spanish every single day for the duration of my Mobility.

I could notice a big difference in my Spanish language in the first day in work and the confidence I had gained through the end of the second week by working and using Spanish on a daily basis.


Name:  Anna McInerney
Host Company:  SQlab GmbH
Host Country:  Germany
Internship Period:  4th May - 15th May 2015
Excerpts from her experience: “The two weeks that I spent in Bavaria were really worthwhile on a personal and a professional level. I got to see from the inside, that the working environment is like in a German company. I gained a better appreciation of the culture in Germany as well as an understanding of the nuanced differences in business norms. I hadn’t much experience in sales and marketing before the placement, so I was interested to find out more and I certainly learned a lot

Name:  Amy Presch
Host Company:  Norsk Folkemuseum
Host Country:  Norway
Internship Period: 
Excerpts from her experience: “My Norwegian language skills have improved considerably and I now have much more confidence communicating through Norwegian in a professional environment. I have already seen a great impact on my professional life now that I can confidently use Norwegian as my working language.

Name:  Gianluca Tuzi
Host Company:  Deutsche Handelskammer für Spanien
Host Country:  Spain
Internship Period:  3rd November - 22nd November 2014
Excerpts from his experience: “After this Mobility project, and mainly for the reason of being located in such an organised, well-accomplished organisation I have gained the knowledge of what is needed to be achieved and done in order to obtain such a job in this sector. I have gained confidence in working in such an environment such as this.

Name: Aisling Hanley, currently employed with CRH plc in Ireland 
Host Company: GMT Gummi-Metall-Technik GmbH (member of German-Irish Chamber)
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 12th - 25th May 2014
Excerpts from her experience: "I really enjoyed the total immersion in a foreign language. While many of my GMT colleagues spoke English, they all spoke German to me. My business vocabulary and confidence has improved. Being part of a family run organisation even for a short while gave me a new appreciation for some of our own acquired companies in Germany. I had so many questions about the business, the organisation structure, internal controls and about the new things that they are involved in, and everyone answered by questions very openly. I think that GMT is very familiar with having trainees (Pratikanten, Azubis) and this made the process of integrating me into the team very easy. Every tasks no matter how simple had a new learning aspect for me - for example translating the results to chilean pesos helped me understand the German way of reporting results v the international format."


Name: John O'Shea
Host Company: Peter Obsvik AS
Host Country: Norway
Internship Period: 2nd - 13th June 2014
Excerpts from his experience: "One of the great benefits I got from the Mobility abroad was the ability to actively use many of the design skills I have not had much of an opportunity to use since my initial training. I got to use a very broad set of skills during this placement and actually practicing them and achieving good results with them this has boosted my confidence to use them even more. I also benefited from observing the culture surrounding design in a country that has a longer established and more prominent design industry than my own. The method of working, pacing of work and how it is professionally practiced were strong learning points for me. I expect to begin seeking work in my host country again soon once I've prepared some things in advance. Actually practicing there has given me more confidence that my skill set and attitude to design work would be very suitable to the way of working in this part of the world."
"The host organisation is a small but very accomplished design studio based in Oslo. They have had furniture in production for over 30 years including the very famous and sucessful Tripp Trapp and Balans chairs. They still actively work on furniture, transportation and more recently developing world projects. There was no typical day in the design studio with work ranging from prototyping with wood, metal, plastics and 3D printed objects to model making, technical writing, web design, 3D modeling, sketching, concept generation and product testing. I was involved in all of these tasks during the course of my time at the host company. The contact persons in the host company were Anita Skogheim the office administrator and Per Olav Haugen the chief designer who also directed the work I was given at the company. In the German Irish Chamber I was in contact with Aideen Keenan and Fritz Lanbin Daily as I submitted my daily report to them and they regularly responded to these. In the Norsk Tysk Handelskammer my main contact was Maret Peterson who also visited the office on the final work day for a report on my activities and a meeting with Per Olav Haugen and Peter Opsvik."


Name: Douglas De Freitas Sousa 
Host Company: Primark Mode Ltd. & Co. KG
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 6th - 19th April 2014
Excerpts from his experience: "Before I decided to apply for this placement and before i accepted, I was unsure of whether or not HR was the career that I wanted. But having done this placement opened my eyes and made me realise that I had chosen the right career and that this is the direction that I want my career to go in. furthermore, I have applied for and been accepted to a masters degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management in NUI Galway, so the placement will only help with my professional life."
"The main advice I would give to other participants is make the most of the opportunity and don't let it go to waste. It is a wonderful chance to increase your network of contacts and work in a company where you might make a career in the future. Also, practice your language skills. It makes a huge difference if you know what the person who is in charge wants from you and this might surprise some people, but there is some people who speak very little to no English."
"I had the pleasure of working in the Northern European head office in Essen where i was working with the HR Executive for Northern Europe, Petra Groth. For the 2 weeks I was in Essen, I had a full schedule from day one. I have a degree in Commerce, with specialisation in HR management so therefore I was involved with all the HR activities that were happening during those two weeks....I took part in an investigative interview....traveled to Cologne with the head of training and development for a management seminar...From Cologne, we traveled to Eindhoven in the Netherlands, where took part in a trainee manager seminar ....i took part in an employment law seminar... with all the HR managers from across all the German stores...."


