Why Arts & Humanities?
I’ve always enjoyed variety when it comes to life and academic studies, and belonging to a close-knit community. The B.A. Honours in Humanities was very attractive to me as an undergraduate, it allowed me to explore a variety of studies such as Theology, Psychology and Philosophy, to broaden my knowledge of more than one subject, while allowing me to do so in a warm, welcoming and personal environment.
Why did you choose Carlow College over other institutions?
Carlow College is unlike any other college, they offer excellent courses, outstanding lecturers and it really gives the student a warm, friendly and close-knit environment to grow in. Having attended other larger universities over the years I found them lacking the personal touch. Everyone in Carlow College is treated like an individual and not just a number. I think back very fondly about my time spent there. I chose this college because I knew I would receive excellent and personal support from the academic team right through to my fellow students and all of the staff there.
What did you enjoy most about the programme?
I absolutely loved the variety of interesting and exciting classes on offer each year. We were some of the first students in Ireland to undertake a Philosophy course in Humans and Other Animals, I’m really proud of that and the fact that the courses really broadened my way of thinking about life. I studied English, Psychology, Drama and Performance, Social Studies and theology, It’s very hard to get such variety anywhere else. I also loved how approachable the lecturers are and how they really go above and beyond to make things fun and interesting for every student.
What did you find challenging about your programme?
Writing Essays was probably the thing I found most challenging. I think many students come from the Leaving Certificate where everything is there in front of you and all you have to do is learn it off. Carlow College wants you to think about things, use your thoughts and opinions and express yourself, this is something I really had no experience in until I started there. I got the hang of expressing myself and learning to write academically after a couple of months and it really has stood to me over the years in many of the jobs that I have undertaken. Plus, the college offered an excellent free service called “Essay Doctor”, where you can get help and advice about writing your essays and writing academically, which was really helpful.
Why should people pursue a degree in Humanities?
This is a question I get asked a lot. It’s a question I’ve really thought about. What pursuing a degree in Humanities does for you in my opinion, is it teaches you how to effectively think on your feet; express your opinions clearly and concisely, whether spoken or written; it teaches you to take large quantities of information and be able to process it quickly and effectively; it teaches you to think about ideas and theories and opens your eyes to living a better life and helping and encouraging others to do so. It also allows you to work in any industry. I have worked very successfully in the service industry, the security industry, in private and public sectors as well as the Non-Governmental Organization sectors over the years. I am able to apply myself to anything, work in fast-paced environments and make quick and effective decisions. In my experience employers nowadays are looking for candidates like this who show an ability to be able to work diversely. Personally, it has allowed me to experience many industries, seek out new and exciting career challenges and to be an asset to any industry I work in.
How would you describe your time at Carlow College? What are the benefits of attending a smaller third level institution?
Carlow College is really one of a kind. I found my courage, strength and personal self-belief here not to mention it has given me knowledge and life skills that have been very lucrative and attractive to my former and current employers. The courses are challenging, interesting and enjoyable. The lecturers are quirky, funny, and full of knowledge, always bringing something new and exciting to the table, and always offering an open door to you when you need the extra support. For those who enjoy the benefits of a strong student life with plenty of activities, nightlife and a student union who has always done their best to cater to students, in a warm and welcoming town, this is the place to be. Attending a smaller college means you are the focus, you get the attention you need to be the best version of yourself after 4 years, primed for the world of work, you meet amazing friends and you have support and encouragement in a friendly environment in a friendly town.
What was the highlight of your time at Carlow College?
There are too many highlights for me; life-long friends that I made, the academic and professional relationships that I have carried with me throughout my career, the way in which the lecturers and courses broadened my mind and understanding of myself and the world around me, the nights out with college friends, the days when we would all meet in the canteen to chat and laugh together and support each other through tough times too. Knowing that after 4 years you never really leave, you’ve always got a place to return to where someone will remember you and your story. You don’t really get better than that.
What advice would you offer to people considering to study at Carlow College?
It’s not about the size of the college that matters, it’s not about what anyone else is doing or where they’re going with their lives, it’s about having an invaluable support system, with interesting, exciting and challenging courses that are going to transition you into an excellent commodity for the employer and career of your dreams; that’s what Carlow College has to offer you.
What did you do when you graduated?
I went to work in the security industry and was quite successful, I continued my studies in Trinity College in International Peace studies, from there I have worked in both private and public organizations, the community sector and currently as a Regional Development and Project Officer for Age Action Ireland. This coming September I will continue my studies in Psychotherapy and Counselling with the view of opening my own private practise in the near future. Life is a journey and I’m thoroughly enjoying the variety.
How did your experience at Carlow College help you find your first position after graduation?
The first job I entered after leaving Carlow College was in the Security Industry. It involved being able to keep detailed and coherent reports, knowledge of human behaviour, express yourself confidently in challenging situations, intake information quickly and think on your feet, my experience at Carlow College definitely helped me be all of those things.
What are you doing now?
I am currently working as a Regional Development and Project Officer for Age Action Ireland for the Getting Started Computer Literacy Programme. I work across 8 different counties with schools, corporates, community organizations, volunteers, students and learners to fight against digital exclusion among older people. I am involved in training, development and recruitment. It’s a very challenging and exciting role with an excellent cause.
What would a typical day look like for you?
When I’m not working from home, I am out and about around 8 different counties meeting people, training people, developing lines of funding or sourcing venues, planning and supervising classes and advertising the programme to various individuals and groups.