Graduates 4 International Growth – For Graduates

Graduates 4 International Growth – For Graduates

by | Jan 24, 2017 |

What is Graduates 4 International Growth and how will it benefit me?

Develop Your Career, Further Your Education – Opportunity of a Lifetime!

The Graduates 4 International Growth Programme is designed to connect graduates with dynamic Irish SMEs with ambitious growth plans in key overseas markets.

Irish SMEs, which are client companies of Enterprise Ireland, deliver significant economic benefits to Ireland and are crucial to the long-term sustainability of the Irish economy. These companies are flexible, innovative and ambitious, led by highly skilled, creative and hard-working entrepreneurs. Some of the most interesting graduate opportunities exist in Irish companies.

During this programme, while working with an Irish SME, graduates will undertake a course of study at the Irish Management Institute (IMI) leading to the award of a Postgraduate Diploma in International Business Development, equivalent to 60 credits on the National Qualifications Framework (awarded by University College Cork). This Postgraduate course is 100% funded by Enterprise Ireland.

While participating on the 18-month programme you will work overseas for a minimum of six to a maximum of 12 months to take part in and complete exciting projects related to company’s plans to grow their business abroad.

Prior to you jetting off, you will spend 6 months in Ireland. During this initial induction period, you will attend 15 days of skills modules at the Irish Management Institute (IMI) while also working with your host company.

While providing a prestigious academic Postgraduate qualification, there is a strong emphasis throughout the programme on execution delivering real business results. You will be provided with practical skills to build best practice international sales and marketing strategies in their host companies.

You will receive a salary from your host company for the 18 month placement period. This salary is negotiated between you and your host company.

The programme will benefit you by providing you with:

  • Excellent placement opportunities in dynamic and ambitious Irish companies
  • The opportunity to develop and use a broader range of skills
  • The potential to accelerate career development
  • Competitive graduate salary
  • Support towards living expenses
  • Invaluable experience with an in-company industry experience mentor
  • Educational mentor whilst you’re earning your diploma in the IMI
  • A practical graduate development opportunity
  • A prestigious academic Postgraduate qualification
  • The chance to experience new or different cultures while making a difference for an Irish company
  • A structured/accredited graduate development programme, linked to the successful implementation of the company’s project

This programme is financially supported by Enterprise Ireland


Am I Eligible?

Develop Your Career, Further Your Education – Opportunity of a Lifetime!

Eligible Graduates:

G4IG is open to all graduates of any discipline who meet the following criteria:

  • Are seeking graduate entry level market research positions;
  • Are willing to relocate to an overseas market, as advised by participating companies, for a minimum of six months and up to 12 months;
  • Have a recognised undergraduate degree not less than Level 8 (minimum grade 2:2) on the National Vocational Qualifications Framework, or recognised equivalent; or a postgraduate degree not less than Level 9 on the National Vocational Qualifications Framework, or recognised equivalent;
  • Have been awarded that qualification in 2015, 2016 or 2017
  • Have a valid work permit (if required) to work in Ireland to cover the 6 month period in which the Diploma in International Business Development Modules will take place


Where language competency is required (outside of English speaking markets), graduates will need to illustrate appropriate fluency. Appropriate language capability is deemed to be :

  1. Equivalent of the language component in a mixed undergraduate degree e.g. marketing and languages
  2. A native speaker

Final assessment of academic eligibility will rest with the IMI Registrar’s office.


Ineligible Graduates:

  • Graduates who cannot provide evidence of having reached the required academic standard on the National Vocational Qualifications Framework or demonstrate equivalence;
  • Graduates / Postgraduates from a graduating year other than 2015, 2016 or 2017
  • Graduates who do not, at time of application, have a valid work permit to work in Ireland


IMI Programme Structure and Content

Develop Your Career, Further Your Education – Opportunity of a Lifetime!