Name: Ufuoma Eduwaye
Host Company: GMT Gummi-Metall-Technik GmbH (member of German-Irish Chamber)
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 22nd April - 6th May 2014
Excerpts from his experience: "The Mobility gave me the chance to improve my German language by working with colleagues and communicating in the native language. The program gave me the opportunity to learn and develop myself in many areas of finance. A lot of the task and activities under taken during the internship gave me better insight into the practical aspect of finance which Istudied in University and the area I will love to pursue in the future. Since doing my Mobility I have a great insight into Account Receivables, Payables and credit control function in an organisation. My German language has improved in relation to financial concepts, words and vocabulary and IK am getting more interviews now for German related roles. The experience has been very rewarding both in my personal and professional life that I am now focused and know the direction I want to go in my profession. Working in Germany is one of my goals now and developing both my finance qualification with German language is an area that i am looking into currently."


Name: Monica Morkowska
Host Company: 
IP- / IP- / IP- / IP- /
Host Country: 
Internship Period: 9th - 23rd June 2014
Excerpts from her experience: "The most important benefit is language which improved during 2 weeks abroad. I will keep in touch with people I met there and talk to them in German"
"I spent most of my [free] time with Marie. I was living in her apartment. We went for concerts. There was a Bach festival in Leipzig. She showed me the city. We also went for a bicycle trip in Leipzig and then outside Leipzig. I also went to GAPGAP gallery to see an exhibition of the young artist. I met there many people and practiced German."
"Host organization: IP Dialog, IP Share Media. This is a consultancy company. The company sells knowledge. The employees are all over the world. The main products of the company are TS Cluster and Stand at Leipzig's Fair....Everyday activities: writing posts for company website, attending seminars, preparing marketing information, leaflets etc."


Name: Daniyar Sagatov
Host Company: 
Paul Schuster GmbH
Host Country: 
Internship Period: 4th -16th May 2014
Excerpts from his experience: "There are two main benefits that I have gained from this experience: the opportunity to practice and improve my language skills and the experience of visiting and living in Germany. The chance to improve my language skills as well as the confidence gained when speaking the target language has been priceless. I feel that I can better express myself in the German language, but more importantly I had the opportunity to learn and understand a new dialect. At first it was very hard to understand many of the people that I was in contact with as the pace at which they speak is much quicker and backed by a much deeper tone made it very hard to understand. The personal gains that I have made in terms of knowledge and experience have been also immeasurable. The placement gave me a new life experience for which I am very grateful. The insight into the German culture and life has been great. I have learned many new things and experience first hand the German lifestyle."


Name: Gary Ivie
Host Company: CJS Consulting
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 16th - 27th June 2014
Excerpts from his experience: " CJS Consulting is a consultancy firm, which advises clients on business matters such as taking out a loan or setting up a business. Th everyday activities of the firm were meetings with clients, preparing business plans, and checking documentation. The specific tasks I undertook were designing an English course for boxing managers and researching how to found a limited company in Ireland and England. Additionally I accompanied my coworkers to meetings with clients."
"The benefits that I have gained from m mobility abroad are increased confidence in my German language and communication skills and practical experience of working in a foreign country. The impact I expect this to have on my professional life is to increase my my employability. The impact I expect this to have on my personal life is an increased appreciation for the German language and people." 


Name: Sarah McSweeney
Host Company: MELCHERS Rechtsanwälte Partnergesellschaft mbB
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 26th June - 05th July 2014
Excerpts from her experience: " I am much more confident in my use of German in professional environments. I have applied for several jobs needing German skills in Ireland on the basis of my now improved German skill I feel much more confident in applying for these jobs, which I am hoping will help my applications This has very much broadened the realm of opportunities open to me for my career I have made contacts in an German law firm that I hope to hold on to I plan eventually to continue with my studies by completing a LLM in Germany"


Name: Michelle Tighe
Host Company: Primark Mode Ltd. & Co. KG
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 22nd June - 07th July 2014
Excerpts from her experience: "I applied for this program in order to understand how a business in another country functions. I have previously done internships in Irish companies and I studied culture in college, so I wanted to practically apply my knowledge and learn new aspects that I was previously unaware of. After returning to Ireland I now have time to reflect and after my brief stay in Essen I could see myself living in Germany. The program allowed me to create contacts and learn more about the business."


Name: Chloe Kearney
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 29th June - 11th July 2014
Excerpts from her experience: " Linguistically I benefited hugely, I am more confident speaking and generally engaging in everyday conversation. I also feel I have more awareness of German business culture i.e the importance SMEs place on state organisations such as the IHK in every state. I got to meet many different types of business people through my employer's links. Some have expressed that I could easily find a suitable job in Germany for example in the Auswaertiges Amt. I feel it was a unique opportunity which will stand out on my CV for many reasons."
"I visited many areas around Magdeburg including a nearby lake. I also went on a daytrip to Dresden. This was really worthwhile as I visited all of the main touristic sights and have thought about visiting again and even living there. During the week I often went for dinner with my employer and her friends or business counterparts. My host family were very hospitable and integrated me easily into their lives."


