Grad Profile: ‘Turn up prepared to work hard’

Jamie Hawan (33) is a graduate of the Irish Management Institute Graduate Development Programme

Jamie Hawan: ‘This programme is about you and your own development. You will get out of it what you put in.’

Jamie Hawan: ‘This programme is about you and your own development. You will get out of it what you put in.’


Tell us about yourself, where you’re from, what you studied in college?

“I am from Wexford, I live with my son Jason, my fiancée Celine and her daughter Emma. I have a keen interest in the outdoors and I love running, hiking and cycling. I returned to college as a mature student to study BSc in forestry in Waterford IT. I graduated in 2015 and then started on the Coillte Graduate Development Programme. This, at the time, was a three-year grad programme where you get the opportunity to rotate into different roles within the company.”

How did you find out about the IMI graduate programme?

“As part of the Coillte grad development programme, graduates were given the opportunity to take part in the IMI grad development programme.”

What is the IMI graduate programme like?

“The grad programme consists of nine two-day modules. The modules are quite intense and cover a large number of skills for future leaders. As part of the programme you cover modules such as communication, leadership, time management and project management. Since finishing the grad programme, I have been promoted to harvesting manager for mid-Munster, responsible for harvesting and production for Waterford, Tipperary, east Cork and east Limerick. I’m now responsible for six staff, and have found I can implement many of skills I learnt on the IMI grad programme.

“The advantages, other than the content, are that you learn to network with people from different companies and different backgrounds. You also get exposure to presenting to your own company’s senior management teams, when your final day culminates in a presentation of a group project completed within your company.”

Explain the kind of work experience you did.

“I was working while completing this course – as such you learn to manage your time between course work, attending classes and continuing with your day job. It also means that as you learn the skills from modules, you can implement them straightaway.”

What do you plan to work as after the programme and why?

“I plan to continue along my career path with Coillte. I feel that the Coillte Graduate Development Programme incorporating the IMI grad programme can only strengthen a graduate’s position. Within the company, it is recognised and received well from senior management and HR.”

What’s your advice to graduates applying for the programme this year?

“This programme is about you and your own development. You will get out of it what you put in. Turn up prepared to work hard, participate fully and get to know your peers from your own company and other companies participating. Take full advantage of the opportunity to avail of great practical knowledge and coaching offered IMI lecturers. They are very approachable and a great resource. Above all, enjoy the experience.