As Donegal’s young people continue to flock to foreign shores, donegaldaily.com reporter Marie Duffy presents the second of a series of interviews speaking to those who are creating a new life abroad.
Eddie Mc Daid is 30 and from St Johnston, but currently living in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco.
Having studied commerce in NUI Galway, and completed a masters in the prestigious Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business in UCD, Eddie found himself highly qualified but unable to secure a job.
“I did apply for some positions in Ireland, but the availability of attractive positions was limited and the quality and quantity of candidates unprecedented”, he said.
“The Irish economy was struggling and the allure of recession-proof Silicon Valley was hard to resist.”
Eddie’s first choice was to work in Ireland, however, he was quickly snapped up by a firm in the prestigious Silicon Valley which is the technology capital of the world.
“I am a program manager in charge of operations at the Irish Innovation Center (IIC) in downtown San Jose. The IIC is the Silicon Valley’s launching pad for Irish Technology companies. We provide an environment for like-minded entrepreneurs to gain access to venture firms, bankers, customers, suppliers and employees that will enable their companies to grow and flourish.”
He believes it is a huge mistake to allow Ireland’s graduates to emigrate abroad for work.
“It is a terrible pity we are exporting many of our country’s youngest, brightest and most educated abroad. Education, investment in job creation and the integration of our educated citizens into the Irish economy is vital”, he said.
“We have had investment in education during the boom but little was offered to develop career building within our country.”
In order to climb out of the recession Eddie believes Ireland must market itself as the technology capital of Europe.
“We must try to actively position ourselves as the technology capital of Europe, we have many of the elements required to do this and that has been demonstrated by the presence of many leading technology firms in Ireland, we must now market our country accordingly- promoting our strengths and identifying and addressing our weaknesses.
“I am happy to replace rain, clouds and cold with sun, blue skies and the beach. I like that myself and my colleagues can take lunch and sit outside cafes and restaurants in the fresh air. I like that the sun always wakes you up in the morning, making it so much easier to get up.”
“I also like engaging and exchanging ideas with people from various cultures. I like being part of a large urban community that offers all the big city benefits but only being a short drive from the beach. “
Despite enjoying his life in San Francisco, Eddie sorely misses his friends and family from home.
“I miss the relaxed pace and the unique, quite sarcastic and accommodating character that can only be found in Ireland.”
But what I miss most about home is family and friends. I miss Donegal where I’m from, and Galway where I went to university.”Tags: