Helen Hanley (BA Single Honours, Major Italian/Minor English, 1996)

'While working in the financial sector in Dublin after graduating, I met my boyfriend Vittorio, a chef from Sicily. In 1999 we decided to move to Cork (my birthplace) and to open our own restaurant. On 29 May 1999 we opened Sciaccamare, ristorante siciliano with Vittorio cooking and me in front of house. We are extremely happy with our venture and have no regrets.

'I never imagined that after three years studying Italian at UCC I would have my own Italian restaurant. The Italian language is vital in my job, because we have many Italian customers who prefer to speak in Italian'. (January 2001)

Ciara Lawler (BA Single Honours, Major Italian/Minor French, 1996)

'Having completed my degree, I went to London and did a brief stint in retail, but I didn't like London and came home. I then did a Marketing course in a private college in Limerick, and subsequently moved to Dublin. There I worked first in a company called WOMEX for two months before it went into liquidation and now I am with Sun Mircosystems in Dublin as a Senior European Marketing Executive. I have been here since 1998. I use my Italian daily and regularly travel to events, conferences, etc. in Milan... it also gives me a chance to pick up some shoes!' (March 2002)

Deirdre O'Brien (BA Joint Honours - European Studies, Major French/Minor Italian, 1996)

'After graduation I went on to do the Higher Diploma in Education and then took a year out where I lived in Livorno in Italy for 9 months. I then came back to Dublin to do a Masters in European Economic and Public Affairs after which I was recruited for the Enterprise Ireland two-year graduate programme in Paris in September 1999. I'm still here in Paris, I've been working as a PR and Communications Officer since October 2001 with the bank BNP Paribas. I still have a great love for all things Italian and have done refresher courses to try and keep it up. I'd love to hear from anyone from my class, my email is deirdreobrien@yahoo.com.

'I must also say I thought the Italian Department were the soundest of all the departments I dealt with in UCC and their Italian spirit of humour and laid back charm were great in times of stress!' (January 2003)

Robert Burts (BA Joint Honours - European Studies, Major Spanish/Minor Italian, 1996)

In May 1998, Liz Hesse (see below) reported: 'I spoke to Robert recently about the Website. Robert did a Higher Diploma in I.T. at UCC in 1996/97 (I don't know the exact title). He is now an Analyst Programmer for Dell in Limerick and is going to Dell, Texas for six months in two weeks' time'.

Liz Hesse (BA Joint Honours - European Studies, Major French/Minor Italian, 1996)

'I am currently a Recruitment Consultant with Head Hunt International, Limerick. I'd be very grateful if you could mention Head Hunt's name to anyone who is looking for employment or a fresh start. I only use my Italian occasionally when speaking to Italian customers, as happened recently. In September 1998 I will enrol in the Certificate in Personnel Management at the University of Limerick'. (May 1998)

Department of Italian


First Floor Block A West, O' Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland