Undergraduate Testimonials

Brian Foley - BComm (Euro) Spanish


BComm (Euro) Spanish 2011

I began studying Spanish as a complete beginner in UCC. Thanks to well structured classes and extremely dedicated staff, my standard of Spanish rapidly improved. I spent my ERASMUS year at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, during which time I developed fluency in Spanish, strong cultural awareness and the ability to interact with people from across the globe, both professionally and socially. Returning to UCC, I honed these skills and found them to be precisely what employers wanted. Just weeks after completing my final year exams, I took up employment with Telefónica – one of the largest telecoms companies in the world – on their pan-European graduate programme. This would not have been possible without the skills I learned at UCC and I will be forever grateful to the teachers and staff of the Department of Hispanic Studies for their continuous support and dedication during the time I spent there.


Laura McGloughlin, BA Language and Cultural Studies


(Spanish) - 2003

Studying Hispanic Studies led me to my chosen career as a freelance literary translator based in London. Having studied both Spanish and Catalan within my undergraduate degree allows me to translate from both languages and has proven to be the thing that stands out on my C.V., as most of my published translations are from Catalan rather than Spanish. My freelance work includes working with ICEX (commercial office of the Spanish Embassy), Royal Shakespeare Company, Portobello Press, Peirene Press and Doubleday: frenetic, full of deadlines but never dull!

Maeve McLoughlin - BComm (Euro) Spanish - 2004


BComm International Spanish

I chose to study a broad degree and since I thought I would be bored with doing a straight Commerce degree I opted for the BComm Euro (now the BComm International). Spanish seemed to me to be the most obvious choice. It was the third most widely spoken language at the time and I felt it would open up many doors to me in terms of business relations. I was interested in working in the fashion industry. Spain had its thriving fashion houses and Central and South America were key textile manufacturing areas. Although I had studied French at school the idea of learning a third language appealed to me. For my erasmus year I studied in Granada with three other girls from the BComm Euro class. It was a fantastic year in which I made friends that I am still in contact with from all over the world and in Spain. It gave me a taste for the Spanish lifestyle and culture and I came back really in love with the Spanish language. After my degree I was unsure of what direction I wanted to go in. The one thing I did know is that I wanted to perfect my Spanish. A few weeks after graduating I flew to Spain to look for a job with the aim of achieving a better level of fluency. I ended up in Santiago de Compostela where I lived for 9 months working as an English teacher and in an Irish Bar until I received a call for an interview through IBEC and the EOP Programme. I was offered a job in Madrid with TaxbackInternational.com where I worked as the Partnership Manager for the Spanish market developing a network of contacts for the company and negotiating partnerships with trade fair centres, conference centres and hotel chains throughout Spain. I stayed with the company and in Madrid for a year and a half. After that I left to go travelling for ten months in Asia and South America. Immediately afterwards I flew to Antigua in the Caribbean and worked for six months on a sailing yacht sailing around the Caribbean and up and around the United States. I am currently studying a taught MA in Hispanic Studies in UCC. My thesis is a study of Castelao's (a Galician artist and writer) book Cousas. I wish to pursue a PhD in Spain in the next academic year in the University of Santiago. Ideally my career would be in Spain as a University lecturer teaching translation and English literature.

Rory Brosnan - BA Language & Cultural Studies


Spanish - 2000

Rory Brosnan is a Los Angeles based film-maker. After graduating from UCC in 2000, he attended film school at the prestigious University of Southern California in Los Angeles, helped in part by winning a Bank of Ireland Millennium Scholarship (Creative Arts Category). He has since worked around the film business for the likes of The Walt Disney Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. He plans to return to Ireland in a year or two to set up his own production company.

"Growing up I loved story-telling and always aspired to a career in the film business. Being from Cork, that never seemed like the most sensible option in the world, so I bided my time and studied Spanish and English at UCC. This allowed me to transform my love of story-telling into the formal study of narrative, and learning a foreign language and studying in Spain for a year allowed me to travel and see more of the world. Years later, both would be hugely important to my career path. The Department's rigorous academic standards have given me an understanding of narrative that is fundamental to my career as a screenwriter, and the adaptability and resilience that comes from living abroad has certainly proved helpful as I navigate the entertainment industry in Los Angeles - a career path not noted for its predictability. Having said all that, living and studying for a year in Spain was character building only in hindsight. At the time it was just an incredibly enjoyable way of spending a year of college and I would recommend it to any student with a sense of adventure."

