My name is Daniel Kyne, I’m a third year Marketing, Innovation & Technology (nicely abbreviated as MInT) student from Kilcock in Kildare. I’m currently living in London on my INTRA work placement year. A few things about me: I’m a big music fan, I try go to at least one concert every month, and I love technology and the busy startup community in Dublin.
I started participating in Startup Weekend when I was 16, a weekend hackathon-style event that bring people together from loads of different backgrounds to create their own startup company in under 3 days. These events opened up a whole new world of experiences for me, and led me on to becoming an Startup Weekend organiser working with Google For Entrepreneurs in Dublin. In June 2017, I became a Global Facilitator for Startup Weekends, which means I get to fly to different countries around the world to work with local organising teams and make sure their event participants get the best experience and introduction to entrepreneurship as possible. Before starting my current INTRA work placement, I spent two years at Dublin Tech Summit, Ireland’s largest technology conference, where I managed the Startup and Speaker programmes for a year each.
After finishing my Leaving Cert in 2016, I moved up to Dublin to start my first year at DCU. One of the best decisions I made was to get involved in society life from the very beginning of 1st year, something most people neglect to do, joining 4 clubs and societies. When I look at my group of friends from DCU today, the majority have come from these societies and people I’ve met through having an active role in society and campus life.
Why did I choose DCU? I was actually pretty set for a few years to apply for a different course in a different college (which shall remain nameless…) until the start of 6th year when our school brought us to the Higher Options fair that October. I did loads of prep the night before and researched all the colleges exhibiting and had a full game plan for the day, which didn’t really include much about DCU. On the day, I bumped into Hannah Dobson, a final year student ambassador manning part of the DCU stand at Higher Options, and Hannah completely sold me both DCU and MInT as the best possible course for me.
What’s funny now is that I now seem to have a lot in common with Hannah! While we didn’t end up meeting again until the start of my 3rd year in DCU. Hannah and I both live abroad, have a keen interest in all things tech, and both were very active members in Enactus DCU. We’ve both even represented Ireland as part of the national presenting team at the Enactus World Cup! I had also met another very impressive final year MInT student during 6th year, international athlete Catherine McManus, who gave me a great overview of the course before I settled on it as my first choice on the CAO.
Tell us about your INTRA in London
London is such a different city to Dublin! You could fit nearly 14 of Dublin into the size of London, so you can imagine that the city feels truly huge at times. I’ve had a great INTRA experience so far working for Unilever, the consumer goods giant behind brands such as Lynx, Dove, Ben & Jerry, Persil and many more. I live in the beautiful London suburb of Wimbledon, with only a 40 minute commute between the two company offices, which is a surprisingly short commute for London! One of the offices is right along the Thames with views of the entire city, from Big Ben and the London eye on one side to London Bridge, the enormous Shard skyscraper and the Canary Wharf skyline on the other – right from the comfort of our desks.
I spent the first 6 months from June to December as the Digital Lead in the UK for one of the company’s 4 categories, Refreshments. This meant looking after our eCommerce content, online strategy and digital pilots for all the brands within ice cream and tea, which includes brands like Magnum, Cornetto, Ben & Jerry’s and PG Tips. In January, I moved onto the newly created Ice Cream Innovation Team and Fast Track Innovation Lead, where I’m working on developing new types of frozen and ice cream experiences for some really cool spaces and consumer needs. It’s always fun when you’ve got to do some blind taste tests of competitor ice cream brands on a Monday afternoon! The office has everything from a full restaurant and gym with personal trainers and sports physios to a staff shop with crazy discounts on all of Unilever’s products and a Ben & Jerry’s Scooping Café that gives out free cones after lunch every day. You never really get sick of free ice cream every day…
Would you recommend DCU and the BSc Marketing Innovation & Technology to others?
MInT is a nationally recognised leader among marketing courses in Ireland. With Ireland now having the highest rate of third level education in all of Europe, finding ways to differentiate yourself in a crowded and noisy jobs market is increasingly important, especially with so many amazing, innovative and exciting companies in Dublin. One of the best things about DCU in general, but especially in the MInT course, is the ambition of all the students. Once you see how heavily involved MInT students are in all the different clubs and societies, and that MInT students are always involved in setting up a cool new society every year since before I even came to DCU, you realise how hard working, driven and ambitious MInT students are. At such a pivotal and influential point in your life, it’s great to be surrounded by people with equally big goals that all collaborate to help each other achieve!
I believe that the best part about MInT is that it’s part of DCU. The college has such a phenomenal campus culture; one that is simultaneously tolerant, open and friendly, as well as being so lively and fun with something for absolutely everyone – especially among the massive number of active clubs and societies. I’ve spoken to students from all over Europe about campus culture and society life in their colleges, and nothing seems to compare to DCU in Ireland or abroad. In particular, Enactus is a social entrepreneurship society that brings together over 100 students ever year to create companies to improve peoples’ lives and the society we live in. Enactus is one of those amazing experiences that brings together learning opportunities and amazing people in a fun environment, and I’m really glad I got so involved in it.
When I was in secondary school, I was slightly considering not going to college at all. Towards the end of 5th year, I was having a conversation with a mentor we used to invite to our Startup Weekend events, David Scanlon. He started telling me about how, for him, college was about the freedom to fail projects, meet loads of interesting people with an appetite for new experiences, and the fun you have the whole way through. While David himself didn’t go to DCU, I think the picture he painted in my head that day is truly reflected in the experiences I’ve had and the friends I’ve made in DCU today. Those experiences and friends are what create your image of success and fulfillment later in life and define your path going forward, and I’m thankful to see the values of DCU already evident in my current goals and aspirations.
INTRA (INtegrated TRAining) is DCU’s internship programme. It is an accredited and highly valued part of student learning and has been at the heart of the DCU experience for more than 30 years.
INTRA offers students the opportunity to gain relevant paid work experience while giving employers a way to connect their business with ambitious, energetic students who can bring specialist skills, motivation, energy and new ideas into the work place. It can also enable employers to discover and identify talented future graduates.