Elaine Gallagher (BComm (European) with Italian, 2008)

'I graduated from the BComm (European) with Italian programme in 2008. I remember feeling pretty sad to be leaving college as I had thoroughly enjoyed my four years in UCC but I was also excited about entering the working world. I feel that this degree prepared me well for what employers were looking for. The commerce subjects were interesting and topical and there were a lot of options to choose from when making my fourth year subject choices. I chose mainly accounting subjects as this is the career path I wanted to take.

'Studying a language in college is very enjoyable. The classes are small and so there is a lot of contact with the lecturers and there was always time for questions and discussions in class. I spent my year abroad in Siena, which is probably one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been in. I learned so much that year about the Italian way of life and I was surprised to see how different college life is there compared to in Ireland. I liked the University of Siena, but it did not compare to UCC for facilities and support services for students.

'When I was being interviewed for jobs during the milkround, employers were very interested in my degree, and in particular the language skills and the year abroad. In my opinion a commerce degree is more valuable when you have also studied a language as there are so many multinationals in Ireland who do business with Italy and other countries. Italian speakers are always in demand.

'I took a job as a trainee auditor with KPMG in Dublin. Unfortunately my role here does not involve using my Italian, apart from translating the odd document that we receive from a client. I feel that my degree gave me a very solid foundation for what I would need to learn as an auditor as I had studied Accounting in 1st year, 2nd year and final year. What I learned in these courses was very topical and relevant.

'I would like to find a job in the future where I can use my Italian as I would be very disappointed if I forgot everything that I learned. I can't see this being a problem as there seem to be many employers looking for people with this type of degree so they can combine their business knowledge with an ability to communicate with Italian clients. The Business Italian course I took in final year was invaluable as it gave me a very good knowledge not only of business language but also business etiquette in Italy.

'If someone were to ask me to recommend a business course for them to study I would encourage them to consider this one, as I know that the four years would be enjoyable, rewarding and well worth it in the end because there are great job prospects.'

(From FB)

'Since I posted the comment above I have changed jobs. I now work for EMC in Ovens in their Accounts Receivable department. Luckily this role allows me to use Italian on a daily basis as I collect from some Italian customers. It's great being able to use Italian again, but it's also a challenge as the language I need to use can be quite specialised.

'My job involves managing a portfolio of customers and ensuring that I meet cash collection goals every quarter. The job is very interesting as I contact customers from all over the world, and it's challenging as I always have targets to meet such as Over 60s and DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) targets.

'Two years on, I can still see the benefits of the BComm Euro degree, especially the benefit of having a foreign language.'

(From FB)

Valerie Healy (BA Language & Cultural Studies - French, 2008)

'I am currently studying for an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, Norwich.

'The MA is extremely interesting.  It is based on the theory and practice of literary translation (prose, poetry, drama), with a number of very informative seminars from guest lecturers and practising translators.  Studying at UEA has also afforded me the opportunity to become a member of the editorial team for this year's issue of the Norwich Papers, a respected translation journal based in the university.  My course is full-time for the year, with my dissertation to be handed in in September 2009.  After this I hope to travel for a while, spend some time in France and Italy, to improve my language skills, and spend time translating my first book (I'm reading and searching for the right one at the moment).  I then intend to send it to the relevant publishers and hopefully set myself on the road to becoming a translator of contemporary prose fiction.  As I realise that the chances of a full-time career in literary translation are slim, I think an academic career may also be on the horizon.  I would like to lecture in French and/or Italian literature and translate freelance in my own time.' (January 2009)


Department of Italian


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