Business Irish

Saturday 30 August 2014

A genuine good news story

Published 19/12/2012 | 05:00

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EVERY once in a while there comes along an event or news item that is widely read, and is genuinely a "good news story".

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The report that the US business magazine 'Forbes' had named four young Irishmen in its "30 under 30" list of ones to watch next year was just such an event.

Patrick and John Collison have long been the stars of the Irish technology sector, so it was perhaps more encouraging seeing two less well known names added to the role call.

CoderDojo's James Whelton has done sterling work in bringing computer programming into classrooms and more than 10,000 school kids now write computer code under the programme.

Jonathan Cloonan, meanwhile, has risen to become one of the most senior figures in media in Asia at the age of 27. Mr Cloonan's tale is instructive.

He spotted a job he wanted – a fellowship with the giant media firm WPP – and pursued it vigorously. Instead of just sending in a CV and covering letter, however, he started a blog, created a "WPP fellowship" Twitter account, and effectively became a critic of WPP.

It grabbed the attention of the company in a way no CV or letter could ever do. As a direct result he beat out almost 1,000 for the prestigious role.

It is easy to get completely caught up in the morass of the economic downturn, but if nothing else, the 'Forbes' list shows there are young Irish people out there showing initiative and being successful as well. We can only hope for more.

Irish Independent

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