Graduate Profile: Eimear O’Sullivan, Lidl Ireland Graduate Programme
‘I now do all the social media content for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and I absolutely love it’
Eimear O’Sullivan: “I had heard a lot about the [Lidl] programme when I was in college”
Eimear O’Sullivan (25) always loved the world of retail and, throughout her commerce degree in UCD, she worked in a variety of stores such as BT2, Monsoon and Oasis. When she graduated in 2012, she decided to do a one-year graduate internship in Florida where she ended up doing some PR and events for a company that owned a couple of bars.
“That was really good experience and when I came home a year later I applied for the 2014 Lidl graduate programme. I had heard a lot about the programme when I was in college and I had talked to one of the girls at the Lidl stand at the Gradireland event in the RDS and it sounded really good. Their reputation of treating staff well and the opportunities to progress and stay on after the programme really sold it to me.”
Graduates on the programme get to experience the business from the ground up and O’Sullivan completed stints on the shop floor and in the warehouse, along with shadowing a store and a regional manager, before arriving into head office. Her original plan was to work in marketing, but then an unexpected opportunity arose.
“I started in PR in November and I actually got on really well there. I hadn’t done much PR in college but I really liked it. That’s the advantage of the graduate programme. You discover strengths you didn’t know you had and it’s possible to develop yourself and find the right fit for you within the company. The head of PR asked me in February to take on the role of social media manager which was a new position in Lidl, so I was delighted about that. I now do all the social media content for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and I absolutely love it.”