Saturday 24 March 2018

Catriona's wise CAO decision to follow passion for biology

I love it. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else, 
says Catriona

Catriona Quill, a student at Maynooth College, at her home in Portmarnock, Dublin
Catriona Quill, a student at Maynooth College, at her home in Portmarnock, Dublin

CATRIONA Quill didn't "really have a clue" about what she wanted to do after completing her Leaving Certificate, but a favourite subject inspired her college choices.

"I loved biology" said the 20-year-old from Portmarnock, Co Dublin, who made the wise decision to follow a passion when it came to filling out her CAO list.

When she got her results in 2012, Catriona was pretty sure she would not get an offer for the course at the top of her list, which generally has a very high points cut-off.

She was right, but, a few days later, the former pupil of Portmarnock Community School was more than happy with a place on the Bsc Biotechnology at NUI Maynooth.

It set her up for a course of study that allows her to combine love of biology with the development of cutting-edge technology skills.

"I love it. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else" says Catriona, although she acknowledges that the course is "very demanding".

In first year , much of the focus is on general science , and students then progress to biotechnology and the exploration of how living organisms can be exploited for the benefit of human health, food production and the environment.

Biotechnology is a fast-growing sector, in Ireland and worldwide, with applications ranging from the food and pharmaceutical industries to plant and animal breeding and pest control.

For instance, biotechnolgoy is key the production of new drugs, such as antibodies to treat cancers, or vaccines to prevent cervical cancer or hepatitis B.

Although it is an area where there are likely to be plenty of jobs in the future, the degree will also open the door to attractive research opportunities and Catriona has not yet decided what career route she would like to take.

Irish Independent

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