Student Profile Ciara Judge
2nd Year BSc Genetics, Quercus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholar, from Co. Cork
Why did you choose UCC?
When it came to choose what college I'd attend, I was very torn, as I fancied the idea of going to America. However, when I found out about the quercus scholarship I knew UCC would be the ideal place for me. Obviously it's so close to where I grew up, only about a 40 minute drive, which is very handy, and the atmosphere on campus is one of the best I've ever experienced. There's nothing quite like sitting in the ampitheatre in the sun on a nice day and watching campus life happen around you!
What extracurricular activities do you take part in while attending UCC?
My scholarship is innovation and entrepreneurship, so obviously I'm heavily involved in those areas. I spend a lot of time travelling Ireland and indeed the world attending conferences, speaking on behalf of young people and giving the youth perspective on a range of issues from women in STEM to activism.
However, I have also gotten involved in more mainstream campus life. Since entering college, I joined the UCC Trampoline Club, and this year I'll be the captain of the club, having previously been first year rep and PRO. Last year I was also PRO of the Clubs' Exec, the governing body for all UCC Clubs. This meant I was in charge of all of the marketing for sport at UCC, which was a brilliant way to gain experience in something a little difference from my course while also getting more involved in university life! In addition to all this, I'm also a peer support leader, and was an ordinary committee on the Genetics society last year.
What are your best memories of UCC so far?
It's honestly impossible to choose from all the amazing memories I have of UCC. All I know is that the two years I have now spent here have been the best of my life to date. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of my best friends here, many of whom I know will be my friends for life. UCC has offered me so many opportunities to grow as a person on levels much more diverse than just academically. While I couldn't possibly choose a favourite memory, my favourite time of year at UCC is in April just before the summer exams. Even though it can be a stressful time, campus comes alive as the weather dries up, and the sight of people gathered around the ampitheatre or laying out in the sun in presidents garden always fills me with a feeling of warmth.
What advice would you give to your leaving cert self?
To my leaving cert self, I'd say just to stay calm and wait for the exams to come - It's never too late to start studying! I'll always remember the advice given to me by my fellow quercus scholar Marie Martin at my interview for the program in May of my leaving cert year: "never underestimate the power of the cram."
What would you like to do when you leave UCC?
After UCC, my sights are set on America. I have an interest in bioinformatics, so I'd love to do a postgrad in that area in one of the institutions on the east coast, perhaps MIT or Harvard. I actually did a research project this past Summer in UCC based around machine learning and bioinformatics, so maybe that experience will be of use to me!