CAPA Internship Site Supervisor Interview: Stephen O'Leary
Meet Stephen O’Leary, managing director and CAPA internship site supervisor at Olytico, an online media and social media monitoring and analysis company. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper and serves on the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Council. He is also a highly regarded conference speaker having addressed audiences at events including the Sport and New Media Conference in Paris, the Dublin Web Summit, DMX, The MBA Conference and the National Digital Media and Marketing Summit. When he’s not analyzing data, Stephen also lectures in Online Journalism in Griffith College Dublin where CAPA students attend classes. Below, he talks about expectations of CAPA interns, details the impact previous CAPA interns have had at Olytico and shares a few of his favorite things about Dublin.
CAPA WORLD: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
STEPHEN O'LEARY: I am Cork native but have spent the majority of my professional career in Dublin. I am alumnus of Griffith College where I studied Journalism and I now lecture in Journalism at this college. Over the years, I have worked in software sales, as a sports agent and I am currently running a social media listening agency called Olytico. Outside of work I enjoy running and playing golf.
CW: What is Olytico? What is your role within the company?
SO: Olytico is Ireland’s most respected social media monitoring and analysis agency. We help brands to cut through the digital chaos and to identify the most relevant online conversations. We provide both real-time information and retrospective reports on how our clients’ actions and reactions are being received by audiences online. As Olytico’s founder and Managing Director, I manage the day-to-day running of the business as well as building a solid vision and strategy for future success.
CW: Describe a typical interview with a CAPA intern. What are some examples of questions they should be prepared to answer? What else is important for them to keep in mind when preparing for their interview?
SO: As our offices are based in Dublin, a typical interview with a CAPA intern is usually over the phone, on Skype or through a Google Hangout – unfortunately we don’t have the time to visit the United States for face-to-face interviews! In general, we see the interviews as a way to identify if a candidate will be a suitable fit for Olytico and our selection process is based on university/college subjects, work experience to date and relevant extracurricular activities. One of the main things we try to identify is the candidate’s passion for the role – do they really want to work with Olytico and if so, why? It’s really important for a candidate to show a good understanding of what we do as business and to explain why they want to work with us.
CW: What sort of tasks will CAPA interns be given? What are your main expectations of them in the office?
SO: We like to give our CAPA interns a challenging and varied role. From day one we try to ensure that they are integrated into the Olytico team. As a social media monitoring agency, a lot of our time is spent online and analyzing data on behalf of our clients. CAPA interns are fully involved in this process, helping us to identify key conversation drivers and social media opportunities for our clients. In addition, our CAPA interns take a lead role in managing our own social media channels, curating relevant content from across the internet and sharing it with our online audiences.
CW: What can CAPA interns expect to learn from their experience at Olytico?
SO: We hope that learn quite a lot! We make a genuine effort to immerse our interns into the business so they get a chance to learn a lot technically (in terms of software tools we use) and personally (in terms of working in teams, new ways of working, etc.).
CW: Share a few examples of CAPA interns who have made an impact at Olytico.
SO: We have had great experiences to date with our CAPA interns. Our interns have brought a sense of enthusiasm and inquisitiveness to the office, bringing real energy to our teams. As well as that, it has been really beneficial to have an international perspective in the office – it is great to have access to an American point of view on Irish-focused topics.
CW: As a social media expert, what are some key points for upcoming graduates to keep in mind? How can they leverage social media to find a job? What should they be careful to avoid?
SO: Social media is such an exciting space, but as it is constantly changing. It can also be very challenging. Graduates should be aware that some of the content that they share through social media channels is publicly available so prospective employers could research their online presence and may find some non-flattering content. On the other hand, social media platforms also give graduates a great opportunity to showcase their skills and work experience, especially through platforms like LinkedIn or YouTube. I would advise taking an active interest in managing your online profiles.
CW: Why do you think studying abroad is important?
SO: Based on feedback from our previous CAPA interns, studying abroad is a hugely rewarding experience. It helps to build confidence, allows interns to learn new ways of doing business and to understand new cultures. It is incredible to see the level of growth that interns experience in the course of their placements. Ireland is also a great place to visit so studying abroad can be great fun too!
CW: Tell us about the area around your office.
SO: Our offices are perfectly located in the heart of Dublin’s city center, a 5-minute walk to Stephen’s Green. As a city center location, it is very easy to access our offices with a number of Dublin Bus services (e.g. 46a, 11, 39, etc.) and the LUAS (rail service) is a short walk away. In terms of food selections, we are spoiled for choice. Personal favorites would be Peacock Green or House on Leeson Street.
CW: What’s your favorite Dublin discovery and why?
SO: Dublin Happenings – a series of great outdoor events that take during the summer time in Dublin. Outdoor Cinema screenings is a personal fave!
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