By Lauren Kelly
As we battle the current recession – one that may last for a good 10 years, many students feel that it is in their best interest to choose a degree with a higher probability of actually getting a job in the real world after their time in DCU. But do they actually have an interest in what they are studying?
Having an interest in what you are studying makes the college experience that bit easier. Students who feel that it’s not worth getting up out of bed for that early nine o’clock lecture or travelling half way across the country to attend a class because they have no genuine interest in the subject, can suffer both academically and socially.
There are many ways to relight the fire for whatever you are studying – be it maths, communications, business, nursing, science or sport. Getting involved in one of DCU’s clubs and societies that is related to your course will help you to experience the fun side of your studies. There is something for everyone with every area of study covered in some way, shape or form.
Clubs and societies can also be a great way for acquiring or improving skills, which can be used within your course; whether it’s learning how to use equipment, taking up a managing role within a society, practising and creating experiments or making maths fun. Clubs and societies are also a chance to get involved in things you are interested in, but do not study on a daily basis, as employers are constantly seeking well rounded employees.
This week is Arts Week in DCU, and there are numerous events taking place around campus. On Monday, students had the chance to show off their cúpla focal as An Cumman Gealach invited as many people as possible to get their hands dirty in the Hub (literally) and write their name in Irish on their wall. Other events include Japanese calligraphy, art attack competitions and a film being shown during the week. An art exhibition will also take place in the Hub with talented DCU students show casing their work.
Chairperson for the Art Society, Jill Mc Mahon, is encouraging everyone with an interest in art to get involved, “I’m doing Irish and Journalism here in DCU, but I had thought long and hard about going to art college before that. I got involved in the Art Society because I wanted to nurture that past time and I’ve met so many lovely people in doing so,” she says. “There are people here from every sort of artistic ability and what I as chairperson, hope to do is make Art Soc accessible to all abilities.”
According to the Grad Ireland.ie blog, IT and Technology is the number one recruiting sector from September to November, with engineering, accounting, marketing, science, business and retail also hitting the top 10. Many events are also being held in DCU to raise awareness of the opportunities available to students.
A nursing fair was held on November 16, which gave nursing students a chance to meet graduates, find out more about potential employers and get tips on how to improve their CV.
In particular, it is suggested that there are very few jobs in Ireland at this time for students who are studying courses under the arts’ umbrella, with Journalism, Communications, and Multimedia included in this category.
Last week, DCU’s MPS (Media Production Society) held its annual media week, which invited media professionals to share their experience in the business and to give advice on how to get a job within the media sector.
Greg Creevy, a second year Multimedia Media Applications student, said that he chose his course because it is the area that he would like to work in.
“I realise there will be challenges in finding employment, but there is work there. I really enjoy being in front of and behind camera,” he says. “In my view, I will get a job if I work hard enough and I’ll be happier with that job… I do believe I enjoy college a lot more because I love my course. It means that getting up is easier every morning.”
Eimear Shannon, a second year Journalism student, found out the hard way after she felt the need to change her course, “Within a few weeks of starting business, I realised that I had no interest in the subjects that I was doing or in the course itself,” she says. “Switching to a course that really appeals to me was the best decision I have ever made.”
Rachel Warren, a second year Communications student, believes that choosing a course to suit you adds to the college experience.
“I chose Communication Studies over other courses because I really didn’t have an interest in studying courses like science or business,” she explains.
“It probably would’ve been easy to get jobs but I didn’t want to spend three or four years studying something that I had no interest in, just in hope to get a job. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college… that much if I was doing a course I didn’t like, and I probably would’ve ended up dropping out.
“I always say study something in college that you are actually interested in because it’ll make the whole college experience much better. And obviously, you’ll get better results in a course that you like because you won’t mind studying or doing the assignments as you actually enjoy doing the work.”
After all, you don’t want to be looking back at your time in college wishing that you could turn back the clocks so you could get involved in what your heart desires.