The Web Summit’s Careers Night promised a free evening of inspiration to help people plan and progress their careers. NCI’s Orla O'Sullivan from the Careers & Employability team was there and taking notes!
First on the stage were three young entrepreneurs: Rhona Togher, CEO of Restored Hearing, Conor Nolan, co-founder & CEO of WattSpot and Niamh McHugh, co-founder of Love Pucker. They were interviewed by Colm Lyon, CEO of Fire Financial Services Limited. Their advice to other young people thinking of going out on their own was “Just go for it: if we can do it, you can absolutely do it.”
Next up were Jean Hoey, Head of Public Affairs, BT Ireland and Anna Scally, Tax Partner with KPMG interviewed by Noelle Burke from Microsoft. They talked about what they looked for in a candidate for their company, and we weren’t surprised to hear that education was crucially important. A degree was a minimum, and sometimes a Masters was required, along with a good attitude, some work experience and a good work ethic. They felt some time abroad was helpful to young people as it broadens the experience.
When asked about the skillsets that students need in the world of work today, the answers were: Flexibility, Adaptability, Communication, Social Intelligence, Critical Thinking, Self-development, Technical Skills, Motivation and Disruptive Thinking. They finished by stating why they felt Ireland is a good place to work: Work/Life Balance, the fun factor, good place to fulfil potential. They highlighted the three Cs: Community, Connections and Craic.
Next on the couch were Philippe Botteri of Accel Partners and Nicolas Brusson of BlaBlaCars, interviewed by Nick Web from the Sunday Independent. The discussion was about the future of work and centred around the question: Will automation put us all out of work?
The consensus was that automation will have an impact and already there are driverless cars, but this will simply mean a shift in the skills needed. Also, work will be less about lifetime work and more about contract employment and working remotely. Technology skills will be a must for the future.
The highlight of the night was Ed Catmull CEO of Pixar interviewed by Claire Byrne. The shock revelation was that Toy Story will not be coming out in 2016. Though Claire professed surprise, Ed was calm and reasoned that Pixar demands perfection and if it is not there yet, they will take more time.
Ed himself was educated as a scientist and had visions of a career in theoretical physics. However, when animation came along (and he had wanted to be an animator when at school), and digital science, it all came together for him. Something clicked and he went on the journey of ‘Story is King’.
He talked about fear as a big block to creativity and how he will rather allow new Directors to go all the way down the wrong road and fail, rather than pull them up and induce fear. “Remove the fear and people become more creative”, he said.
Adam Kostyal then came on with Paddy Cosgrave to be interviewed by Claire Byrne. There was no talk of the issues surrounding Web Summit moving to Lisbon and it was more about the success of Paddy Cosgrave. He encouraged students to get on the Web Summit website and apply for jobs. Web Summit HQ employ 150 people currently and they want to grow by organising summits all over the world.
The night ended with the closing bell of the Nasdaq Index sounded live from the RDS, with a view of the Nasdaq Building in New York shown on one of the screens.
Looking for more careers advice? Check out our posts on planning your career strategy, or the top 10 CV tips that will get you to that interview! And if you're planning to upgrade your qualifications to help you land that dream job, NCI has a number of courses starting in the new year. Come to one of our upcoming information events!