"The ability to study all aspects of business for the first two years gives students a great taste of the business world," says Aoife
Aoife is a graduate of WIT's School of Business, a Wexford native and attended Loreto Secondary School before coming to WIT.
My name is Aoife McAuliffe and I attended WIT from 2015- 2019. During my time at WIT I studied the Bachelor of Business (Hons) (Common Entry) and then specialised in marketing. I absolutely loved my four years at WIT where I got the chance to play and win All Ireland Football title with the WIT Ladies Gaelic Football team. I was also extremely honoured to have received a student achievement award and to be named on the Dean’s List during my third year and to top off an amazing four years I was also named marketing student of the year in 2019. These are all achievements I am so incredibly proud of and extremely grateful for.
What attracted you to study at Waterford Institute of Technology?
The main attraction to WIT was the incredible reputation their business school holds. As soon as I decided that business was what I wanted to do the choice of college was easy and I am delighted to confirm that their reputation is extremely deserved. Aside from the course itself the fantastic sports teams and facilities the college have was also a major attraction. Having access to top class facilities and coaches made playing for the college so enjoyable.
Did you always know this was the course you wanted to do?
I think after my transition year in school I realised that I really enjoyed business and that it was something I want to pursue as a career. Business was by far my favourite subject for Leaving Cert and when it came to deciding what course I wanted I did a deep dive into each general business course in the country.
WIT’s course just stood out for me, the ability to study all aspects of business for the first two years gives students a great taste of the business world. Then specialising in one area for the last two years of our degree. To be honest, the biggest standout was the work placement option the course offered in 3rd year. This was a massive selling point for me when selecting this course and the support the business school gave us during this time was second to none. Without that experience I don't think I’d be where I am right now.
What words of advice do you have for new students?
I think the best advice to new students is to get involved and be proactive whether that be through academic studies or extracurricular activities. Getting out and meeting new people can be daunting but most people starting are in the same boat as you. Everyone I met during my time at WIT was so friendly and accommodating so don't be afraid to ask questions. The more you put in to your time at WIT the more you’ll get out of it. Enjoy every second of it, four years goes by in the blink of an eye.
What have been the highlights of your college experience?
The highlights of my college experience would probably be winning the Lynch Cup with the WIT football team. Getting involved in the GAA club gave me the chance to meet people outside of my course, and honestly it was so much fun, getting to play with such talented players from all around the country. We trained hard and celebrated hard and it was honestly such an amazing experience to be a part of.
Secondly I think my work placement in 3rd year would be another huge highlight. I ventured to Dublin for my eight months on placement and honestly it was the best eight months I ever had. It really opened my eyes up to the working world and gave the that extra push to work hard for my degree in final year.
What did you like about Waterford as a city to live in/to study in?
I lived in Templars Hall for my four years at WIT and was a great way of meeting other WIT students. It was an exciting experience living away from home for the first time, my first real taste of 'adulthood' I suppose.
The campus itself was only a stone’s throw away from the estate which meant I could roll out of bed to my lectures. The public transport in the city is fantastic and meant easy access to and from city centre for those without cars (me). Overall I really enjoyed my experience living in Waterford.
How did work placement add to your college experience?
As mentioned above I would consider my work placement as one of the highlights of my college experience. As great and beneficial as the lectures are noting can really beat getting first-hand experience. It teaches you what you really do and don’t want to do. You can then make a more educated decision on what you want to do after your degree.
My work placement was a huge motivator for me in my final year of college it made me realise a clearer career path and I put my head down to reach that goal.
After completing my course I...
In my final year I was extremely lucky to be accepted onto the Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) graduate programme. I received the offer before I sat my final exams so it was a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. It is a two year programme where graduates get the chance to rotate within the business getting to experience every aspect of the company.
I'm currently in my 4th rotation working on a trading team which I am loving! My past rotations have included working in product development, Marketing insights and analytics and a commercial role with an international team. I have loved every second of the last year at PPB and I am so excited for my future here!
How did your experience at WIT help get you to where you are now?
I 100% believe if I had not had such a great placement in 3rd year I would not have gotten where I am right now. Having experience in a large multinational company was a huge asset to my CV. Being able to give first-hand experience of dealing with large amounts of people, communications and events was so beneficial in my interview process for my current role. I also think the relationships made with lectures in the college was a massive help.
I had the pleasure of having Marie O'Dwyer as my thesis supervisor and she was incredible, offering support whenever she could and also being an academic reference for me on my CV. There is no doubt in my mind that my experiences at WIT shaped me as an individual and helped me get to where I am today.
Anything you'd like to add
I absolutely loved my time at WIT and it will also hold a special place in my heart. A massive thank you to all the lectures and staff for their continuous support even after finishing my degree.