International Growth Strategy (4 days: 26 Sept – 29 Sept 2017)

  •  International Business Competency Development
  • Generating Awareness and Customer Acquisition
  • Strategic Positioning
  • Continuous Intelligence Gathering
  • Building Resilience with Emotional Intelligence

International Market Penetration (4 days: 14 Nov – 17 Nov 2017)

  • Routes to Market
  • Strategic Selling
  • International Buying & Sales Process
  • The Effective Leader & Manager (1)

International Cultural Awareness & Skills (4 days: 12 Feb – 15 Feb 2018)

  • Competitive Selling and Account Management Skills
  • International Presentation and Communication Skills
  • Cross Cultural Understanding
  • The Effective Leader & Manager (2)

International Market Execution (2 days: 12 Nov – 13 Nov 2018)

  • Scoping the Integrated Company Project
  • Financing International Growth

Capstone Module: Integrated Company Project (1 day: 28 Jan 2019)

  • Integrated Company Project Presentations

Attendance at all modules is mandatory

The course will be delivered onsite at the IMI, Dublin 16 and will commence 31st of August 2017.

Further Study and Awards

An opportunity exists to progress to a Masters in Business qualification, subject to meeting the IMI’s eligibility requirements. Any follow on study will be at the Graduate’s own cost and will not be funded by Enterprise Ireland.

About the IMI

IMI has built a firm reputation as Ireland’s leading provider of Graduate Development Programmes. The programmes harness the potential of graduates and stretches them to deliver real value from the outset of their careers. The IMI is currently developing over 600 graduates from over 30 countries in the IMI for companies such as Kerry Group, Civil Service, Musgrave, Aryzta, Dublin Airport Authority, Glanbia and Ornua. Their experience, expertise and collaborative approach enables the delivery of  a best-in-class programme for Enterprise Ireland that directly addresses the requirement for a bridge between the academic and professional world of work for graduates.

Established in 1952 to raise the standard of management practice in Ireland, the Irish Management Institute (IMI) has worked throughout its 60 year history with Ireland’s industry leaders to equip them with global best-in-class leadership competencies and tools to execute at the forefront of their sectors and industries.

In November 2016, IMI merged with University College Cork (UCC). This merger follows on from five years of a successful Strategic Alliance between IMI and UCC and cements a shared ambition to advance managerial education in Ireland by enabling organisations and individuals to fulfil their potential through world-class executive education.

IMI nonetheless remains a membership organisation. The members reflect a spectrum of Irish industry, from start-ups to the world’s largest multinationals.

Thousands of senior executives attend developmental programmes at IMI annually, ranging from NFQ level 9 Masters and Diploma qualifications to one and two-day master classes. IMI also acts as a “business partner” for organisations that are looking to align comprehensive learning and development strategies to support the execution of business growth strategies.


How do I Apply?

Develop Your Career, Further Your Education – Opportunity of a Lifetime!

Recruitment for this programme will commence in May 2017. Graduates who meet the eligibility criteria should register on this site to be informed, via email, when job opportunities become available.

All G4IG opportunities for graduates will be advertised on this site – see ‘G4IG Opportunities’

Graduates should identify the opportunities they are interested in and apply directly to the relevant company via this site (

The company has complete responsibility for recruitment and if any feedback is required you may contact the company directly.


Success Stories

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Jer Galvin, PM Group, San Jose, California

Where did you study and what course?
I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from UCC and then worked for 10 years in the construction/engineering industry in Ireland across sectors such as Residential / Commercial / Infrastructure / Energy & Pharmaceutical. I also have a Graduate Diploma in Renewable Energy Systems from Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Why were you interested in G4IG?
I always had an interest in Business Development and my interest grew in this when running my own engineering business in Kerry for three years. I was eager to work again with a large multinational engineering firm in a business development/engineering role and gain international experience.

Why did you choose the company?
I chose PM Group ( as it is a world renowned engineering design, architecture, project, and construction management firm with operations in Europe, Asia, USA and the Middle East. The opportunity to help grow a recently acquired firm in San Jose was too good to refuse. Therefore I was packing my bags for California which was not a bad thing either.

What has it involved?
The programme was an 18-month programme – 6 months of which was spent in PM Group’s head office in Dublin and then 12 months on International Assignment in San Jose in PM Group’s subsidiary firm, PM Greene Engineers.

During the 6 months in Ireland, I got to work with PM Group’s Sector Directors, Marketing Team, and Business Development Team and learned how PM Group’s business sectors and geographies worked on an operational level. I got a thorough understanding of PM Group’s overall business strategy and how the company developed its USP’s across the world. In tandem, my knowledge on strategies for international growth benefited from the six modules and company based assignment.

