Tanya joined Junior Achievement in 2016 as Programme Coordinator for South County Dublin. She previously had a successful career in the Marketing Industry. With a degree in Marketing and an executive diploma in Digital Marketing, Tanya spent four years in Whistler, British Columbia. Upon her return to Dublin she gained experience working with the Diageo portfolio of brands. Tanya was inspired to join the JA team after interning with us in 2008, while completing her degree course.
East & Dublin
If you've ever watched the programme 'Dragon's Den' then you'll know just how hard it can be to impress the dragons. Sometimes the budding entrepreneurs find themselves leaving the room with nothing. But occasionally the ideas are so good, the bidding gets quite competitive with the investors rushing to invest in the new business ideas.
And that's exactly what happened at the AIB/Junior Achievement Ireland 'Invest in Me' event with a group of schoolchildren in 4th, 5th and 6th class in Scoil Chaitríona on Baggot Street in Dublin.
The 20 students came into Bankcentre and worked with 10 AIB volunteers to design new business ideas based around the four Ps of marketing - Product, Price, Promotion and Place. These ideas ranged from an educational Rubik's cube, a GPS high visibility safety jacket to an intuitive speaking word scanner for visually impaired people.
"The level of presentations showed that the kids really worked hard on the product design, the research and also on their presentation skills," says Eoghan O'Neill of Corporate Banking and one of the dragons for the day.
"We dragons found ourselves fighting over each investment looking to outbid each other which was a great endorsement of the quality of the ideas. All the days of hard work building up to the eventual presentation to the dragons really showed on the day and most importantly it was great fun."
Another dragon was Colm 'The Gooch' Cooper, AIB's Youth Ambassador and of Kerry GAA, while James McCarthy of AIB F&L and Dublin GAA also gave encouragement to the students on the day.
"We aimed to create a fun environment for kids to learn and develop under the mentorship of AIB's fantastic volunteer base," explains Stephen McGurn, AIB's liaison partner for Junior Achievement Ireland. "Overall, the morning was a resounding success and we look forward to more events and programmes in the future for the 2016-2017 academic year."
AIB has been a long standing supporter of JAI and we celebrated 20 years of collaboration this year. Every year around 50 to 60 staff across all areas of AIB visit schools throughout the country delivering programmes designed by JAI.
Interview skills was top of the list for another AIB/JAI event when AIB hosted an Employability Skills Workshop for Marion College, a secondary school just behind AIB Bankcentre. This programme developed the techniques for those all-important future job interviews for a group of 25 students.
Citi, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1 was the venue for a very special event on 11th November as 29 students from three Dublin schools were joined by the business volunteers who had worked as their mentors, and their special guests Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin & Jim Gavin, Dublin GAA Manager, to mark the completion of their 18 month Career Academies programme.
In welcoming the Minister, Jim Gavin and each guest, Cathal O’Daly on behalf of Citi, outlined the organisation’s ongoing commitment to its corporate and social responsibility programming. “At Citi we are particularly committed to promoting the value of education and I’m delighted to be joined by so many like-minded leaders here today. When it comes to our involvement in Junior Achievement, we have seen the benefits at first-hand for our staff as well as the students as they enjoy working through all of the well-designed activities together. The learning outcomes are clear for both the student and the volunteer. It’s a win-win for all involved.”
Formally opening the event, Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, T.D. congratulated the students, teachers and mentors and all of the supporting organisations involved in the Junior Achievement Career Academies programme 2013-2015. The Minister told the gathering: “As a former teacher and school principal, I .”have seen at first-hand how responsive young people can be when given an opportunity to shine. I am delighted therefore, to be here today to recognise each of the 29 students who, when given the chance to participate in this fantastic initiative, took maximum advantage
In concluding his remarks the Minister wished each student every success in the future and paid special tribute to the volunteer mentors who had shown such commitment and dedication to completing the programme with their students over the course of the two school years.
The overall aims of the JA Career Academies initiative are to help students to recognise their potential, to develop and increase their employability skills, support their academic work and introduce them to the world of work. The programme runs over two school years and the 2013-2015 cohort comprises thirty students from St. Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick St, Loreto College Crumlin and Cabinteely Community School.
Reflecting on their experiences, a number of students addressed the audience to thank the mentors and the many supporting organisations involved, which had enabled all of the students selected to enjoy participating in what one student described as a ‘life-changing’ programme.
On behalf of the teachers and participating schools, Mary Kelleher from Loreto Crumlin thanked all of the supporting organisations and the mentors and had a special word of praise for Junior Achievement Ireland: “Our responsibility to our students is to ensure they gain access to as many educational opportunities as possible so that they can develop their own skills and interests as the basis for a fulfilling career. Working with JAI we know the business volunteer will be well-trained and well-briefed. From my perspective I see the girls grow up as they progress through second level and those lucky enough to be involved in the Career Academies programme gain hugely from the experience.”
Cecilia Ronan, Chief Administrative Officer, Citi congratulated every graduate and presented each with a certificate of completion, and commended every one of the mentors for their willingness to get involved.
His keynote address illustrated why Jim Gavin, Dublin GAA Football Manager is regarded as one of the best managers of his generation – his inspirational words and messages of encouragement to the students and their families left everyone in attendance feeling hugely positive. Every graduate was told by the guest of honour: “you have shown your commitment to your own success by completing the Career Academies programme. I really hope you can lodge the confidence gained in your memory banks and know that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to – be resilient, be determined, work with the positive influences around you and you will succeed." His parting entreaty to all the guests was a fitting way to formally close the CA 2013-15 programme: "Be the best you can be.”
Many thanks again to all involved especially the following JAI-supporting organisations, without whose support CA 2013-15 could not have run: 3M, A & L Goodbody, Accenture, AIB, Astra Zeneca, AXA, Barclays, BNY Mellon, Careworks, Cartrawler, Certus, Citi, Cpl, Dell, JLL, LeasePlan, Leo Pharma, LinkedIn, Lisney, Microsoft, Pioneer Investments, Salesforce, Sherry Fitzgerald, StateStreet, Sunday Business Post and TV3.
AIG continues its global support of Junior Achievement through a generous grant and JA Ireland has been chosen as one of the 19 recipients! JA will use the grant to teach hundreds primary school students in schools across Dublin this year in work readiness, entrepreneurship and personal finance programmes. As part of the partnership AIG employees will engage as dedicated classroom teachers and capstone volunteers as well as support other special events held by JAI throughout the year.
Pfizer Grange Castle kindly invited 15 sixth year Leaving Cert Applied students from Deansrath Community College in Clondalkin onsite to meet Pfizer Grange Castle’s staff who gave up their time to help the students develop a professional edge in interview skills and techniques.
Students sat a mock job interview and received invaluable feedback from the Pfizer professionals. Working in groups the students also practiced their decision-making skills by solving workplace problems. Students gained a valuable insight into the kind of job opportunities available to them in organisations like Pfizer.
Deirdre Reilly, teacher at Deansrath Communty College, said "it was an absolutely fantastic opportuntity for the students to see such an interesting workplace and they gained a lot of confidence from interacting with Pfizer Grange Castle staff." Many thanks to the Pfizer Grange Castle volunteers on the day.