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Coláiste Mhuire, Johnstown, Co Kilkenny past pupil Kaylyn Burke from Thurles Co Tipperary and a graduate of both a level 7 and 8 degree at WIT.
My name is Kaylyn Burke and I am a recent graduate of WIT. 2020 has been a crazy year for all students, getting to use to a new way of learning which isn't easy however in the madness that this year has brought I am happy to say I was able to survive and graduate.
During my time here I studied the Bachelor of Business degree first and then I was lucky enough to progress onto the Bachelor of Business (Hons) degree where I specialised in Human Resource Management. I am currently working in Taxback Group on the People Team and I love every minute of it.
What attracted you to study at Waterford Institute of Technology?
I won't lie initially when I was looking into college I was attracted to the bigger colleges and universities however I grew up in a small little area, the schools weren't big so I was always able to have good interaction with the teachers if I didn't understand something etc. my fear of getting lost and not being able to ask a question started to weigh in and I knew with the smaller class sizes in WIT would stand to me better.
Lecturers are able to know you by name and not just a number. I also heard so much positive feedback from past students and student that were currently studying at WIT. Finally the opportunity to have work placement within the course also played a crucial role in my decision, as this is where I would gain experience in the area I was hoping to work in for the rest of my life.
Did you always know this was the course you wanted to do?
I had always wanted to study business from a young age but the aspect of business I wanted to specialise in alluded me for some time so I felt entering into a general business degree would help me map out the areas I liked best in order to choose the one I was suited too.
In a way I did know that HR was going to be the stream for me from the start as I have been working from a young age and I have worked in positions where I didn't always feel valued or I wasn't given the opportunity to voice my opinion. I wanted to make sure that no one ever feels like that as everyone's opinion matters and everyone has the right to feel valued.
With the BBS degree it gives you a base in all aspects of business which means that you understand why certain things need to be completed a specific way from all relevant angles of the business.
What have you done in life prior to studying here?
I came straight from school to WIT. I was very involved in school activities but also extracurricular activities too. I worked part time in the Smithwicks Experience, Kilkenny as a Tour Guide.
What words of advice do you have for new students?
You get out of your degree what you put into it. It may seem tough at the time and there may be a few long nights but it will all be worth it in the end.
Do your research, it isn't easy to pick a course but make sure that you have done all the research you can do in order to know what you’re going to be walking into.
What did you like about Waterford as a city to live in/to study in?
I liked how small Waterford is, how there is public transport to almost anywhere so if you don't drive it is not a problem. A lot of the time you can walk to your destination. It is also not as expensive to live here as other areas.
How did work placement add to your college experience?
Work placement is a vital experience! As a graduate, every interview I have participated in I have used my experience on work placement. It helps you to both prepare and develop the necessary skills that are needed for work while also giving you an insight into working life.
After completing my course I...
I started my internship in January 2019 and I was lucky enough to be kept on after my internship with Taxback Group in Kilkenny. Throughout my time here I am gaining so much experience and knowledge that not only helped me through my final year of college but is also helping me to progress on in my career. This year was challenging enough on its own but both WIT and Taxback Group's flexible learning and working conditions along with their constant support made it much easier to manage. Not to mention the amazing support I received from my colleagues and lectures every step of the way!