Be it right here at South East Technological University (SETU) or while on Erasmus at HU University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands, Bachelor of Arts (Hons) graduate Ciara Butler embedded herself into the fabric of college life – an attitude she says has paid dividends in her growth as a communicator and creative thinker. Now working as an SETU graduate ambassador, Ciara continues to give back to the university.
Opting for Arts
I decided to apply for the BA Arts (Hons) at South East Technological University (SETU) ] as I had a long-held passion for English as well as an interest in psychology. I hadn't studied psychology beforehand so this BA allowed me to expand on what I loved while also pursuing a new discipline. The broad variety of future career paths available from the degree and the option to study abroad in third year were also contributing factors to opting to study at SETU.
In my third year, I moved to Utrecht in The Netherlands as part of my Erasmus. I went alone, which was daunting at first, but during my time there I experienced huge growth in both my confidence and independence. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to experience a different way of learning in The Netherlands. My studies included plenty of group work and discussion, which were often followed up with interactive and highly engaging assessments. The highlight of my Erasmus was our graded class trip to Berlin and being part of the editorial team for the university's creative writing magazine in which a poem of mine was published. The year abroad gifted me with a fresh new outlook where I felt even more confident in my creative abilities.
P2P Peer Mentoring Programme
One highlight from my time as a student at SETU was taking part in the P2P Peer Mentoring Programme in my final year. My role as a mentor saw me aid first year students in their transition from secondary to third-level education. This was extremely rewarding; it was a great feeling to provide these students with information and advice as someone who has been in their shoes some years previously. My time as a P2P mentor equipped me with countless transferrable skills, from strengthening my ability to communicate with others to deepening my understanding of third-level education.
Get involved in as much as you can during your time at SETU, especially in first year. Whether that’s through joining clubs and societies, travelling abroad for Erasmus, putting your name down for the P2P Peer Mentoring Programme, or simply engaging with your course as much as possible. These unforgettable years will be over before you know it so don't stress too much about where you might end up at the end of your degree. Do what you love and work hard, and you’ll end up exactly where you’re meant to be!
I am now working as a graduate ambassador for SETU. A role where both disciplines from my degree have proved very valuable. My learnings from English have strengthened my critical thinking and writing, while my background in psychology has provided me with a deep understanding of what it really means to support others. I truly believe that my undergrad studies have had endless benefits when it comes to my real-world employment.