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Melissa Monahan O’Brien a Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Sport Management student from Kilcullen, Co Kildare and a past pupil of Pipers Hill College in Naas, Co Kildare.
What attracted you to study at Waterford Institute of Technology?
I attended the open day and got a campus tour of the college which was an eye opener for me. I spoke to students who were studying the course at the time and they gave me a good insight into the course and went into details of things they enjoyed and didn’t enjoy within the course and city itself.
Did you always know this was the course you wanted to do?
To be honest, no. This course was not my first choice. However, if I was to go back knowing what I know now I would have put it as my first choice. I was always sporty growing up so I did have a strong feeling that I would enjoy this course either way. It was ideal for me as the course was so broad. I had no idea what career path I wanted to go down so I thought with the variety of sport and business within the course there would be something I would enjoy and take as a career route. It was also ideal as it was only three years with the optional fourth year. I knew once I got to my third year I’d leave with a degree no matter what. I would strongly advise students to go on to do the fourth year if they enjoyed the course up until then.
What words of advice do you have for new students?
Many of us live at home with family members before we start college and we tend to move and live on campus for the academic year. One really important thing which I have seen since we started college was students going mad from all the freedom they now have from moving out. I absolutely agree with having nights out, seeing friends, keeping your social life and I think it is as important as the academic side of it all but it really is key to stick with college and attend classes. Many people end up dropping out from letting all the freedom take over and it’s just not worth it in the long run. I’d also definitely recommend joining different clubs and societies especially when beginning college.
What did you like about Waterford as a city to live in/to study in?
I have lived in student accommodation for each year and it is one thing I love about college. I have made so many friends just from living in different accommodation down there. It was nerve wrecking at first as I didn’t know anyone at all down in Waterford but from living with complete strangers to becoming best friends with half of them, it really is an experience in itself.
What added to your college experience?
The peer to peer programme is excellent to have and not all colleges or courses have anything like it. It helped many people when they had questions relating to anything in regards the college experience.
Work placement was also a highlight for me as I completed it with the School Completion Programme and it was one of the best experiences I have had.
There is an honours list which recognises a student’s academic performance over the year. For me, I used it as a target and reached it every year which I was happy with.