Work placement helped Emer discover ‘girls can code too’

Science

"Keep an open mind, don’t focus on one thing because the chances are you will come into [college] and realise that you like something completely different."

Emer Walsh Rutherford from Carrick on Suir developed skills she could use for her blog ‘Penneys to Prada’ while studying Multimedia Applications Development

What did you like most about your course? 
I liked the fact that we got to build on skills we had learned in the first few years, especially on our final year project we were able to build on skills we had liked in previous years. I made an app for my final year project, with that I was able to bring in a lot of the design elements that I had liked in the previous years. 

Did you have an interest in multimedia before you started this course? 
Yeah, I have always had an interest in web design and graphic design. So multimedia was a really good course for me because we got to do photography, videography as well as coding. There was a wide range of things that we could do. I finished school and came straight into this course. 

Did you have work placement? 
In third year, I did work placement in NearForm in Tramore. Working there made me realise that I could code. Before that I thought that girls couldn’t code, I found it difficult. But then it made sense while I was on work placement, it was a valuable experience. 

Why did you choose WIT? 
I chose WIT because I didn’t really want to move away from home. I knew it would be better for me to stay closer to home. I also really liked the practical element of the course. There are other courses in different colleges, but they are more theory focused. At WIT you get real industry experience. 

What stands out for you the most about your time at WIT? 
The relationships I had with all my lecturers. We had really good respect for one another which helped to power through all the work we had to do. I would look forward to coming to college every day. I looked forward to seeing my lecturers and discussing things with them, that was a nice aspect that I didn’t really expect. 

What advice would you give to somebody considering your course? 
Don’t underestimate how difficult it is. There is a lot of coding in it, but I think it is really valuable if you want to go into this industry. Also keep an open mind, don’t focus on one thing because the chances are you will come into it and realise that you like something completely different. 

What interest should you have considering this course? 
If you have an interest in computing and you are creative. 

Is it important for girls to take this course? 
Definitely, I actually did a talk in a women in tech event we had last year to encourage girls to take this type of course. Girls are just as good at coding and computing as boys are. 

What are you doing now? 
I am just working on my blog. I have been doing my blog for about four years. I took the summer off to work on that and I have been really busy with it. I am hoping to get a job in web design, graphic design and marketing as well. 

More about blog: 
I loved writing when I was in school. I knew coming into a computing degree that I wouldn’t be writing very much. So, I started a fashion and travel blog called ‘Penney's and Prada’ which has grown from strength to strength. Parts of my course helped me with it as well. The photography side and web design side of things. And the blog has helped me with the marketing side of the course. They have gelled well together. Although college does take up a lot of time it was really good to have my hobby on the side. 

Interviewed by Susie Brennan

Related Courses

Bachelor of Science in  Multimedia Applications Development

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