Mary Immaculate College aims to deliver programmes that develop enterprise and entrepreneurial skills across all educational levels as well as taking part in outreach initiatives that support this work.
The office of Enterprise and Community Engagement, work to create links with industry—establishing new learning relationships with our neighbouring communities that help to transfer our knowledge capital to local and community development settings instead of within the campus boundaries.
Mid-West Regional Skills Forum and Action Plan for Jobs
MIC is a member of the Mid-West Regional Skills Forum and Action Plan for Jobs. The forum provides an infrastructure to support education institutions in the Shannon region in establishing connections and maintaining relationships with employers and in interrogating employer skills needs. Enterprise and Community Engagement liaises with employers, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, other HEI’s and the ETB to ensure that the graduate attributes of MIC students are aligned with the skills needs in the region. It also provides the platform for MIC to grow and intensify our links with enterprise and industry, increasing the range of industries open to our undergraduate students to carry out a career-relevant work placement, as well as communicating employment opportunities to students, staff and employers through career talks and events. MIC has received commitment from the managers and members of the Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs and Mid-West Regional Skills to work on implementing this project with MIC.
The director is continually working on developing career workshop programmes for delivery in community partner and FE settings. This work is aimed at helping children and young people to see the value and career potential of developing creative talents through interactive experiences with the BA in Contemporary & Applied Theatre Studies programme, the Department of Media & Communication Studies and the Lime Tree Theatre. Other examples include: Coder Dojo Sessions, VEX Robotics Programme, Limerick Festival of Science and the Tipperary Festival of Science, and the EMPOWER Entrepreneurship Summer Programme. A key initiative aimed at STEM engagement and helping children in the community to develop science fair projects is the The ESB Science Blast (formerly The RDS Primary Science Fair) which has been hosted by MIC each year since 2016.
Dr Liston also sits on both the Education and Arts Faculty Course Boards, and feeds into postgraduate programme boards, thus ensuring a link between employers, setting graduate attributes, and course design.
The College has developed and is involved in many initiatives that aim to ignite an entrepreneurial spark in our students for example ‘Start up Grind’, ‘Start Up Weekend’ and Alumni mentoring programmes and Alumni events. To extend this activity further and broaden our engagement with enterprise and industry, and social and cultural entrepreneurial initiatives, MIC is currently planning the incorporation of Entrepreneurial Modules into all our academic programmes, empowering the students to learn about enterprise and fostering a culture of entrepreneurship. These modules will involve the development of a wide variety of transferrable skills, which can be applied across all sectors of employment including leadership, creativity, innovation, problem solving and critical thinking. These modules will also provide students with an excellent opportunity to learn how to translate ideas into actions. This type of model aims to develop creative and proactive students who can manage the uncertainty and continuous change which is typical of today’s world and labour market. We would like to collaborate with a wide variety of industry and stakeholders with such an initiative.
See the Partnerships and Projects tabs to the right for more detail on the links cultivated with external organisations and the positive outcomes of these collaborations.
MIC and TUS are working on a wide range of initiatives within the area of entrepreneurship education for example The 5 day ‘EMPOWER’ Summer Camp initiative which is funded by the HEA and ITLG (Irish Technology Leader Ship Group) Young Innovators event.
The EMPOWER Programme, a novel and innovative week-long summer camp for second level students, was designed with the aim of inspiring and fostering a culture of engagement, creativity, innovation, adaptive leadership and enterprise among young people with a diverse range of life-experiences and from different socioeconomic backgrounds. This collaborative venture between Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and TUS is unique in its design and delivery, compared to many existing entrepreneurship initiatives, that focus solely on the business model, marketing and generating revenue. MIC and TUS work with a wide network of organisations for this programme i.e. Foroige, Junior Achievement, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurs, Coder Dojo, Learning Hub Limerick, Local Enterprise Offices and ISAX (Irish Smart Ageing Exchange).
The ‘ITLG Young Innovators’ event led by TUS with partners, that include Mary Immaculate College and Nexus Innovation, host nearly 700 students and over 400 people from tech companies for example Dell, Intel, Cook Medical, BT, Analog, Kemp Technologies as well as startups like Tippy Talk, Bluechief, Duffily Bag and Ocean Survivor, R&D and academia and support organisations such as Coder Dojo, NFTE/Foroige and Junior Achievement as well as third level students supporting the event on the day. MIC is a member of the ITLG event working group developing a programme of workshops, interactive stands and project work for participating students and teachers.
MIC plans to grow and intensify our links with enterprise and industry, and to work with the Shannon Consortium partners in order to make a significant impact in the area of skills needs and shortages as well as communicating employment opportunities to students, staff and employers.
Staff at MIC are members of the Limerick Digital Leaders Network as part of the SMART Limerick Strategy run by the Limerick City and County Council. This involves working on a variety of projects under the following pillars: Engagement & Participation; Information and Marketing; Service Integration; Digital Infrastructure; Data & Analytics; Digital Transformation; Digital Innovation; Optimised Governance; Smart Limerick Network and; Digital Edge.
