Start of my journey
It was my first full-time job and digital marketing role and began on a sunny summer’s day in Dun Laoghaire. 19 years of age and working for Ireland’s country code top-level domain, a dream start to any career. I was welcomed by nice and compassionate staff members and given piles of acronyms, terms and standard business practices to kick things off.
I study B.Sc. in Marketing, Innovation & Technology at Dublin City University. My 3rd year comprises of a years-long full-time internship. There were many opportunities available from big brands like Volkswagen and Aviva, to small agencies and eCommerce companies based in Ireland and abroad.
But why work at .ie? – Challenges and experience in as many areas as possible was my ultimate goal, and working for a small team who do a big job of managing the .ie namespace on a national and international level was a perfect fit. Seeing other brands take on tens of interns on very structured intern programmes was discouraging. I wanted to be fully integrated as part of the team, doing important work for the company, not as an intern, but as an important cog in the machine.
As an estimate, I say my studies prepared me for 20% of the work I did and things I learned. A comfortable environment allowed me learned fast and became quite resourceful as IE Domain Registry’s first ever intern.
I worked with 40 design and craft SMEs, all members of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI). Optimise enables them to enhance their eCommerce capabilities and online presence by delivering a full digital audit and meetings to guide small businesses to online success. What better way to learn about our core end-user, Irish SMEs, then to help build a roadmap for them to succeed online.
Getting to know the design and craft sector through Optimise meetings was very insightful. It included some celebrated brands such as jewellery designer, Chupi, fashion designer Alison Conneely, KaroArt ceramics, Inner Island jewellery, Jennifer Slattery Textiles, and handmade soft toy brand, Red Rufus. Many businesses were looking to grow direct online sales, as retail mark-ups left them with fewer profits. Alongside a third party digital agency, Matrix Internet, all the reviewing, proofreading and perfecting of the digital audits helped give me a firm grasp of how an e-commerce website operates. I would use the learnings on SEO, e-commerce functionality and design to build my own websites and open a world of opportunity for web design and e-commerce for my future.
Ireland’s Internet Day 2017
October 26th saw the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales come to Dublin to speak about threats to online knowledge-sharing and his mission to combat the rise of ‘fake news’. Internet Day coincides with the first internet transmission in 1969 where a student attempts to send the words “login”, but only manages to send the letters ‘l’ and ‘o’, an inspiring beginning to where we are today from student ingenuity.
I played key parts in helping organise this event. Designing and ordering event materials, organising logistics on the day, running social media and website updates, hiring a team of students to direct and inform attendees, setting up the event and timing everything (and a lot of running around). Nothing could hinder my determination to make the event work, and not only did I learn and adapt to solve problems, but I felt extremely proud of how hard work and effective collaboration paid off with a brilliant event. All proceeds from the event went to CoderDojo, who do amazing work by enabling a place for kids to learn digital skills and coding.
You can see some of the highlights from the event here.
Seeing the growth and change of the .ie landscape is an amazing privilege. Liberalisation involved dropping the ‘claim to the name’ requirement. Removing the claim allows anyone with proof of connection to Ireland to register any .ie domain name.
Securing a domain name is the first step to getting online and therefore usually the first step any internet-based businesses take. The change allows entrepreneurs with an idea and small businesses with a niche in Ireland to register any .ie domains without hassle.
Definitely a big change for IE Domain Registry, and a big role promoting it the right way. I ran Google AdWords and social campaigns pushing traffic to our website to enable people to search for their domains and to explain the changes using animated videos. Paid social was not something IE Domain Registry really did, however, my digital marketing experiences in DCU enabled me to create, budget, target and implement social media marketing into the marketing mix.
Liberalisation saw record amounts of .ie registrations and growth continued to surge throughout my time at IE Domain Registry.
Skills, Opportunities and Personal Development
The objective of getting a challenging and broad experience in as many marketing activities areas as I could was achieved. My role allowed my technical skills to truly develop, learning lots in areas of web design, domain name systems, e-commerce and SEO working on projects like the Optimise programme and making regular changes on the company website.
I had the opportunity to talk directly with our target market and network at key events. I developed inter-personal and communication skills through responsibilities like Optimise, Liberalisation and Internet Day. I was able to show the potential from social media advertising, and my capabilities of manipulating and creating graphics, imagery and designs for events, social and print promotion.
I had the opportunities for online training and classroom-based off-site training like everyone else, completing over 30 Lynda courses with certificates and completing courses on everything from digital marketing and technical SEO to videography and graphic design fundamentals.
I was a part of important meetings on new projects and developments and did some key research into markets, customers and even GDPR. I learned the ins and outs of so many roles, from conducting interviews with HR to working alongside external digital, PR and graphic design agencies.
Each course, each task and each responsibility will stand to me for the rest of my career working with marketing and technology.
250,000 .ie Domains
Coming to the end of my year at IE Domain Registry, I got to be a part of a massive milestone…250,000 registered .ie domains. Mixed with the pressure of GDPR compliance and the aftermath of liberalisation, seeing people and businesses register the highest level of .ie domains evert shows the strength of entrepreneurs and Irish business. IE Domain Registry is a team of 20 people all a part of that process and I’ve come to know and enjoy working with all of them. I’ve grabbed a few .ie domains for safekeeping and can see the growth of .ie to continue in the digital era.
IE Domain Registry does their utmost to better the digital landscape in Ireland, particularly for SMEs. So if you want to represent yourself as local and Irish and tell the world who you are, then grab a .ie for yourself and a friend.
I take my leave to finish my studies and final year in DCU, and best of luck to the new marketing intern and to everybody at IE Domain Registry with all future endeavours.