Senior Content Designer with Fjord at The Dock (Accenture’s global research & innovation centre)
Bachelor of Arts in English & History https://www.ucc.ie/en/ck101/
I loved studying Arts. The degree was varied and so interesting, the lecturers were passionate and the tutorials challenging. I felt like I could study whatever I wanted.
What I really loved was the time that I had to develop outside of my course. Arts isn’t a 9-5 course, so you have the opportunity to really make the most of everything on campus: I joined the UCC Express and became a sub editor; I became a member of the Choral Soc; I went to more gigs than I could count. I was able to get a job and still study well. All of that made for a really rich experience, and it absolutely got me out of my shell and out of my comfort zone in a way that I don’t think a “safer” course with a defined career at the end of it would have done for me.
You get out of Arts what you put into it. I knew going into Arts that I would have to craft a career for myself, because it’s not a course with a cookie-cutter job at the end of it. But it’s so important to see that for what it is: an opportunity, not a limitation. Arts can take you anywhere. I’ve worked in tech, in communications, in publishing and content creation.
Today, I work in design for the global R&D and innovation hub of one of the world’s biggest consulting firms. If you go into Arts with all guns blazing, you really will learn the skills that you need to succeed in the jobs market: how to seize and create opportunities, to think creatively, to build relationships and take chances. Employers will see that in you. Trust me!
Senior Manager with Global Management at VMWare
Bachelor of Arts International in European Studies & French https://www.ucc.ie/en/ck108/
I had always wanted to study French, and the BA in European Studies added an additional lens to my knowledge of history at a European level, that I thought could be used in a professional context. The BA also gave the flexibility to choose 4 subjects, one of which was History, so I was happy to keep that for the first year of the program.
I felt was an excellent foundational degree that would also offer an intellectual and creative challenge for me. I had never considered any other track, as the humanities were always my favourite field of study. I loved my time at UCC so much so that I have come back for two further programs; a Cert in Supply Chain, and an MSc in Coaching which is currently in progress.
I manage a team of 20 people from Europe & Asia-Pacific, our primary function is in software logistics and getting product to customers. I find it an advantage to be an Arts graduate in the middle of many business or technology graduates so that it adds a diversity of thinking and working styles to the group.
I have a lifelong passion for Arts subjects, and I think it is important to give yourself a path that will challenge you, but also that you have an interest in. I think an interest in the subject matter is foundational to being successful and will take you places you may never have expected! I’m very proud to have a BA and I would still do it if I were 18 years old again.
Senior Associate Client Solutions at Gerson Lehrman Group
Bachelor of Arts World Languages
I always loved learning languages and had a strong interest in learning Chinese. World Languages was a new course and everything about it appealed to me, from being able to study three languages, which I did for the first two years of my degree, to being able to split my year abroad, as well as the cultural element to the course.
I had a great experience with my degree at UCC. All the language teachers were very helpful, and the classes were always very beneficial due to the small classroom environment. The year abroad in Shanghai was one of the best experiences of my entire degree and was a fantastic way to improve the language and learn more about the culture.
My degree has been a major plus to my career. In my final year of college I was unsure of what my next step would be but due to languages being so broad, I had a lot of options, something that always appealed to me about the degree. One of the main things my current employer was looking for at the time I applied was people who studied languages. Now I get to use my languages in the workplace, as well as learn more about the world of business which is something I never had any prior exposure to.
Professional Musician, Artistic Director and Producer, Raelach Records, Independent ResearcherBachelor of Arts with Music https://www.ucc.ie/en/ck104/
Initially, I decided to study a BA in Arts with Music because I had intended on becoming a secondary-level teacher but that ambition changed soon after I began my studies at UCC.
For me, this was a very positive development because it made me aware that I had many eclectic interests within the discipline of music, and my studies at UCC encouraged me to appreciate education for its own value rather than see it as a stepping stone to some ready-made career.
As I look at my career today, I can certainly attribute many of the important and varied professional skills that I have developed, to my education at UCC. It’s a bit of a cliché, but while at UCC, I became determined to make a job for myself rather than get one.
It is undoubtedly difficult for prospective students to know what path to take after second-level education, but I know that for me, my Arts studies at UCC provided me with a wide-ranging educational and professional training that opened up many opportunities after graduation.
I later went on to pursue further education in the form of masters and PhD studies. Few, if any college options will provide a predictable and certain future pathway, so I feel that it is important that students consider the educational flexibility and diverse skillset that a degree like Arts and Music at UCC can provide, in a professional world that demands such a range of skills, experience, and expertise.
Data Analyst at Musgrave
Bachelor of Arts in Digital Humanities & Information Technology https://www.ucc.ie/en/ck118/
I chose Digital Humanities because of my deep desire to understand. I chose philosophy as my accompanying Arts subject in first year because where else would someone who wants to understand the world go? If it wasn’t for my Arts degree, I definitely wouldn’t be able to think as creatively as I do.
Arts degrees do not necessarily teach you how to think, but rather how to choose what to think about, and how to approach an idea from different angles. It’s very hard to describe, but learning to think in this way allows you to come up with multiple ideas without ever having to narrow your focus to just one.
It is almost like you can come up with an idea, hold it out in front of you without getting too attached to it, examine it for flaws, notice where someone else might have an issue with it, amend it, and if necessary trash it and start over. That ability, combined with the technical skill of computer science makes every student a unique asset because they have a way of building technical solutions that nobody else in the industry has.
I am a data analyst in Musgrave. My role is to find innovative solutions to business problems, and to find ways of understanding our company through data. My role is to take a business question and build a solution using any available technology.
My day-to-day projects use all of the technical skills I learned in computer science, such as machine learning and programming, as well as the critical skills I learned from Philosophy, exploring things like ‘is this the best way to approach this issue’ or even 'should we use this technology in this way’.
Marketing and Events Executive with Conference UCC, UCC Academy,
Bachelor of Arts International in Mathematics & Italian https://www.ucc.ie/en/ck108/
I had a broad range of interests in secondary school; I loved both languages and Mathematics and was unsure about which route to pursue at third level. My Arts degree offered the perfect platform to combine these interests and gain further exposure to both fields - I would not have had this flexibility in any other programme!
My degree was challenging but ultimately very stimulating and rewarding; flexibility aside, no other degree would have offered me the same level of diversity in what I learnt as an Arts programme. I split my time equally between both subjects and was able to develop a range of different skills: attention to detail, critical thinking and an analytical mind-set are the three areas in which I progressed the most during my degree.
The Erasmus programme was a particular highlight, living and learning abroad were both great experiences from which I benefitted greatly. My unusual choice of subjects makes my CV stand out, in my experience, employers value anything on CVs which makes candidates stand out: the great thing about an Arts degree is that you can really make it your own in a way which isn’t possible with other degrees.
This diversity was important in helping me secure a place on the IBEC Global Graduate Programme with Bord Bia in Milan, my first job after finishing in UCC. There I gained valuable insight into the worlds of Food Marketing and Event Management while also furthering my Italian. This experience in turn helped me in obtaining the role I have recently begun in UCC, where I am still using the skills I developed throughout my Arts degree.
Faye Ní Mhurchú
Ealaíona Idirnáisiúnta Comhchéim Onóracha – an Ghaeilge & an Fhraincis https://www.ucc.ie/en/ck108/
Nuair a bhíos ar scoil ní raibh fhios agam cén post nó cen sort gairm beatha gur mhaith liom a bheith agam. Bhí an-ghrá agam ar an nGaeilge, bhí an méid sin ar eolas agam ach ní raibh aon shlí bheatha soiléir dom. Bheartaigh mé cloí leis an rud a thaitin go mór liom, is é sin an Ghaeilge, agus bhíos dóchasach go dtiocfainn ar fhreagra sa deireadh – agus buíochas le Dia, tháinig!
Sa chéad bhliain, roghnaigh mé an Ghaeilge, an Fhraincis, an Spáinnis agus an pholaitíocht. Ar an gcéad lá, cheapas go mbeidh mé ag coimeád an Ghaeilge agus an Pholaitíocht. Le linn na chéad bliana áfach, d’aithin mé go rabhas ag baint an-taitneamh as na ranganna Fraincise agus i ndeireadh na dála, shocraigh mé cloí leis an Ghaeilge agus an Fhraincis. Mar thoradh ar sin, bhí deis agam bliain Erasmus a dhéanamh sa Fhrainc.
Toisc go raibh réimse leathan ábhar a bhí ar fail sa chéid bhliain, ní raibh mé sáinnithe le mo rogha agus bhí deis agam triail a bhaint as roinnt ábhar. Le linn mo thréimhse i gColáiste na hOllscoile Chrocaigh, tugadh na céadta deiseanna dom mo lámh a chur suas agus páirt a ghlacadh - agus b’shin díreach cad a rinne mé!
Le linn mo chéime, cuireadh ardáin os mo chomhair ionas gur féidir liom mo thuairimí a roinnt. Chothaigh sé sin roinnt rudaí ionam: suim i gcúrsaí cumarsáide agus sna meáin, muinín gur féidir linn rudaí athrú agus paisean sa ghluaisteacht na mac léinn. Bíodh dearcadh oscailte agat mar gheall ar rogha ábhar. Rinne mé fhéin an Spáinnis agus thaitin sí go mór liom cé gur rud chomh nua ab ea í dom. Cé go bhfuil ábhar éigean nua chugat, ná bíodh faitíos ort triail a bhaint as!
Bachelor of Arts International: Irish and French https://www.ucc.ie/en/ck108/
I guess in school I really didn’t know what I wanted to “be”. I knew what I loved, and that was Irish but I didn’t see a clear career path for myself. I figured if I stuck with what I loved, I would eventually find my footing – and luckily enough, I did!
In first year, my four subjects were Irish, French, Spanish and politics. On day one I had my heart set on carrying Irish and politics through to second year. However, as first year progressed, I realised that I was really enjoying my French classes and I ultimately ended up keeping on Irish and French. This also resulted in me doing an Erasmus Year in France.
The wide variety of subjects offered in first year arts meant that I wasn’t bound with my choice and I was given the chance to try out a few subjects and develop my interests. Throughout my degree in UCC, I was given countless opportunities to put my hand up and get involved, and that is exactly what I did – I just kept putting my hand up.
Throughout my degree, I was presented with platforms to have my voice heard. This fostered many things in me: an interest in media and communications, a belief that change is possible and a passion for the student movement. Be open-minded about subject choice. I took up Spanish and I loved it because of the “newness” of it, it was something I had never done before, and I relished the challenge. Just because a subject may be unfamiliar territory for you, don’t be afraid to try it.