Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence - Penn State Altoona

Blogs: Suzanne Lesher

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Today was a slow day compared to yesterday. However we did have the opportunity to be many companies promoting entrepreneurship in Ireland. We started the day off by the day off by visiting IDA Ireland, a company specializing in Foreign Direct Investments in Ireland. Our speaker told us why most people choose Ireland for their businesses. It is known by the four T's and four E's. Talent, track record, taxes, and technology drive companies from around the world to Ireland. Education, European Unionization, English speakers, and the ease of doing business in the country is also a major factor, especially for Americans looking to globalised their businesses.

After the IDA, we were able to stop and get lunch outside of Trinity College, the oldest college in Ireland. Seeing the Book of Kells on the campus was absolutely breathtaking. Being able to see the pages and the artistry of the calligraphy on the pages was simply incredible. Walking down the Long Room, the longest room in Ireland, was also something out of a novel. The books on the shelves were older than the United States itself. Absolutely amazing.

After a quick bite at a local cafe, we were back on the bus and heading to Oracle, a full service, all inclusive IT company including networking, databases, software, etc. It was very interactive and I really enjoyed hearing about how the company was formed. They also encouraged us to "Live tweet" the presentation. (#Oraclehour). This was a great idea to get their name out on the web and continue to keep their name live online!

We walked down the road to Enterprise Ireland where we were met by Alan Hobbs, who talked to us about the company and encouraged us to consider doing business with Ireland. "Start in Ireland, take on the World" was something he kept referring to. I enjoyed this discussion because he also talked about female entrepreneurs and how they constantly are encouraging ladies to become more involved with businesses and to go for higher positions in the companies they work for. Hobbs said "only 8% of executives are female, which is too low." I also learned that the CEO is a female, to which Mr.Hobbs sang praises of how well she is doing with the company.

On our way back to the hotel, we were surprised with a quick stop to the beach of the Irish Sea! it was so beautiful and exciting, we didn't even mind the freezing wet sand beneath our toes. It must have been a sight to see a group of people in suits running towards the water! In that moment, I was so relaxed and happy, nothing could break my mood. This entire trip has been one adventure after another and I couldn't be more ecstatic to be here.

Dinner was especially exciting! After we ate, we were able to listen to some genuine Irish music and watch a young lady perform an Irish dance. The group was amazing and I felt so in touch with my small Irish roots! The group was telling us about the history of the instruments and of the music itself. This trip is more than I had hoped it ever would be!:)

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