TIPS FOR J11 JOB SEEKERS: Minister Seán Fleming, Gemma Allen, Jim O’Keefe, Fiona McEntee and Gavin McMahon

Give it your best shot, J-1ers are told

J1 Visa holders seeking work in New York were told they should "sell themselves" positively to prospective employers. 

“You’re in the world capital of capitalism so your potential employer wants to know what you can do for them,” said Gemma Allen, a contributing writer for Forbes. 

Ms. Allen was taking part in a panel offering tips to J-1 Visa holders. Fellow-panellists were Jim O’Keefe, Fiona McEntee and Gavin McMahon while chairing the discussion was Sophie Colgan, creator of the Navigating New York podcast. 

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Ms. Allen urged established Irish in the Big Apple to help the new arrivals.

“Here they say your network is your net worth" she said.

"So if you can help a J-1 Visa holder build their network, please do so.”

The Graduate Gateway initiative, attended by around 159 people, including over 50 J-1 Visa holders, was also addressed by Irish Minister for the Diaspora, Seán Fleming TD. 

Organizers of the event included the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, Digital Irish and the IBO. 
Caroline Reagan of Irish Network NYC said the gathering represented “a breakthrough for the Irish in New York."

”Finally the Irish organizations have pulled together to provide solid help and cogent information for these young people who are trying to find their way in a new and challenging environment,” she said.

On a night when much sage advice was proffered - and gratefully accepted - it was Sophie Colgan who best captured the evening’s message for the latest batch of J-1ers to stake their claim in the Big Apple: “give it your best shot."