Name: Gareth Enright
Host Company: IP- / IP- / IP- / IP- /
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 17th August - 31st August 2014
Excerpts from his experience: " These two items I am sure will help to strengthen my C.V when looking for future employment opportunities."- about the Certificate of attendance and Europass
"The benefits gained were as follows: * Improved my German language skills and cultural awareness * Improved self confidence * It was very beneficial to experience a different way of working to my current place of work * Knowledge gained on specific software packages such as: wordpress and sharepoint, this knowledge will help to enhance my future career opportunities.* Made new friends and contacts in a different European country which will improve my business and personal network".
"In my free time I socialised with the company owner and also with the other housemates in the accomodation that I was staying in.(...) All of these activities improved my cultural experience and language learning opportunities."
"On the whole the programme was a very worthwhile activity which strengthened my business knowledge, technical competence and self confidence. I would highly reccomend this programme to prospective participants."


Name: Philip Doyle
Host Company: Norsk Folkmuseum
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 18th August - 29th August 2014
Excerpts from his experience: " This was tremendously useful and accurate in every detail."- about the Culture Workshop
"From beginning to end I was consulted on every aspect of the placement. I was given constant support and when the placement was offered I had complete confidence in every aspect of the travel,work and what was required of me by the host organisation."
"I have gained a valuable insight into working and business culture outside Ireland. I can now approach other Norwegian/ Scandinavian companies with the confidence that I have achieved something in another country in a language that is not my mother tongue."


Name: Hannah-Sioux Daly
Host Company: International Formation Center
Host Country: Spain
Internship Period: 22nd September - 03rd October 2014
Excerpts from her experience: " My general Spanish undoubtedly benefited from the practice but moreover I learnt new technical terms and phrases specific to the work environment, to accounting, etc. I also gained valuable insight into a different type of company, one whose ultimate aim includes cross-border mobility for European citizens. I experienced another business culture. I hope this experience will stand to show adaptability on my part to any potential future employers. Travelling abroad to live alone for even that relatively short period has given me greater confidence in myself and my abilities and a new resilience."


Name: Fujita Takeaki
Host Company: Autoeurope Deutschland GmbH
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 13th October - 24th October 2014
Excerpts from his experience: "This experience of working abroad will help improve my CV by showing my flexibility as an employee. I learned more about the diverse career paths one can take in their lifetime by conversing with senior staff members. I am more confident after completing the Mobility that I will be able to adapt to different work environments and industries."
"My advice for any future participants is to fully embrace the experience and to not be afraid to talk to fellow staff members. Make as many new contacts as you can during this incredible opportunity abroad. Also, if you find free time and the opportunity to do so, do explore your host city/country in order to get a personal feel for the host country - you may decide that you want to work in that country in the future!"


Name: Kathy Molly
Host Company: Autoeurope Deutschland GmbH
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 13th October - 24th October 2014
Excerpts from her experience: "I explored the area and looked for restaurants which specialised in the local Bavarian cuisine and some interesting old buildings such as churches. I also went into the city to have a look around and take a few pictures, as well as to find some small gifts to bring home to my family. Sometimes I would speak to other tourists and tell them about my experiences in Germany. Of course I didn't get to see everything, and so I have a reason to visit Munich again in the hopefully near future."
"The Mobility programme is an amazing chance to learn and discover."


Name: Lorcan Garvey
Host Company: Modl GmbH
Host Country: Germany
Internship Period: 20th October - 31st October 2014
Excerpts from his experience:  "This mobility has and will continue to be an integral part of my C.V and help to quantify my language skills even further than before. I mean that when I go for interviews now I can not only point to my German studies in school and university but also the fact that I have lived and worked in Germany now also."


Name: Maria Neonaki
Host Company: Salesianos Atocha
Host Country: Spain
Internship Period: 10th October - 21st November 2014
Excerpts from her experience:  "My personal goal is to become a teacher and especially in Spain. I am applying for teaching jobs in Spain at the moment. So my mobility was exactly what I am looking for right now for my career. I gain a lot of experience in being a teacher. It was my first time in a big classroom so I needed this experience to a very high extent in order to be considered for teaching jobs. Plus as living in Spain is one of my goals this mobility will help my a lot in my future, at least that is what I want to believe."


Name: Frank O'Dea
Host Company: Salesianos Atocha
Host Country: Spain
Internship Period: 10th October - 21st November 2014
Excerpts from his experience:  "The main benefits included being part of the teaching staff in a large school. We were exposed to the day to day dynamics in a very busy educational establishment."
" I visited most of the main tourist attractions in Madrid, including the Royal palace, cathedral, museums etc. I also took the opportunity of travelling to the magnificent city of Seville during the week-end."


More information about this programme is available here. 


For more information contact aideen.keenan(at) or telephone 00353-(0)1-6424330.