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DSCF0059.JPGGraduate Trainee, Ireland


The Smurfit Kappa Graduate Programme offers an opportunity to experience high levels of responsibility, exposure in a variety of different disciplines, and make a genuine impact on the organisation, at an early stage in your career.


Working with Smurfit Kappa

Currently my day is quite varied due to the demands of the business. In my current placement I could spend my morning dealing with operational issues, and spend the afternoon in finance! One must be prepared for the unexpected and remain flexible as no two days are ever the same.

Alongside my everyday duties, my fellow graduates and I are also assigned strategic projects by our CEO. Often these projects involve tackling an operational issue or working on a business strategy which will have an impact on our Irish operations.

Getting Started

My first day on the job was spent in Dublin receiving induction training. Here I met some key members of management and my fellow graduates. We were briefed on the aims and objectives of the business and introduced to some of our products during a plant tour. We also received information about our first placements and the kind of roles we would be starting with.

One my second day I was working in Cork in my first role. I was met by my supervising manager, and given more detail regarding my daily duties. To date I have completed 3 placements in Cork, Lurgan and EDCO (The Educational Company of Ireland, Dublin).

Career Progression

In order to succeed at Smurfit Kappa I believe one must be:

  • Dedicated – Be prepared to work hard and put in the hours.
  • Resilient – Not everything will go your way all of the time and challenges will present themselves on a regular basis. Resilience is crucial in ensuring you perform in pressure situations.
  • Flexible – You must be prepared to travel and to go where the business needs you most.
  • Respectful – Respect must operate at all levels and in all directions. It is important to treat fellow colleagues with respect and as an equal, as you would like to be treated yourself.

Advice for Applicants

  • Research the company. Make sure that both the role and the company are for you.
  • Distinguish yourself from the competition. Remember that there may be hundreds of applicants for the vacancy. It is important to attempt to be original in your content, while not straying from the overall message you are hoping to send the employer.
  • If called for interview, have your preparation done. Know basics such as the general structure of the role you are applying for, the company history, current industry trends etc.
  • Be yourself. The interview is an opportunity for the company to assess you, and for you to assess the company. Focus on your strengths, be natural and don't be afraid to ask quesitons about the role and company in general.


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