The Beginning of Something Extraordinary

By:  Laila Shwaiki who starts the MSc. in Food Microbiology this September

It wasn’t that long ago that I was attending my last few months of lectures as an undergraduate at, what was at the time, my current university. As soon as I applied for the postgraduate course in UCC, I knew things were going to change. As the months went by and my final exams were completed, I knew I had done my very best to try and get the grades required to be accepted into a place that could possibly be my life for the next year. As the summer months flew by, so did my desire for Cork and all its opportunities it had waiting for me. Once I knew my destination for the next 12 months, my next step was looking for a place to live. Anyone who has ever had the opportunity of searching for accommodation will agree with me when I say that it is one of the many unpleasant struggles of becoming a new student in a completely new environment. For me, it was a battle that I proudly conquered after many months of searching.

Many people have questioned my decision of choosing UCC as my next step for my studies; and all of the people that wondered this were never given the chance to experience the profundity and history that leached through the walls of the buildings and onto the rich grounds of the campus that preserves the culture that surrounds UCC. Other people who know UCC understood immediately why I chose a city so far from my comfort zone. I attended NUIG for four long and unforgettable years and got to explore every inch of its campus. UCC, to me, gave off that same intensity that I got from my first visit at NUIG. The history, the culture, the elegance of the buildings and the old but modernised feel that the whole campus was able to give me instantly won me over.

Two weeks before the big move and the next step in my journey was deciding what to bring with me to this new city. Like any person, personal belongings are a must in any big move; but what type of emotional baggage was I going to be bringing with me and what should stay behind? As a 21-year-old woman moving away from all her friends and family, what type of mentality should I have as I embrace the city life alone? Will my current mental state that has allowed me to get through the first part of my life be enough? As my new path for a new beginning edges closer, I’m finally beginning to understand that maybe there’s nothing extraordinary that I need to be bringing with me, because I know that UCC is going to give me everything I really need. And maybe more.

3 Reasons I’m going back to UCC to do a postgrad

quad-with-red-ivy By: Tim Kelly who starts the MSc Information Systems for Business Performance this September.

Quick question, what’s your plan when you graduate? Are you going to undertake a masters? maybe work? or travel? This is a question that reverberated throughout my mind as I undertook my final year of commerce, I expect many others thought about it as well. In fact, it wasn’t till June I decided to do a Masters and why did I go back to UCC? Well that was easy…….


“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

W.B Yeats

Truthfully, undertaking a Masters is a huge commitment not only of money (Thank God for the Credit Union) and time (a full 12 months). Thus I wanted to make sure when I return to college, the college would be well respected and a great institution to learn. Just last year, UCC was named the Sunday Time’s University of the Year.

As for my course, I minored in Information Systems throughout my BComm so therefore I will be undertaking a Masters in Information Systems for Business Performance (ISBP).  Its a healthy mixture between I.T and management skills and has been consistently ranked as one of the best postgraduate courses in Ireland. Just recently it won the Best Postgrad IT course in Ireland for the third time.


Another big factor in returning to UCC is I set up the Judo Club and it’s recently about to reach the 5 year mark. The Club has grown a lot to become the biggest college judo club in Ireland where it won Best Men & Women’s Team and 26 medals at the 2016 Intervarsities. I have been doing Judo for about 16 years and I’m glad UCC granted me the opportunity to set one up.

I even helped out in the Clubs Executive where I acted as the Martial Arts Representative in 2014/15 which helped me understand how each club is run. I may also be biased as I won a Bene Merenti award for my work.

JudoMain Campus

As a former BComm student, I’m fully aware of how spoilt I’ve been in regards to classes on main campus. It’s undeniably beautiful and for anyone who’s grown up on Harry Potter, the west wing and Aula Maxima are Hogwarts.  Of course, the Harry Potter society  really took it to the extreme with their House Sorting ceremony.

HARRY pOTTEROf course, main campus hosts the most activity as well particularly during R&G week and Freshers week. These events turn campus into a lively affair where you’ll meet everyone you know. My preference is those early summer days on campus where you can sit out and enjoy the sunshine on campus, they’re rare but spectacular.

Student CentreThose are my top three reasons why I’m returning to UCC next month. I hope you enjoyed them, and if you want to let me know why you’re thinking of doing a postgrad just tweet me at TK_174 (don’t forget to use the hashtag #uccpostgrad :))