So Owen, tell us a little about yourself?
My name’s Owen McCrudden, I’m originally from Donegal and I’ve been in the eShopWorld graduate programme for 3 months now. It’s been a flying start and I’ve learned so much already in a short space of time here. My daily commute is quite pleasant because given Swords’ location, I’m generally going the opposite direction to the hectic citybound traffic – ideal when you like a lie-in in the mornings.
I originally studied Digital Media & Business in Maynooth University but loved the college lifestyle so much that I decided to extend it with a Postgrad. I did a Masters in Electronic Commerce in DCU, which was perfect preparation for a job in the area. I feel like eCommerce is a very exciting space to be in right now and is always growing. The good thing about eShopWorld is that you’re working with some of the biggest brands in the world and seeing how they operate firsthand – which is invaluable exposure at the start of your career.
In terms of hobbies, I enjoy music and football. I wasn’t the most gifted at either but appreciate when they’re done well by others.
Tell us a little about your average day in eShopWorld?
I’d struggle to describe an average day here because no two days are the same. I’m working on a couple of really exciting projects at the moment and have been given a great level of responsibility early on. I’ve also been given amazing mentorship and support which has been helpful in the daunting transition from college to the real world. Working in the Client Relationship Management side of things, I’ve been working closely with huge brands that I’ve known and admired my whole life which is pretty cool.
What skills/technologies have you picked up since you started?
I’ve been learning a lot about agile methodology and how it can be utilized effectively within a business. For this to work, it requires a great deal of collaboration, so I’ve been working closely with developers and trying my best to pick up some of their lingo and better understand the technical work that they do too. I’ve definitely seen a big improvement in my communication and teamwork skills.
Tell us about the culture in eShopWorld?
The culture here is very much one of a growing company. Everybody is really open to new ideas, meaning that you have a great opportunity to put your stamp on the business and there’s always something exciting going on (which often involves pizza and beer). The sports and social club have organized fun team events like footgolf and escape rooms – and are always open to new suggestions. The nights out are always a laugh too, everybody is really sound.
What have you enjoyed the most about the programme so far?
The high level of responsibility that I was given from the start initially felt like a challenge. Upon reflection though, this was probably the ideal way to learn because you’re forced to throw yourself in at the deep end and pick up things fast. As you increase in confidence, this level of responsibility starts to look less like a challenge and more like an opportunity.
One thing I love about ESW is their commitment to fulfilling corporate social responsibility. This Halloween, the graduates were given the opportunity to take part in Trick or Treat for Temple Street and we managed to raise a lot of money for the children’s hospital, having great craic in the process. As well as this, the company have been looking at ways to be more sustainable, taking steps such as introducing companywide reusable coffee cups and water bottles. I think that these issues could potentially affect us all so knowing that you’re doing a little bit to help out is nice.
Has the experience so far helped define your career plan from here?
Definitely! I’m always learning and finding new areas that interest me. The great thing about this graduate programme is the level of flexibility on offer. You can try out a range of different roles until you find one that you love. Everybody at the company is very accommodating and consistently ensure that you’re doing engaging work that you enjoy and are learning from.
What advice would you give to graduates looking for their first professional role?
Some advice I would give to graduates would be to relax and be yourself. A lot of people get bogged down in not having the exact skillset required for a specific job. Realistically, nobody is the perfect fit and employers won’t be expecting everybody to come out of college with a PhD, 3 years of relevant experience and 4 languages.
What I would say is to try and set yourself apart – use your hobbies, interests, sports, volunteering etc. in your CV. eShopWorld used the tagline “Inexperience Required” for their grad programme, which I think is nice. All you really need is enthusiasm and a willingness to learn so let your personality shine through.
Applications for our 2020 Graduate Programme will close on Friday 17th January. So, if you are want to work in eCommerce – whether it’s as a developer, product manager or security engineer – eShopWorld is the place to start!