"I’m incredibly grateful for the help UL has been able to offer me, in pursuing my dreams as a triathlete and engineer.”

The only girl to do Applied Maths in her Leaving Certificate class, Mary O’Donnell has never been afraid to forge her own path in life, and for this Aeronautical Engineering student, the sky might not be the limit.

Daunting Challenges

“Coming into an engineering degree, with very few other girls, having little experience with engineering, coding, CAD, or tech graph skills, was daunting at the beginning. I faced imposter syndrome and questioned my abilities as an aeronautical engineer many times. However, I found so much support with other Women in STEM across the various courses that UL offers.”


Impact of Learning Supports

“The lecturers and learner support centres have also been a massive help to my development as an engineer. I’ve always found the tutors there to be happy to help and try their best to give advice and guide me in the right direction if I ever have a question - whether it’s to do with homework or career guidance.”

Finding Her Feet

“I used to find it difficult to feel like I fit in. Navigating through college and deciding 'who I wanted to be' was hard sometimes. Thinking I'm not good enough as an academic, an athlete or even just as a person was a challenge that I have often faced, which of course is incredibly stressful!

This is where I found the UL community to be unbelievably helpful. Making my best friends in the Swim Club, a sport I adore; being able to explore your interests with similar minded people in the Astronomy Society; feeling like you make an impact by being part of the Clubs and Societies Executive; volunteering and taking part in all the fun events hosted in UL.”

Personal and Academic Goals

“UL has given me immense support to pursue my dreams as a triathlete and engineer; to know that people believe in you even when you don't. It hasn't always been easy, and I have struggled at times, but with that kind of support, UL has helped me work towards being the best version of myself!”

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