Megan E. Carroll, the director of intern placements for the IIIC’s J-1IWT program, recently traveled to Chicago, the third most popular destination for the IIICJ-1IWT students and graduates. The primary purpose of the trip was to cultivate prospective host businesses for the J-1IWT 12-month visa program and provide program participants with the opportunity to have some one-on-one time with Megan in addition to having an opportunity to network with each other.
Megan hosted two events in Chicago. At the Chicago Business Leaders Breakfast, held at the Woman’s Athletic Club of Chicago, the IIIC was honored to have Midwest Regional Director of the American Ireland Fund, Roseann Finnegan LeFevour, as a guest speaker. The Consul General of Ireland, Aidan Cronin, also spoke on the state of the economy in Ireland and the positive impact that programs such as the J-1IWT have on U.S.-Ireland business relations, the economy, and the positive experience of those involved. Megan then presented the program and its benefits to host employers. Noteworthy contributors to the discussion that followed were Billy Lawless, proprietor of Henri and The Gage; Fiona McEntee, Immigration Attorney; and Dan O’Donnell, owner of Armitage Hardware Building Supply, a man who is known for the thousands of Irish immigrants that he has helped for decades in Chicago.
Megan then hosted a J-1IWT Networking Night at the Emerald Loop Bar and Restaurant. Each of the nine students/graduates present was given one-on-one individualized attention to discuss his or her personal situation and professional goals. Of the attendees, four already had internship placements, two were still interviewing, and three young men who arrived just a few days previously were really able to hit the ground running after meeting with Megan.
Thanks to the generosity of the AIF, Megan was able to offer complimentary invitations to attend the next evening’s American Ireland Fund Wintergreen Gala at Galleria Marchetti where 300 Chicago young business leaders were present. This served as a wonderful opportunity and experience for the IIIC J1IWT’s.