At LinkedIn, our mission is to connect talent with opportunity. The Dublin-based Talent Acquisition team decided to participate in the Ireland JobBridge program last year to bring this mission to life in our offices. The JobBridge program was designed by the Irish government to give the unemployed opportunities to gain valuable work experience while retaining their jobseeker allowance to help them find new opportunities. At LinkedIn, we saw this as a chance to give some bright individuals useful experience and exposure to how professionals can leverage LinkedIn.

Our first JobBridge interns came on board nine months ago and so far, two have successfully applied for full-time positions at LinkedIn and an additional four more are gaining valuable work experience as JobBridge interns. Here’s what our first two JobBridge Interns have to say about their experience.

Shane Ashmore

shaneashmoreWhen I finished college in May 2012 I found it quite difficult to get a full-time permanent position in sales in the technology industry. My background was in metal fabrication and while some skills transferred over, many simply did not. For me, JobBridge was the break I needed to refine my skills and gain new ones in what was and still is an incredibly competitive job market for young people in Ireland.

I interviewed with LinkedIn through the program and was lucky enough to be offered an internship on the recruiting team. While I was extremely excited about the opportunity, I still was quite nervous when starting. I didn’t know what to expect. On day one, like most LinkedIn employees, I was handed a laptop and put through 2 days of induction. By the end of it, I had so much new information in my head that I knew I had made the right decision.

While on the recruitment team I gained so many new skills, many of which I had never even thought about before, such as screening CV’s and phone interviewing candidates. I also learned how to effectively use the LinkedIn platform and realised that I had been undervaluing its usefulness while I was a student.

Six months into the internship, my confidence had grown so much that I applied for a permanent analyst position on the Sales Operations team. I am now delighted to be a permanent LinkedIn employee and am of course incredibly grateful not only to JobBridge but to LinkedIn as well for helping me get to this point.

Aurelija Gedrime

Aurelija GedrimeWhen I graduated with my first class with honors in Entrepreneurship and Business Management from Institute of Art, Design and Technology back in June 2012, I was actively looking for a graduate level job in Dublin. I wanted a challenging job where I could use what I had learned and also gain valuable work experience to kickstart my career.

After several months I felt frustrated just waiting for a perfect job. I really needed to do something, so I took a different approach and visited the JobBridge website. I started browsing through the internships looking for a job that I would LOVE to do in any form – be it full-time or internship!

I didn’t think twice when I found the Recruiting Associate Internship position posted on JobBridge website by LinkedIn. I admired LinkedIn as a company and human resources was one of the interests I developed in college. After I applied , I attended an interview and was offered the position at LinkedIn for 9 months.

From the start of my internship, I was assigned a mentor with whom I worked very closely throughout my all internship. With support and encouragement from all of the recruiting team I was gradually given more responsibilities and was soon searching, approaching and phone screening candidates.

And…guess what?

A few months after I started my internship, I secured a full-time permanent position working as Recruiting Coordinator with the Human Resources team!

When I look back now at the time when I had just graduated, I had big hopes and not that many opportunities. I truly believe that the JobBridge internship at LinkedIn was the opportunity to kickstart my career!

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The Ireland JobBridge program has been a positive experience for the participating teams at LinkedIn as well as for the Interns themselves. If you, or someone you know, are interested in hearing more about future JobBridge Internships at LinkedIn’s Dublin office, then watch for our postings on careers.linkedin.com.