For all the romanticists out there I would love to say that my desire to study business was borne as a result of a light-bulb childhood experience…Could it have been whilst listening to my Granddad’s stories about his audio-visual shop or maybe as an awestruck twelve year old experiencing the bustle of business or the high rise corporate buildings when travelling the United States? In fact no, the reality is much more boring…my interest in Business really started with the Junior Certificate Business Studies Curriculum.
Business was the first subject that inspired me to think and to critically think about its relevance outside the classroom. For me, learning about chemical reactions never sparked a flame, but studying business ignited a desire to know more. It got me thinking … Why do firms use a particular colour to promote their business?What are their motivations for using specific slogans? Why are some firms more successful than others in their media campaigns? Or why for instance is Christmas time a good time for Starbucks, for example? It was evident that from my innate curiosity that studying business at third level was the right choice for me.
Often I am asked ‘Why NUI Galway?’ Most assume that the obvious reason being that my home is less than a 10-minute drive. However, I didn’t come to NUI Galway due to its convenient location. I studied here because it suited me. When attending my first ever open day in NUI Galway I was nervous, scared and unsure. Walking in through the doors of the Bailey Allen hall was like walking into a different universe. A lady approached me as I walked in and offered to show me each stall.She was a second-year commerce student. We got on so well that we decided to go for a coffee next door. We chatted for 2 hours where she willingly answered all my questions and gave me advice on starting University. She also gave me her email address so I could contact her. It was the friendliness of other students; openness of the campus and the willingness of other to help that blew me away and made me put NUI Galway first on my CAO.
That was the reason that I Choose NUI Galway but next question… Why did I choose commerce?
On that same open day, I attended a talk on ‘Business at NUI’. The lecturer showed passion and enthusiasm for what he spoke about…I wanted to know more! He connected with those who attended and offered invaluable advice. Lecturers and graduates attended this talk too and spoke about their subject areas. I was inspired, curious and wanted to experience what they had just spoken about…and more! I left NUI Galway campus that day knowing this was where I was going to do a Degree in Business.
When studying Commerce at NUI Galway you will undoubtedly develop and achieve many functional skills, from writing essays from a critical thinking perspective to conducting business research to developing strengths in accounting, there is just not one, in particular, this may be the reason I liked it so much. Studying business at third level is completely different to studying at second level. My commerce degree allowed me to explore eight different areas. These subject areas included; Accountancy, Economics and Public Policy, Human Resource Management, Finance, Marketing, Business Information Systems, Law and International Business. After my first year in college, I knew that a career in marketing was the career I wanted to pursue. Although I was academically quite strong too in other business areas, marketing best suited me in terms of my creativity, motivation and scope for business development. At the end of my 3-year degree in NUI Galway, I was confident that I had developed a very knowledgeable understanding of all 8 subject areas.
There is no better way for students to prepare for their career than to gain real and tangible industry experience. The Bachelor of Commerce at NUI Galway focused hugely on industry engagement. During my three years in college, I worked with a number of student groups developing projects with local Irish companies and devising marketing strategies for them. I learned very valuable workplace skills which all of us will eventually need but more often than not will not have had the opportunity to acquire while in University.
In my final year, I was provided with the opportunity to put my business knowledge into practice using one of our modules on Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise (ICE). This module involved partnering with local business leaders who provided us with the opportunity to engage in their business projects; requiring us to innovate in a variety of interesting areas. Although I did not will the final prize (still bitter) I can’t express enough how much my appreciation escalated for those starting their own business
When I look back at my time as a commerce student, I can proudly say it was three very productive years which I thoroughly enjoyed and which left me with an insatiable appetite for more! My love for NUI Galway continues to grow as I am now doing my Masters in Marketing Practice and loving every minute of it! I am working as a Marketing and Student Recruitment Executive in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. I would not be where I am today without the invaluable skills, knowledge and experience I gained from studying commerce at NUI Galway.