The 12-month international assignment involved applying what I had learned in PM Group and my International Growth studies to the Marketing and Business Development role I took up in PM Greene Engineers. The objective of my 12-month role was to bring the San Jose firm’s marketing and business development standards and procedures up to PM Group standards with the overall objective of growing the firm’s business in the US.

How have you found the experience?
The experience has been hugely rewarding but challenging. Challenging from the point of view that the engineering/construction market conditions in Silicon Valley were tough. A number of Silicon Valley companies were reducing capital spending so the market was reducing making it highly competitive. Despite the challenges, it was a very rewarding experience from the point of view that I got to experience a new culture and a thorough understanding of business culture in the US, the marketplace and where we can add value. I have also developed strong relationships with new potential clients that bode well for the future.

Have you benefited from the programme, has the programme contributed to your career?
Yes, I have benefited hugely from the programme. It has put me in the unique position of having an international business qualification, provided me with international experience and allowed me to combine it with my own technical experience as an engineer. This allows me to add real value to the business development process which in an engineering organisation is necessarily technical. The programme has given me a launch pad for further progression into a senior business development or management position in the future.

How did you find the overseas part of the programme?
The overseas part of the programme was exciting from the outset. In 2010, PM Group acquired a firm that had a very good business base with a significant percentage coming from repeat business and recommendations. At the time of joining, we quickly created a detailed business development strategy that focussed on actively seeking out new clients as well as maintaining key client relationships. The opportunity to be part of creating and implementing a business development plan for the office was exciting even if difficult due to the economic circumstances of the marketplace.

Where are you now/ Future plans?
At the end of the 18 month programme I was given the opportunity to continue to work as Business Development Manager for the office as well as take up roles in project management for some of the projects we were working on such as a $6M fast-track data centre for a confidential ICT client and other data centre projects.

My plan over the next 2 years is to be instrumental in growing the business of the San Jose office to achieve the targets as set out by the original acquisition plan. Thereafter I hope to seek out enhanced opportunities within PM Group.

Has the programme reached your expectations?
Yes, the programme has been excellent. The condensed accelerated completion of the majority (four out of six modules) in the first 6 months of the programme certainly allowed me to focus on the job in hand when on international assignment. Also, the fact that the coursework assignments were all based on PM Group accelerated my understanding of the nuances of PM Group’s business. Finally, the business network that the programme has opened up to me, between Enterprise Ireland and fellow G4IG colleagues and of course PM Group Management, has meant that I have huge support and people to call on as I progress through my career which is invaluable.

Jack Foley, Xtratherm, France

Where did you study and what course?
I studied Commerce and French in UCC

Why were you interested in G4IG?
The G4IG programme is terrific in that it offers recent grads the chance to get real business experience working in a foreign market with Irish companies. I was interested in working in international business and I was keen to use my second language.

What has it involved in your work?
Since I have started work I have been given roles and projects which will stand to me for the rest of my career.

The main focus of my work has been France where I have been a core member of the team planning the company’s entry into the market.  This involved researching, compiling market reports, identifying potential customers and meeting them in France. I also helped come to pricing agreements and worked with logistics companies.

Not many roles offer recent grads this range of work experience and such a level of responsibility so early on in their career.

How have you found the experience?
Even if there were some difficult times and there are obviously challenges both culturally and professionally with moving abroad, I’m delighted with the work I’ve been involved in. In some large companies, it can be difficult to see the direct impact of your work. In my case I felt like my opinion was valued and that I was an integral part of the team. I am proud of my achievements, which include holding meetings in France with potential customers through French and managing a client relationship from identifying the customer, meeting them in their premises to arranging pricing and logistics in order to win the sale.

Have you benefited from the programme, has the programme contributed to your career?
Undoubtedly. When I started G4IG I was just out of college and had just finished my degree in Commerce and French, I was unsure of my next step. I will leave the programme as a professional with considerable genuine business experience and a much better sense of what I am suited to.

Where are you now/ Future plans?
I am approaching the end of the progamme and I feel I am in a very good position and certainly a hugely improved position from a year ago. I have adapted well to what was a new industry for me, amassed a wealth of knowledge and valuable experience, worked successfully in a foreign business environment and completed some challenging business modules in working towards my Diploma. The programme has given me the best possible start to my career.

Has the programme reached your expectations?
Certainly. I did not expect to be given such responsibility from the outset but I relished the tasks I was given and am much more confident about my future as a result.

I also enjoyed the academic side much more than I had anticipated, the lecturers were superb and compared to college, it was much easier to apply lessons when you are working and studying at the same time.

Michael O’Rourke, Dortek, UK

Where did you study and what course?
I studied Marketing in DIT, Aungier Street and graduated in 2011.

Why were you interested in G4IG?
I saw G4IG as a great chance to get some international business experience, work in the international marketplace and further my education through the post graduate diploma.

Why did you choose the company?
I chose the company after meeting with the Managing Director and doing my own research. Alan assured me of the company’s commitment to the G4IG program, growing nature of the business and the potential to move up through the ranks.

What has it involved?
I moved to the UK in my first week with the company, my role has been well-defined but flexible enough to deal with the needs of a dynamic company. The role has involved traveling around the UK, Ireland, and Europe with scope to travel further afield depending on the potential of new markets.

How have you found the experience?
I have found the G4IG experience extremely positive. I’ve gained practical business experience with the company and furthered my education through the Postgraduate Diploma.

Have you benefited from the programme, has the programme contributed to your career?

Yes, I’ve benefitted from the programme, I feel more confident in the international business environment and I believe the course will provide a strong base for my career.

How did you find the overseas part of the programme?
I was more than happy to move overseas, the fact that I am based in the UK means I’m only a short trip from home.

Where are you now/ Future plans?
I have 7 months left on the 18-month programme. I hope that I can stay with the company and continue to develop my skills.

Has the programme reached your expectations?
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the programme. I left another job to join the company so I took a slight risk, it has paid off and I’m delighted to be part of a growing Irish exporting business.

Martha O’Rourke, Daon

Where did you study and what course?
Business and Spanish

Why were you interested in G4IG?
I was interested in G4IG as it gave me a chance to use my Spanish, apply my business knowledge and relocate to Brazil all the while working for an Irish company – it seemed too good to be true!

Why did you choose the company?
Once I saw the job description I knew that I wanted to take up Daon’s offer- I was being given a chance to start a business development role within their Latin American market.

How have you found the experience?
Working for Daon in Dublin has been brilliant. A number of people put a lot of effort into preparing for my introduction to the company which really allowed me to feel I had a legitimate place there from my very first day. I have a well-structured role and can work towards goals that were set out for me over the course of my 18-month programme. I have also been given access to several of Daon’s regional markets which really helped me to understand how they operate internationally.

Have you benefited from the programme, has the programme contributed to your career? Everything the lecturers go through with us on the course can be applied to my role with Daon. Also, getting to know the other graduates has proved to be a greatly extended network.

Has the programme reached your expectations?
G4IG has allowed me to join an exciting, export focused Irish business. Daon is a company that is going from strength to strength and as they continue to scale I would like to be a part of their international development. Irrespective of where I end up in the future, I feel the G4IG experience has been the best possible start.


5 Great Reasons for a Graduate to work for an SME

Attract Top Talent – Access New Markets – Get Financial Support

Enterprise Ireland’s SME clients are a key component of the Irish economy and crucial to economic recovery. They are drivers of entrepreneurial activity, innovation, export market growth, competitiveness, and employment.

While SMEs are often smaller in size by comparison to large companies and multi-national corporations, SMEs can offer many benefits to graduates in their career due to their size.

5 Great Reasons…..

  1. The job role is broader and more varied. SMEs tend to be less rigid in structure and job roles are usually less defined. In SMEs, the approach is more hands-on, giving graduates more exposure and responsibilities. This offers graduates more opportunities to develop their skills in a broad range of roles which might not be possible to do in bigger companies. As a result, the graduate will broaden their skill set and plump up their resume further.
  1. There’s often less emphasis on hierarchy, which can create an open work environment – graduates may have greater opportunities to interact frequently with middle and senior management. Working in closer proximity with management allows graduates to share thoughts and ideas and give feedback on company matters.
  1. Better communication between graduate and management can help the graduate to get their work done and receive recognition for it.
  1. Go further, faster. The bigger the company, the more competition there is. Hard work in an SME will not go unnoticed, especially if the graduate has proved their worth. Graduates who started working for SMEs often realise that they make more of a contribution to the company than their peers in large organisations.
  1. Everybody knows your name….the smaller workforce in SMEs means that the culture is more personable and is often more informal and friendly. Everybody generally knows everybody else and there is fewer office politics involved.