Roisin Listen - BA Languages and Cultural Studies


Spanish 2009

Choosing Hispanic Studies at UCC definitely broadened my horizons. I didn’t just learn new languages; I was inspired by friendly, approachable teachers, students and staff who shared their experiences from all over the world. In turn, I learned to assimilate new cultures, adapt to different environments and apply an openness to learning new professional skills since graduating. The international experience gained through studying in Spain, and in a multi-cultural setting in Ireland, helped me to secure a place on the IBEC Export Orientation Programme and a job with Tourism Ireland in their Copenhagen and New York offices.

Alan Gallagher - BComm (Euro) Spanish


Commerce and Spanish 2005

I always wanted to study Commerce and had taken Spanish for my Leaving Cert and so wanted to incorporate the language into my studies. Being from Kilkenny 95% of people would have gone to Dublin to college and only a handful ended up down in Cork that year in 2001. I was slightly apprehensive about studying in UCC but to be honest it was the best thing that ever happened. Everything from the subject choices to the facilities to the staff are top class.

The Commerce and Spanish course also incorporates a year abroad in which you study in a foreign university. Simply put, the year abroad in Granada was without a doubt the best year of my life. I was lucky in that all my class got on extremely well and still do. The year abroad opens your mind so much and it is a fantastic opportunity to take in another culture and live in a beautiful country for a year. The support that we got from the Spanish department was second to none in terms of regular contact and advice and general support . One of the staff members also came to visit us and make sure that everything was running smoothly.

The Spanish course in UCC ties in beautifully with the Commerce course and gives you an extra advantage over the people that study straight Commerce. You are presented with more opportunities and because of the global village in which we now do business it is imperative to be able to communicate in a second language. My knowledge of business skills acquired through the Commerce Faculty combined with my language skills from the Spanish department have led me to be a successful business person today.

After leaving college I went to work in the University of La Coruña in Northern Spain. My position there was as an English Language Assistant in the Business Faculty and obviously the education that I received in UCC was paramount to this being a success. After my time in Coruña I returned home to work with a multinational company based in the South East. My role as a Business Development Manager was to generate new business from the company, which I did very successfully. I was travelling abroad every second week and worked in countries such as Ecuador, Panama, Israel, Slovenia, Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Morocco, Egypt, UK, USA and many many more. I also spent a lot of time travelling to Spain to work with companies and I would not have been able to do this as successfully as I did without the business Spanish curriculum which I learned in the department in Cork. I now work as a manager for another company that has its global HQ in the South East and has employees in 24 offices in 17 countries. I still get to use my Spanish as I speak with contacts from all over the world on a regular basis.

I can genuinely say that I loved every minute of studying in the Spanish department and would have no hesitation in recommending the department to anybody who has an interest in learning more about the Hispanic culture. The staff take a very hands on attitude and are extremely approachable and are there to help you with any query that you may have. The department can really offer you the full package that every student needs and will set you on course for a great future.

Paula McCarthy - BComm (Euro) Spanish - 2004


Spanish - 2004

I completed Commerce with Spanish in 2004 and spent my Erasmus year in Santiago de Compostela in 2002-2003. The year in Spain was invaluable and my level of Spanish improved tenfold. When I came back to finish final year I applied to IBEC for the EOP which involves a bi-lingual interview in Spanish and English and I was placed with an Irish company in Spain for a one-year graduate programme. I spent the year travelling around Spain as sales and project manager for the company and used my Spanish on a daily basis in a professional capacity. Since then I have returned to college to complete a law degree and I am currently doing the Barrister at Law Degree in The Honourable Society of KingsInns. I will complete this degree in May 2009 and will begin practising in October 2009. During the summer I hope to complete a legal internship in Barcelona where I will use both Spanish and English. While completing my law degree, I have given Spanish grinds to leaving and junior certificate students. The combination of an international language with business was the best decision I made as it has given me a wider spectrum of opportunities and allowed me to diversify since leaving UCC. While studying in the Hispanic Department I found that lectures on Latin American topis such as Chicano Literature were really interesting and would recommend them to everyone.

Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

First Floor - Block B East O'Rahilly Building University College Cork Ireland