Page content

Ulster University Business School, in collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland, is seeking graduate applications for the 2021/22 Graduate to Export programme – a unique scheme where Northern Ireland businesses partner with graduates on an international marketing research project.

The 18-month programme  aims to enhance the export capability of local businesses by providing financial support to employ a qualified graduate to research and target a potential overseas market.

Launching in March 2021 graduates will spend the first six months immersed within a Northern Ireland company, before relocating to an export market for 12 months to undertake comprehensive market research.

As part of the scheme, graduates will receive relevant export skills training and mentorship by Ulster University Business School and the Institute of Export and International Trade, offering a pathway to secure a Postgraduate Diploma in International Marketing.

Sandra Moffett, Head of Department of Global Business and Enterprise at Ulster University Business School, said,

“We are in the midst of a huge economic downturn and many recent graduates are confronting a considerably difficult labour market caused by the economic fallout out from the COVID-19 crisis. Developing critical skills and knowledge to help businesses in their recovery efforts is imperative and this scheme offers a valuable route for graduates to put these talents into action, to make a difference quickly and to help grow and support SMEs on the international stage. Participants will gain meaningful international work experience within a diverse business culture, coupled with a professional accreditation and industry-focused curriculum”.

As well as fully funding the Diploma in International Marketing, Invest NI will also contribute towards the cost of the graduates’ salaries for the duration of the programme.

Steve Harper, Invest NI’s Executive Director of International Trade said,

“We are pleased to be able to support the growth of local talent through the second year of our Graduate to Export Programme. Northern Ireland businesses will have the opportunity to utilise the expertise of a local graduate to do extensive research in advance of targeting new markets, with the ultimate aim of increasing their exports.

"Graduates will bring a fresh perspective and be able to maximise the skills they have gained in the course of their degree. They will also benefit from international business experience and academic mentoring from Ulster University and the Institute of Export and International Trade. It really is a win win for both.”

Businesses involved in the 2019/20 programme include Cubis Systems, EDGE innovate, Invest NI, The Deluxe Group, Teemore Engineering and Repstor.

Due to increased interest from local businesses, Invest NI has been able to support more business participation in this year’s intake. Places are available for graduates to help local organisations put their ambitious international growth plans into action across a multitude of sectors.

The Graduate to Export programme is now open for applications.

For more information and to apply please visit