My Project

I will be showcasing The Food and Farm Experience at Causey Farm. The Food and Farm Experience is an exciting new offering for the Free Independent Traveller (FIT) to Ireland from the well-known folks at Causey Farm. It allows a FIT visitor to come to the farm, join a larger group of FIT visitors and be guided around the farm by an expert guide. Lunch is included in the form of a locally sourced picnic lunch, and the FIT visitor gets to experience a slice of Irish culture, farm life and of course of their own traditional Irish brown soda bread which they made at the start of the day. 

I communicated closely with the owners of Causey Farm, our outside, off-site IT expert (he is based in rural Co. Cork) and of course the staff at Causey Farm, be they kitchen workers, office staff or tour leaders. I brought a new level of planning and interconnectedness to the launch of a new product at Causey Farm, a process which until now has come about organically. 

I looked around me at work and saw an opportunity; the kitchens were there and fully staffed every day, the tour staff were trained, willing and eager, and the activities were all ready to go. While there were permanent employees on full-time contracts, at times these were not being utilised fully.  The infrastructure was in place all around me to cater to more visitors, and in only taking groups, we were excluding a large market segment in Irish tourism. 

Therefore, I set about designing the FIT product. I planned everything from the pricing to the picnic. By making use of the resources already in place in the business, I ensured that even with the minimum number of visitors, the product would run profitably alongside the group offerings from Causey Farm. 

As I got through the work of the project, and understood fully all of the skills I was using, I realised that this work was of far more value than I had previously envisaged. Quite apart from allowing me to develop them, I realised that the FIT product could also be used to illustrate my freshly-honed skills. I knew the Showcases was the perfect opportunity to tell the world about my involvement in the launch of the Farm and Food Experience at Causey Farm. I feel this project showcases my skills, and I hope that an internship and potentially employment could arise from it.

My Passion

I am passionate about entrepreneurship. Apart from the project I’m showcasing today, I have in the past ran my own business. Anyone who knows me will tell you that not a day goes by that you won’t find me coming up with new ideas and bouncing them off anyone in earshot. Through this project, I am hoping to showcase my abilities not just as an “ideas man” but as someone who executes them. I want to show myself to be someone who can realise their ideas and turn them into value creation opportunities, monetary or otherwise, for my employers.

I feel a massive sense of excitement when I have a new idea. Beyond this, I suffer from a feeling like an unscratched itch until I have researched these ideas to the point of knowing whether or not they are feasible. I enjoy the process of entrepreneurship and feel a sense of satisfaction like no other when I see an idea come to fruition. 

My inspiration in entrepreneurship is my grandfather. An illiterate cattle dealer born into abject poverty, he traded his way from capturing wild goats with his brothers and selling them at fairs to buying a large farm in Co. Meath. Now 86, he shows no signs of slowing down, still running his successful meat factory waste disposal business and has just bought yet another house as a fixer-upper, with every intention to see a return on his investment ten years from now.

My Future

My big plan is to enter an industry, learn and explore the industry and ultimately to own my own business. While running my own business has in the past caused me at times to announce the end of my ambition ever to run my own business, ultimately the high of entrepreneurship and the feeling of gratification in being able to provide some level of employment outstrip any and all downsides that I have experienced thus far.

If I had to narrow down my potential employers to a handful of representative examples, I would have to say that I have a good few in mind. Firstly, I would like to work for Ogilvy Change to open my mind to new ideas and for the perspective that I think I could bring to such an organisation. My second example is Fáilte Ireland, as I have a particular interest in tourism, or a similar national development body in any industry in order to understand at an aggregate level how an industry operates. Finally, I would be interested in working for Investec Ventures, Enterprise Ireland or some similar, preferably ethical, venture capital player in order to understand how businesses grow.

An employer can help make my plan real by taking me on in some capacity and giving me a shot to prove what my ideas and work ethic can do for their organisation. What I would love to gain from this showcase is an internship opportunity for next summer and beyond that hopefully, some form of graduate employment or training.

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