'On completing my degree I spent two and a half years with Xilinx, a Californian semiconductor company who were setting up in Ireland. My primary responsibility was testing circuit design software, this involved quite a bit of time abroad, initially to San Jose, California and later in Edinburgh. I've recently moved jobs and am now working for 3Com in Blanchardstown, Dublin. I spend most of my time designing integrated circuits for data networks. By and large this is interesting and technically challenging work.

'I studied Italian in both 2nd and 4th year and found it to be a thoroughly enjoyable subject. To date, I haven't particularly needed Italian as part of my job but who knows, maybe sometime in the future'. (February 1998)

' In September 1995 I started postgraduate studies in Business Administration at the University of Limerick, specializing in Management Information Systems, which I finished twelve months later. After spending some time backpacking across North America, I took up a position with AST Computers as a corporate support engineer for their Italian market. In March 1998 I am moving to Genoa to work as an IS consultant with Boston Scientific's European IS group'. (February 1998)

'While I was with Boston Scientific (Italia) S.p.A. I was appointed to the position of IS manager and sat on the board. In September 1999 I took up a strategy role with the Engineering Faculty at the University of Limerick. Since the start of August I have been working as a technical strategist with Deutsche Börse in Frankfurt. My role is to develop strategies for the systems of the members of the Börse in Southern Europe and North America specifically in migration to new technologies, GUI based trading systems and connectivity to the trading systems in Frankfurt. Having a degree in Italian has opened so many doors for me, it is very much a unique selling point. In hindsight, transferring from Engineering to a BA in Italian and Mathematics was the best decision I ever made'. (August 2000)

In April 2003, I moved to Barcelona to work for the Spanish Stock Exchange Group (BME) in the derivatives exchange (MEFF), where I am the business development manager. I still use my Italian on a regular basis but work almost entirely in Spanish. I found Spanish very confusing to begin with! Quite similar but very different! (November 2005)

'After graduation I went to live in Bologna, where I spent two years working in an import/export company and gained experience in business and computers. However, I decided I wanted to study literature again and I have recently registered at UCC for an MPhil on Ariosto's Orlando furioso, while teaching English at the University of Ferrara'. (December 1998)

Ita is now Lecturer in Italian at the University of Birmingham, England.

'Like Maeve Buckley, after graduation I went on to the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business in UCD, where I completed a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Business Studies. Following the course I began working with a company called Kao Infosystems, a strategic outsource partner to Microsoft. I began in their Call-Centre, using both my German and Italian on the phone. At the same time I began to pursue an MBS in Strategic International Marketing - part-time over two years. It nearly killed me! :-) During that time, I moved position to Project Co-ordinator for one of Microsoft's World-Wide Marketing Support programs, based in Dublin. I successfully completed the MBS in 1998 and I am currently working in the role of Business Manager for three Strategic Marketing Programs for Microsoft. My area of control is Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The work is both challenging and interesting. Currently, I am managing the 2000 roll-out of one of Microsoft's key customer support programs - so I am kept busy! Kao Infosystems was bought over by Zomax Optical Media Inc. in January 99. From its European Operations Centre in Dublin, Zomax provides marketing services to the software services industry i.e. Call-Centre, warehousing, fulfilment, distribution, order management and other supplementary I.T. services'. (October 1999)

'After graduating, I completed a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations at DIT, Aungier St., Dublin. Immediately afterwards, I began working with Bill O'Herlihy Communications Group, a public relations consultancy, where I handled the public relations activities of a whole range of clients, including Eircell, British Airways, NUI, Galway and The Rose of Tralee International Festival (one particularly close to my heart!)

'I spent three and a half years with Bill O'Herlihy's where I learned everything I know about PR and much more! I just moved back to Cork a month ago and have begun working with Hopkins Communications advertising agency. Again with this agency, I am concentrating on developing effective and appropriate public relations campaigns for existing and new clients as well as learning more about how the advertising world operates.

'I have been back to Italy twice on holiday since I graduated. Unfortunately, however, I rarely get the opportunity to practice my Italian in a work environment. I do keep in touch with some people I met when I au-paired near Trento but generally that is by letter and I can afford to take my time! Nevertheless, if anyone reading this knows of an Italian company operating in Ireland looking for an exciting and cost effective public relations campaign, I would be delighted to oblige and put my Italian to the test!' (October 1999)

'After graduating, I went on to the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business in UCD, where I completed a Diploma in Entrepreneurial Studies. Following the course I worked for five months with one of the small businesses based in UCD's business unit, which was involved in the commercialisation of novel medical devices. I then headed off for a year around the world (US, Australia, Asia - the usual drill!) and had a variety of jobs from waitressing to giving out leaflets to crewing on a yacht for a few months (the best fun!). On my return I spent 4 months in Dublin in Bank of Ireland Asset Management (Client Services Department) and moonlighting by night in a nightclub! In February 1998 I moved to Milan to take up a position with Bord Bia as a Food Marketing Executive. To those not familiar with Bord Bia, we are a government agency charged with increasing the exports of Irish food and drink abroad, and providing a bridge between exporters and buyers. The work is extremely interesting, while we are also in contact with Ireland every day. Check out our website at http://www.bordbia.ie. After having spoken not one word of Italian for three years, I now live my life through it (aargh!) and love it'. (October 1999)

'I am now working on a contract basis for Enterprise Ireland (in Milan) doing project work for technology companies that wish to set up operations in Italy. It's interesting, given the huge volume of companies looking to Italy at the moment (ranked in the top six of EU export destinations according to CSO figures published in The Irish Times on Wednesday, 25 October 2000). And in case people are wondering if it's worth studying a foreign language, since "everyone speaks English", I still find that my Italian contacts prefer to do business in their own language'. (October 2000)

'Since graduation I have completed a two-year Master of Philosophy in Italian literature at UCC. During the primary year of this degree I worked as a tutor in the Italian Department, while an Italian Government Scholarship allowed me to carry out research in Florence for the duration of the second year of the MPhil course.

'Since submitting my thesis in early October 1997 I have been teaching for the North Monastery Language Centre in Cork. My aim is to carry out research for a PhD in Italian literature'. [Deborah registered as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in September 1998. she is now Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Florida.]

'Since my graduation in 1995, I have been working for a telecommunications company in west London. We specialize in Call Centre Consultancy and we provide voice messaging for all telephony applications. Creative scriptwriting, professional voice-overs (in several languages) and technical advice constitute part of the service.

'I have worked in various functions in the business, and was promoted from Sales Executive to Customer Services Manager in 1996. As the company's operations have grown, I have changed roles again, looking after our global clients and managing global agreements and strategy. I have utilized my Italian in dealing with British Airways in Rome, and also in the translation of our company marketing literature and brochure for promotion in Italy. Our client base includes DHL, Avis, Thomas Cook and Hilton International'. (October 1997)

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