My name is Ryan Cunningham. I am a 22 year old student of Waterford Institute of Technology, currently in my final year of a BBs in Business (Hons)- specialising in Marketing and hold a diploma in Digital Marketing from The Shaw Academy (Distinction). I’m also the creator of this blog, and I’m delighted to see the positive response that it has received so far! The long term objective for this blog is for it to become a portfolio of graduate profiles for employers of the south east to view for a more intimate perspective of a person than a LinkedIn profile could ever provide. In my spare time, I enjoy keeping up with current affairs and pretty much just keeping myself busy (I spend more time in college than I do at home- whether it be studying in the library, getting involved with college societies or meeting some friends for coffee). However, my biggest interest of all is music… and honestly, throw any genre in front of me and I’ll probably enjoy it. Except perhaps heavy metal. I play guitar from time to time, and am a massive musical theatre nerd, taking part in many productions over the years including Les Misérables, Grease & Beauty and the Beast.
My own personal and professional development stems largely from both my own working experience, and (college) society involvement. Through previous jobs, I’ve gained experience in sales, administration, customer service, marketing and target management. I’ve also developed a large array of professional skills through my active engagement with college societies. In 2015, I helped in re-establishing WIT’s Business Society as the chairperson, where we collaborated on many initiatives, including fundraising events and supporting Pieta House in raising money for their organisation. I’ve also been a member of our college’s LGBT Society since the start of my time at WIT, where over the years I’ve performed many roles- as a campus representative, a public relations officer, and most recently- as the chairperson. Through both the Business Society and the LGBT Society I have vast experience in event management, traditional and new media skills, reputation management, leadership and teamwork.
Throughout my business degree, I’ve learned a lot about myself and the direction I want to take in life. After studying PR within my degree and thoroughly enjoying it, I came to a realisation that this was the area I wanted to focus my career aspirations on- and I have my lecturer, Rachel O’Dowd (who introduced me to public relations and inspired me to pursue it) to thank for that. In fact, within my degree I participated in a live project and presented a PR campaign pitch to a real client- which was probably one of the biggest highlights of my time at WIT. Other areas that interest me include marketing, advertising and management.
Family is of great importance to me, and if I’m to be honest, my family are probably who have influenced me the most in life. I am blessed to have the best family I could ask for- and they have been there for me through thick and thin, supporting me throughout my life and never giving up on me for a second. The values I have been taught by my family have enriched me and are what make me proud to be the man I am. I am inspired by a multitude of people for a variety of different reasons- and I’m especially attracted to the themes of drive, determination and hope.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
In terms of my own strengths, I definitely consider myself to be an excellent communicator, and I’ve always been very outgoing. Organisation is very important to me, and in everything I do, I consider myself to be thorough and precise, paying close attention to detail in all scenarios. I’m also a very strong team player (for which I was awarded with Employee of the Month during my previous employment), but equally I’m completely comfortable with working by my own initiative. In five years time I would like to see myself working in a PR agency, organising client campaigns- perhaps managing events, and I think my dream job would be to essentially run my own agency or work with a big brand such as Versace, who are my one true love in the line of aftershaves!
If I was to provide one piece of advice to someone who is about to graduate, it would be to keep yourself grounded. The concept of the future is a wonderful/terrible mixture of excitement, nerves, fear and wonder, but if you spend too much time looking at it, you’ll lose sight of what you’re actually supposed to be doing to get there. Dreaming is fundamental- but working hard is what really makes your dreams come true.
Connect with me on LinkedIn!