Deirdre Buttimer (BA Joint Honours - Language and Cultural Studies, Italian and Sociology, 1997)

'Having graduated with the class of '97, I managed my parents' business for eight months and then went on to join The Merchants Group Callcentre when they started in Ireland. I started there as an agent on a sales project and worked my way up to supervisor level. The opportunity then arose to join the new Siemens Interaction Centre located in Penrose Wharf Cork. I started here as the Italian Supervisor in May 1999 (ten days before my wedding!!!!) and haven't looked back since. It is great to be using my Italian again and work occasionally takes me to Italy. The callcentre here has openings for 13 languages ranging from Finnish to Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, French etc. The environment is very dynamic, so no two days are ever the same. No two minutes are ever the same for that matter!!!!' (April 2000)

Úna Dillon (BA Single Honours, Major Italian/Minor Economics, 1997)

'Since leaving College, I have been working for Bank of Ireland Credit Card Services. The nature of my job is to sort out problems that foreign banks have with retailers who have their account with us. Occasionally, I have to deal with Italian, Spanish and French banks over the phone. Unfortunately, this is the only opportunity I have to use my Italian at present.

'In my spare time I sing with the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir. We perform in the National Concert Hall and sometimes we get to do an Italian piece.'

Úna is now Head of Card Services at Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO). See her updated profile on the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences website:


Nora Clarke (BA Joint Honours - Language and Cultural Studies, French and Italian, 1997)

'Despite my inclinations towards postgraduate work or teaching, I really wanted to get a taste of the world of industry. In the October after graduation, I began an intensive training programme with the IBM Helpcentre in Blanchardstown, Dublin. I was taken on for my knowledge of languages (and specifically Italian), rather than for my technical knowledge of computers, which up to then was minimal. Now I shall soon be working as a "Technical Support Agent" on the Italian line. Anyone with a hardware/software problem who owns an Aptiva computer will be phoning me to solve their issue. A frightening thought! It is a very exciting and challenging time for me. I love learning all the computer jargon and I look forward to the day when I can take my first call with ease and confidence. Until then, my finger will stay very close to that "hold" button!'

Nora sent the following update in March 2000:

'I have now moved on to the Sales & Marketing centre in IBM. I am not on the phones, but am in a support role for all telemarketing agents. I work with marketing strategists in Italy to schedule the marketing campaigns that will run in the Dublin call centre. I was chosen to work with the Italian market because of my fluency in Italian'.

Anne O'Brien (BA Joint Honours - Language and Cultural Studies, Italian and History, 1997)

Anne O'Brien won a postgraduate fellowship and a Charles S. Singleton Scholarship to pursue postgraduate studies in Italian at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA: 'The first couple of weeks here have been pretty hectic, getting orientated, attending classes and getting to know people. I'm settling in now and have established a routine, most of which is based around study in the library (and it's still only October!). Baltimore is a strange city and it's gradually growing on me with all its quirky districts and characteristics.

'The courses I'm following at the moment are: "Dante--a biographical reading of the Divine Comedy"; "Boccaccio--his early works"; "Literary translation"; and "European nationalism". Obviously, I'm using plenty of Italian, but as of yet I have not had to teach'.

Anne is now Lecturer in Italian at NUI, Galway.

Department of Italian


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