In-Company Mentor

Attract Top Talent – Access New Markets – Get Financial Support


The potential of graduates is huge, they have grown up in a world of information, they know how to get information and apply it. Theirs is a global community and their willingness to take risks, try new things, and propose new ideas and ways of doing things is of huge benefit to the companies that employ them. It is in this context that the benefits of mentoring are outlined.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring provides new graduates who may have less experience in the workplace with regular and objective feedback, valuable insight and support. They act as a confidential sounding board to the graduate and help them with any questions and generally become their ‘go-to’ person.

Benefits to the Graduate

The mentor experience is a very valuable and effective development opportunity for a graduate. Being offered the guidance, support and encouragement of a trusted and experienced mentor can offer the graduate a range of personal and professional benefits which will ultimately benefit the company through improved performance in the workplace.

Benefits include:

  • Develop a sharper focus on what is needed to grow and be successful within the company
  • Learn from a mentor’s real-world experience
  • Learn specific skills and knowledge relevant to achieving goals
  • Insider’s perspective on how things work in the company
  • Someone to bounce ideas off
  • Someone to provide impartial advice
  • Receive critical and timely feedback
  • Assist in career decisions

 How do I apply? Click here


FAQs – Get Answers

Develop Your Career, Further Your Education – Opportunity of a Lifetime!


Is Enterprise Ireland involved in the recruitment of graduates? Where and how will I get feedback on my application?

Enterprise Ireland is not involved in the recruitment process, for any updates on the recruitment process or to receive feedback you will need to contact the hiring company directly yourself.

I have a Diploma but not a Degree – do I qualify for G4IG?

No. In order to qualify you must have a recognised undergraduate degree not less than Level 8 (minimum grade 2:2) on National Vocational Qualifications Framework, or recognised equivalent, or a postgraduate degree not less than Level 9 of the National Vocational Qualifications Framework, or recognised equivalent.

My degree is in marketing awarded in 2016, but I have no experience. Am I eligible?

Yes, you are eligible for the Programme.

I graduated in 2008, do I qualify?

No. To be eligible for the Programme, you must have graduated within the last two years, therefore you must have been awarded your qualification in 2015, 2016 or 2017.

I am not an Irish citizen – do I qualify?

You do not have to be an Irish citizen to qualify, but if you require a work permit to work in Ireland, you must have a valid work permit to cover the six-month period in which the Diploma in International Business Modules will take place.

Do I have to go abroad?

Yes. The graduate must spend a minimum of six continuous months and up to a maximum of 12 months in an overseas market.

Do I need a second language?

Where language competency is required (outside of English-speaking markets), graduates will need to illustrate appropriate fluency. Appropriate language capability is deemed to be (1) equivalent of the language component in a mixed undergraduate degree, i.e. marketing and languages or (2) a native speaker. As part of the application process, you will be required to demonstrate your level of language proficiency.

Do I need a driving licence?

You will need a driving licence if it is an essential requirement for the hiring company.

If I want to leave my company before the 18 months is complete can I still get the Diploma?

Sometimes difficulties can arise for graduates or companies over the course of an 18 month period. Should any difficulty arise, it will be examined on a case by case basis, however, in general, the 18-month placement is required in addition to satisfactory completion of the academic modules.

Can I continue on to get a Masters after G4IG is finished?

There will be an opportunity to progress to a Masters in Business Qualification, subject to meeting the IMI’s eligibility requirements. Any follow-on study will be at the graduate’s own cost and will not be funded by Enterprise Ireland.

Do I have to attend all the modules of the Diploma?

Yes. There are 15, one-day modules in the first six months of the Programme and three further modules after 15 months. Attendance at all modules is required.

When will I know I have been successful?

There are two parts to the process which run in parallel. Firstly, you will need to be selected by a company and offered a position with the company for the duration of the Programme and secondly, your academic eligibility will need to confirmed by the IMI registrar’s office.

Does Enterprise Ireland set the salaries?

No, it is up to you to negotiate your salary with the hiring company.

Who will pay for my flights to the overseas country?

It is your responsibility to negotiate this with the hiring company.

I obtained my qualification in a college/university outside Ireland. Do I qualify?

The minimum requirement is a Level 8 2:2 degree or recognised equivilant obtained from a college/university outside Ireland

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