Today was a real test of patience. We were extremely humbled after over a week of beautiful weather and spent a lot of the day standing at bus stops in the rain. However, that’s Ireland, and we made the most of it and sang some songs.
Aside from singin’ in the rain, we had a lecture taught by Rob Cullen on networking. Many of the techniques that he discussed can be used anywhere in the world, specifically the ones on getting to know people and making connections for future uses, even if they don’t seem of use now. I do think the emphasis on relationship building and really learning all you can about a person is more Ireland focused. In America, as a whole, we have less personal-based relationships in the business world and sometimes focus more on the business benefits rather than simply getting to know someone. That being said, I think that technique of minimizing the business transaction of networking and focusing just on getting to know someone on a personal level and making yourself memorable is a technique that I will use. I find that I am able to better present myself when I talk about who I am as a person and my interests rather than my academic and professional successes. I think nowadays, it is more about the type of person and less about skills that employers look for in candidates. Another technique that is important is listening rather than talking. It is much better to be thought of as “wow, that person really listened to what I had to say and was interested in learning about me” rather than “wow, that person wouldn’t stop talking about themselves.” Being a good listener is an extremely important trait in conducting business and building strong relationships.
It was a busy day and after our lecture at Griffith College we grabbed lunch then started our long trek to Auxilion, an IT consulting company. As a tech company, the only way to stay relevant is to stay up to date on technology. Technology is constantly changing and if you’re not on top of the changes, or even ahead of the changes, you can easily lose relevancy quickly. In their presentation they really emphasized their people aspect within their company, and I think that’s how they stayed relevant. They really focus on the types of people they employ and make sure their employees are ones who can build strong relationships rather than just solving the customer’s problem and leaving. I think this importance of finding the right people and treating their people right is something that we have seen throughout the other companies. I feel like the U.S. is a little behind on the “treating employees right” aspect of running a business and Ireland is able to draw so many people in because they are home to companies that put the interests of their employees first, knowing this will create a more enjoyable and productive workplace.