25 Jul Network of Social Innovators
Our Chairman, Terence O’Rourke explains the importance of our social innovators and the positive impact they have on our community.
Do you know about Enactus Ireland? Enactus Ireland is doing something unique – they are working with hundreds of Ireland’s top students in third level education to enable them to become social innovators, create and lead social projects while also connecting them with top business leaders to grow their network.
In a recent article released in The Irish Times employers state ‘they want graduates who can solve problems, lead teams, innovate, build relationships and strengthen their organisations.’ This is exactly what Enactus does, it enables students to either lead and develop a social project or volunteer to join one. In doing this, they are fostering the talent and perspective essential to leadership today. The students are also guided by academic advisers and business experts from across our partner organisations.
Enactus students show tremendous understanding of how their skills and talents can be used to bring about real change in their communities. Their projects impact a wide variety of individuals from ex-prisoners, individuals with communication impairments to individuals with intellectual disabilities to name but a few. Student teams across Ireland partner with community organisations to get these projects off the ground. How amazing is it that these projects also benefit the community too!
A later article in The Irish Times illustrates that Prof. Brian MacKenzie of Maynooth University believes ‘it’s not enough to have a 2:1 degree; employers want graduates who are confident at presenting information and who are flexible and adaptable.’
The experience of running social projects, developing and maintaining relationships with community organisations and presenting these ideas throughout the year is what makes them career ready for graduate programmes and internships. This experience sets them apart from other candidates as they have, seen opportunity, taken action and enabled progress in their community.
Enactus students also get the opportunity to leverage the network through various internship opportunities. The most recent opportunities for students have been the KBC Bank, Unilever and Abbott competitions. The rigorous application process of traditional style interviews and creating and presenting a product idea stands to students for future endeavors.
What is my favorite part about Enactus? These social innovators do this on a voluntary basis, on top of their degrees. Their passion, determination and desire to transform lives and shape a better world is truly inspirational. I look forward to meeting more students this coming academic year!