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Patrick McGauley (BA Language & Cultural Studies - Italian and History, 2007)
‘After finishing my BA in Language and Cultural Studies – Italian at UCC in 2007 I moved to Rome to do a CELTA course. From there I began teaching business English at a number of multinational companies based in Rome while also working as a freelance translator.
‘In September 2008 I moved to London to start an MA in Language, Culture and History at University College London after being awarded an AHRC scholarship. My MA thesis will focus on the reception and influence of representations of Matera in the post-war period. This study will hopefully become part of a broader PhD project on representations of Basilicata during the dopoguerra and their role in southern question discourse.
‘Going back to university as a mature student in 2003 was a daunting task, but the staff at UCC Italian were always full of encouragement and expert guidance. Moreover, the department gave me the opportunity to begin what I hope will be a successful academic career and I will always be grateful for their help.’ (February 2009)
Aine Ni Riain (BA Language & Cultural Studies, Italian, 2007)
'Well, I graduated from BA Language & Cultural Studies some time ago now, four years ago I think.
'When I graduated, I went off and did a Masters in International Peace Studies. I applied for a few different things, IBEC EOP programme and a HDip, too. I was offered both, but decided on the Masters in the end.
'Having another language really helped, in particular having the experience of having lived and studied in another country really stood to me. In fact I think it was one of the reasons they accepted me into the programme. Acutally, having studied Boccaccio and Dante was also pretty useful for following trends in international relations in the past, you´d be surprised!
'Anyway, once I finished my Masters I went to work for Google. Having another language there was really useful. Even though I didn´t get to speak to Italian customers, there is a huge Italian team working for Google. Also most people speak a second or third language there and there`s an entire team that`s dedicated to a pan-European theme so the more languages you speak and can work in the better. Within my team alone there were at least 4 or 5 other graduates who had studied Italian at some institution or another. Even in my interveiw, they were always really interested to hear that I´d spent the year abroad. When you do your Erasmus year abroad, you´re really thrown into the deep end, so it shows a lot of character to have completed: every interview I´ve gone for since, they´ve always wanted to hear about it.
'Working for Google was a fantastic experience, and a very well paid job to boot. My Italian degree definitely stood to me when I was being recruited and when I was working there. I`ve since left Google to travel Central and South America and learn Spanish. So far so good! I´m hoping to get into teaching when I get home, but with a good degree behind me, it`s a lot easier to be hopeful of getting a job when I get home. Even with all the doom and gloom!
'Best of luck to anyone doing their degree right now. For anyone thinking of doing it, having a language degree, especially one where you´ve lived abroad is an excellent credential when applying for jobs. Having Italian is particularly good because its very hard to find good Italian graduates, the market for them isn`t as flooded as it is for other languages. It`s a good choice if you´re thinking of it.
'Thank you, UCC Italian, I really did have a brilliant time in the UCC Italian Dept, and I really enjoyed all of my courses.'