The Farmleigh Fellowship announced it has given the opportunity of a lifetime to one student from Donegal to work and study in Asia as part of the UCC Masters programme in Asian Business Studies (MBS). Shaun Gavigan, from Ardara in Donegal, arrived in Singapore this week and has now embarked on an intensive nine month corporate work experience programme with some of Ireland’s top companies in Asia. The scholarship group of twenty students will also study at one of Asia’s top three business schools, Nanyang Technological University.
Shaun said: “It is a great opportunity to work over in Singapore and to improve relations between Ireland and Asia. I worked in the Korean embassy before and that’s where my interest started in it and I’m hoping to improve relations. I’m the only one from Donegal on the course this year and it’s a great experience so hopefully we’ll have more from here next year.”
Now in its third successive year, the Farmleigh Fellowship has a total of 45 graduates, a number that will rise to 65 by the end of 2013.
The Farmleigh Fellows have successfully completed their studies whilst working in partnership with the Irish government and industry in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Dubai and Tokyo. This year, there was a 45% increase in the number of applicants compared with last year, reflecting the growing demand from Irish students for hands-on experience in the Asian market.
The program itself has attracted significant support from the private sector in the form of Irish companies who sponsor the students through the provision of funding, workplace experience and mentoring. Current sponsors include Abbott, CIDF, CRH, Cut-e, ConnectIreland, Diageo, Digicel, ESBI, PCH, Glanbia, H&K International, MKO Partners, and Saongroup. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA are also partners in the programme, along with UCC and NTU. In addition to sponsors, the students are also supported by individual mentors, all successful Irish business people who are living and working on the ground in Asia.
Fred Combe, Chairman of The Farmleigh Fellowship said, “This is a life-changing opportunity for young Irish professionals to gain real life work skills in Asia. It is also a talent development pipeline for Irish companies, wishing to operate in the fastest growth markets in the world. We encourage other Irish companies, who are serious about Asia to join us as sponsors on the programme. Large, medium or small, all of the companies who have participated are full of praise for the effectiveness of this unique, world-class programme.”
Michael Noble, one of the 2012 graduates and now Manager of Vietnam based consultancy, Noble Solutions said, “Vast opportunities exist for Irish trade in Asia, yet if we are to be successful we must understand how to conduct business with our eastern counterparts. Undertaking the Farmleigh Fellowship heightened my understanding of Asian business, and now I am operating a management consultancy firm in Vietnam, promoting bi-directional trade in one of Asia’s fastest growing markets. I would highly recommend the Farmleigh Fellowship to anyone seeking a career in Asia.”