Clodagh Mc Carthy (BComm (European) with Italian, 2003)
'Greetings from Argentina. I came here at the beginning of July to participate in a community service programme. I spent two weeks in Buenos Aires completing a Spanish course, but living with an Italian immigrant family, so I spoke far too much Italian and too little Spanish! At present, I have moved to a much poorer city 1000 kilometres north and stay here until the end of August. It's a very interesting experience, completely different from the superficial world of Fashion which I am going into to.
'I won a place at the Istituto Marangoni to complete the Masters in Brand Management, so I start in Milan in mid October. From what I gather, the course uses a real hands-on approach. There is just a group of five of us, and we work with a company throughout the year with the aim of presenting a strategy for them as our final assessment for the year's work. I think it should be an excellent manner to gain contacts in the industry which at this point is crucial.
'On returning to Cork at the end of the summer, I am going to complete a TEFL course for a month which should enable me to teach at least a little next year in Milan and try not to be a complete financial burden on my parents.
'Let me say that my experience with the Italian Department has always been very positive. One of the things that stands out is the friendliness, accessibility and openness of staff members to students. Repeatedly this year, we were asked our opinions regarding how we felt each course was being taught. All staff members showed a genuine interest in receiving our feedback and taking on board our positive and negative comments. There is a familiarity and friendliness between staff and students which I feel can only be positive, and really is a distinguishing feature of the Department.
'My four years of Italian at UCC have left me with lots of happy memories and positive thoughts, which I just hope to develop further in the years to come. At least at this stage, I feel I am equipped with the skills necessary to begin.' (July 2003)
Sean O'Sullivan (BComm (European) with Italian, 2003)
'I found a job with a funds company in Dublin called BISYS as a (very!) junior fund accountant. I started on Wednesday last, so I'm just settling in. I went to a table quiz last night as part of a staff night out: free bar, food, I even won an HMV gift voucher for E15.' (October 2003)
Louise Holden (BComm (European) with Italian, 2003)
'Like many final year students I was very unsure about what I wanted to do after graduation. So, I decided to take some time out and maybe fit in a little travelling and work experience. The summer after my final exams I started work as a Temporary Clerical Officer with the Revenue Commissioners in Cork. I was offered an extension on my contract after the summer and so I continued working until March.
' However I was very anxious to return to Italy as soon as I could, having spent an unforgettable Erasmus year in Naples. In February I applied for the Leonardo da Vinci Project, which is a 13-week work placement in another European country, funded by the European Commission. At the begining of March I flew to Turin with a small group from Ireland to take part in the programme. For the first four weeks we participated in a language course and preparations were made to organise a suitable work placement. I was placed in a EUR.E.S office, which is an EU Employment Agency. It is now my third week here and so far it has been working out very well. The head of the Employment Service is very encouraging and she is always willing to include me in all agency activities. She has even given me a training project to run by myself. This placement was definitely the right choice for me because this September I hope to return to Ireland to start a Masters in European Integration. I would thoroughly recommend the programme to any recent graduates as it is an ideal way to kick start your career.' (April 2004)