Tuesday 27 September 2016

My Story: 'Try to meet as many people as you can'

Emily O'Regan | Computer Science, Maynooth

Gráinne Loughran

Published 01/09/2016 | 06:00

Maynooth computer science student Emily O'Regan. Photo: Tony Gavin
Maynooth computer science student Emily O'Regan. Photo: Tony Gavin

Emily O'Regan was delighted to get her first CAO choice last year, to study science in Maynooth University.

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As a first year general science student, Emily had the opportunity to select three out of six topics, ranging from biology to experimental physics, alongside the mandatory maths module.

But when she found an aspect of the course she loved, she decided she wanted to specialise in it - but didn't want to start all over again.

Computer science was one of the two subjects that she really liked "and I wanted to do that more than any of my others", she says.

Emily, of Nenagh, Co Tipperary, and a past pupil of the local St Mary's Secondary School, made an application to transfer to a separate programme, the BSc Computer Science and Software Engineering, a course that would allow her to focus exclusively on computing. This September, Emily is transferring straight into second year of the course.

"This was a way for me do what I really wanted straight away," she says.

According to Emily, the transfer from first year in one course to second year in another was really easy. "I just had one form to fill out, and they helped me do it in the admissions office."

Although computer science is typically a male-dominated field, Emily (19) is by no means put off by that.

She advises young women with a passion for such areas to fight the fear and do it anyway: "Try not to be as intimidated by the fact that it's kind of male dominated and break through into it anyway."

Emily had already gone against the grain by choosing Maynooth rather than following the family tradition to attend another university, but is glad to have taken a different path.

"It's smaller than Dublin. There's a really nice atmosphere all the time," she says.

Her advice to incoming first years is: "Try to meet as many people as you can, but don't worry if you don't because there's so much time to do that. There's so many ways to meet people in your course, just through your day-to-day routine."

Although Emily isn't sure what she'd like to do when she graduates, she is hopeful that "there'll be a lot of options" for her.

Irish Independent

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