My name is Catriona and I’m a third year student in International Business. It feels crazy to say that I’m in third year because I still can’t believe my final year is already approaching, the last three years in UL have gone by too quickly. When I chose to do International Business, l really didn’t know what to expect from my time in UL, but I can say I’ve had a great experience here and the day I leave UL will be a sad one for me. When it came to choosing a course I had no idea what I wanted to study and I felt lost with the amount of options. I was just about fed up until I went to the last of the UL open days held in January, where I met the course director of International Business at the time. It is because of that day that I am now studying in UL and it has ended up being the perfect course and University for me.
Within my course I like that I can choose the modules I want to study, which gives me control over my degree. Having a choice of modules outside of business between languages, law, politics, sociology and more has allowed me to explore some of my other interests. I also love that my third year is spent abroad and while writing this I am currently on my co-op placement in Luxembourg. I am working as an accounting intern with a company called Centralis and I’m really enjoying my experience over here. I particularly like the global aspect of my co-op and everyday I’m working with people from all around the world, even within my own work team. For me, this co-op has been a great opportunity to experience the business world and to get an insight for what to expect when I graduate.
For the first part of third year, before going to Luxembourg, I was on Erasmus in Pamplona which is a city in the north of Spain. I attended the University of Navarra in Pamplona and the learning experience there was different to UL in many ways. But of course, just like UL, it isn’t just the course or the classes that make the experience, it was everything that came with it. I now have friends from all corners of the world that I met in Pamplona and during those four months on Erasmus I used every weekend I could to travel with my new friends or even sometimes by myself because I wanted to experience as much of the Spanish culture as possible while there. It was four months of new experiences, new friends, new cities, new foods and of course great weather. Erasmus is definitely one of my highlights throughout my three years in University and I recommend to everyone to do Erasmus if they have the opportunity.
I have loved every minute of my experience abroad but I really am looking forward to returning to UL. I’ve missed being on campus because there’s always something going on in UL outside of academic life. Of course, at the end of the day we are here to get a degree but there is a lot more to university life outside of classes and exams and in UL it is very easy to have the full college experience.
One of the best decisions I made was getting involved in a society called Enactus. As a very quick summary we set up social enterprises to do a bit of good in the world. Enactus has allowed me to make friends from outside of my course and because of this society I travelled to Silicon Valley in California to collaborate with student entrepreneurs from around the world.
Joining Enactus was one of the best decisions I’ve made which is why my number one tip for any student in University is to join a club or society, there are plenty to choose from in UL. It really is a great way to meet new people, you never know what opportunities will come from it.
Being abroad this past year has made me realise how lucky I am to have gotten some fantastic opportunities from being a student in UL. The university is great for recognising the work of us students and I am grateful to have received awards based on my academics and my volunteer work. I’m looking forward to getting back to UL and getting involved with campus life again because UL really has become a second home for me.