Dr Liston is also a member of the Digital Leaders Network in Limerick contributing to many actions in the Smart Limerick Digital City Strategy.
Members of MIC community have in the past and are currently sitting on the board, committees and sub-committees of Paul Partnership in Limerick and work on a wide range of educational initiatives such as ABC Start Rite and Learning Limerick.
Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiatives at MIC
There are a number of entrepreneurial leadership initiatives associated with MIC. Browse the list for more.
A large number of BA and B Ed. students are involved with the delivery of the Bizworld Ireland programme, which also aims to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in children. The Bizworld programme promotes children’s creative thinking and problem-solving abilities. Undergraduates in the college also develop a wide variety of enterprise, critical thinking, leadership and business skills through the training for and delivery of the programme.
The BOI TY Academy is a 3-5 day programme run by Bank of Ireland for transition year students where they carry out such activities as team building, pitching an idea, understanding consumers, coding skills, and leveraging social media. The programme was held at MIC and our students volunteered in helping out at the event.
The EMPOWER Summer Programme, a novel and innovative week-long summer camp for second level students, was designed with the aim of inspiring and fostering a culture of engagement, creativity, innovation, adaptive leadership and enterprise among young people with a diverse range of life-experiences and from different socioeconomic backgrounds. This collaborative venture between Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and LIT is unique in its design and delivery, compared to many existing entrepreneurship initiatives, that focus solely on the business model, marketing and generating revenue. The programme involving staff and students from MIC incorporated a variety of inquiry-based, student-centred, teaching and learning pedagogies focusing on observations and opening their eyes to the world around them; listening and empathy; social awareness; and problem solving. MIC and LIT work with a wide network of organisations for this programme i.e. Foroige, Junior Achievement, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurs, Coder Dojo, Learning Hub Limerick, Local Enterprise Offices and ISAX (Irish Smart Ageing Exchange). The EMPOWER programme have also included site visits and mentorship by employees in a variety of industries i.e. STATS Limerick, First Data, Dell and start-up companies in the region.
The ITLG Young Innovators event led by LIT with partners that included Mary Immaculate College, host nearly 700 students and over 400 people from tech companies for example Dell, Intel, Cook Medical, BT, Analog, Kemp Technologies as well as startups like Tippy Talk, Bluechief, Duffily Bag and Ocean Survivor, R&D and academia and support organisations such as Coder Dojo, NFTE/Foroige and Junior Achievement as well as 3rd level students supporting the event on the day. MIC is a member of the ITLG event working group developing a programme of workshops, interactive stands and project work for participating students and teachers.
The Bí Gnóthach Primary Schools Enterprise Programme is an initiative developed by the Curriculum Development Unit of Mary Immaculate College and LEO. It aims to introduce pupils to the World of enterprise at a young age. Pupils, 10 - 12 years old, learn how to set up and run a business and also learn about the external factors that influence the success of an enterprise. The programme also includes ethical education in business. This programme has run most recently in South Dublin primary schools and Limerick schools.
The Junior Entrepreneur Programme is an educational programme, implemented in collaboration with Mary Immaculate College, focusing on the promotion of entrepreneurship education in primary schools. The programme lasts between 10-16 weeks and its main aim is to develop entrepreneurship skills in pupils, including literacy, writing, presentation, drawing, technology, research skills, numeracy, financial and consumer awareness, storytelling, listening skills, creative thinking, problem solving, team building and collaboration.
MIC has developed many different initiatives through informal career talks and events for undergraduate and postgraduate students to engage with alumni, staff and external stakeholders from industry and business. The aim of such events are to further increase employer engagement with MIC and to ensure that the knowledge, expertise and skills of our staff and students are visible and connected to a wide variety of employment sectors.
The events include:
- Networking opportunities
- Business advice and mentoring
- Employers communicating and promoting career opportunities and setting out clear career paths within their sectors
Examples of such events are:
- ‘The Start-up to Your Career’ event, designed to celebrate and showcase the entrepreneurial talent of MICs past graduates as part of the ‘StartUp Gathering Ireland festival’
- Career talks for students in collaboration with multi-national companies in the region Uber, Northern Trust and Dell
- Mentoring Programme with Alumni & Students: Building a network of mentors for our students from our alumni, business and industrial links
- 1-2-1 Career Clinics for students with alumni in a variety of sectors
- Sector Specific Seminars and Panel Discussions with Employers and Employee (for example Media and Communications. Maths, Creative Industries)
- Students attend and participate in a variety of Bank of Ireland initiatives for example StartUp Weekends and StartUp Grind Fire Side Chats.
We plan to continue to build our portfolio of relationships with local, regional and national employers, and we are committed to integrating training from external partners with relevant expertise & interests in transferable skills, including labour market activation, local economic development agencies and private sector partners.