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Hello, my name is Steve Kosbab. I’m 20 years old and I’m from Freiberg in Germany. At home in Germany, I am training to become a managerial assistant with a special focus in construction.

During the last 4 weeks, I carried out a work placement here at online accounts provider Big Red Cloud in Dublin.

I reported to the marketing manager, Michael O’Brien (that’s him standing behind me under the wall of water bottles) and he assigned me a number of marketing research projects. One of the projects was particularly interesting. It was on independent software vendors in Ireland and as a result, I learned a good deal about the ISV market and the country of Ireland itself.

Also, it was interesting for me to join some of the marketing team meetings and experience their creative and novel approach to social media, especially their blog, Twitter and Facebook. Michael mentioned that he asks each intern to write a blog on their experience at Big Red Cloud.

I was invited to attend marketing meetings led by Michael. At these meetings we discussed new marketing projects. For example, there were several meetings about our BREXIT survey. We fixed the sequence of processes and determined the scope and terms of the project. I’d no idea what BREXIT was until Michael asked me to collate newsfeeds from Irish and UK newspapers to find out what the main economists were predicting.

I had no problems following or understanding the meetings because I was already familiar with marketing. But still, I was surprised that there so many possibilities to attracting potential customers. Furthermore, I got to know new programmes for creating online surveys and building landing pages.

In my free time, I travelled across Ireland. I get many tips from my friendly colleagues at Big Red Cloud so I visited Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse, Greystones and the Happy Pear, and walked the Bray Head. I also walked along the Wild Atlantic Way in Galway and I saw the impressive landscape in Donegal. I got to meet a lot of friendly people.

During my 4-week work placement I gained much experience. I had a superb time in Ireland and at Big Red Cloud. I take so many good memories with me back to Germany.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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