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Linda Sheehan

Linda Sheehan (BA Joint Honours - European Studies, Major Italian/Secondary French, 2001)

'I'm loving life in Milan and Bord Bia. Certainly a challenge. A description of what I do would take all day so I'll give you a condensed version:

1) I assist in the coordination and administration of marketing projects, programmes, seminars and events both small scale and large scale;
2) I assist the marketing specialist in the provision of market place services, including desk and field research, preparation of reports which include the analysis of key market issues, opportunities and threats;
3) I have to keep abreast of market developments and feed back the relevant details and information to office colleagues here in Milan and in the Head office; I report on prices, trends, etc., as requested by the office manager; I contribute to Bord Bia's market monitor; I do a weekly BSE report, and a weekly report on the beef and pig meat trade;
4) I help maintain office customer databases and assist with office administration;
5) I liaise between Irish and Italian companies helping to cultivate and secure relationships.

'These are the bones of what I do. 90% of the work is done through Italian. An introduction to Italian business language in UCC certainly wouldn't have gone astray. An idea for next year perhaps'. (December 2001)

Note: Linda was unaware, when writing, of the new course, IT3103 Business Italian, which is offered in the final year of the BComm (European) with Italian. The first graduates of this programme left UCC in summer 2002.

Emily Fitzpatrick (BA Joint Honours - European Studies, Major Italian/Secondary French, 2001)

'After three months teaching English in Spain, I returned to Ireland and then became Irish sales rep for an English company, Amazon Filters Ltd., specialising in industrial liquid filtration, selling both the filters themselves as well as the cartriges and bags to go inside them! A far cry from my degree I know, though it does have the potential to become a more international position because I am the only one in the company with any foreign languages. The job is going quite well at the moment and involves one or two days a week at home calling companies country-wide in order to try and set up meetings to increase the profile of my company and the remainder travelling. The types of companies I deal with is varied. Liquid filtration here is primarily associated with the pharmaceutical industy and companies such as Pfizer, GSK and Janssen. However, it is much more wide-ranging than that. I go into companies in areas such as food and beverage, chemical, optical (contact lenses), paints and inks, electronics, brewing, automotive, soft drinks, CD/DVD's, cosmetics, water treatment, adhesives and many more. This makes my job very interesting and quite varied. Ultimately, of course, I am selling a product so the overall aim is to achieve my target. To date, I have spent most of my time increasing the profile of Amazon. I have, however, had a few successes. My first sale came just before Christmas and indeed that client has just returned to buy from me this week. For anybody involved in sales, the buzz that comes from closing a sale that you have spent time and effort on is fantastic. It just so happens that in my industry it takes a lot of time to get a commitment to change but the end result is definately worth it. Long may it continue.

'Amazon are a great company to work for. Being the only foreign employee, I could be very isolated here. The support I receive on a daily basis is fantastic - from the managing director to the internal sales team to the office staff, they are always willing to help in any way possible. Amazon also deal with a huge amount of overseas business including mainland and eastern Europe, Australia, the Nordic countries, South Africa and South America. As I am the only person in the company who speaks any foreign languages, I may yet be able to use my Italian, Spanish and French (though I will have to do a crash course in both Spanish and French!). This will of course depend on how I perform in Ireland and, if I am successful here, Amazon are open to the idea of putting my abilities to use elsewhere. If anyone had told me when I left college that I would end up working for a company where an engineering background is generally required, I would have laughed! However, the intensive training I have received, the support and, of course, the hard slog I've had to put in to learn my products means I have learned a huge amount in a short time. Liquid filtration is not rocket science but it has taken effort to learn what I now know, and it will take a lot more to increase my knowledge'. (January 2003)


Department of Italian


First Floor Block A West, O' Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland