'As a marketing student, I learned a lot from my part-time role as a student brand manager'
Melanie Mynhardt, IT Carlow
Melanie Mynhardt is an example of how the more you put into college life, the more you can get out of it.
She has just finished her undergraduate studies with a first class honours degree, while also fitting in other responsibilities including students' union rep, schools' anti-bullying programme mentor and a part-time job.
The former pupil of Presentation College, Carlow, who is originally from South Africa, took the Level 8 Bachelor of Business at the Institute of Technology, Carlow.
After second year, she opted for the Marketing specialisation and has used the time outside the lecture hall and library well to develop her skills through a range of extra-curricular activities.
Melanie did three years as Student Brand Manager for an energy drink company, which gave her "a great understanding of what marketing really entails".
Her role was to create brand loyalty amongst students in a fun and creative way and she was heavily involved in promotions and event management.
Melanie says it forced her to be "quick with decisions and plan ahead in good time. The job has really opened so many doors for me."
She also brought her hands-on skills to bear in the role of International Student Officer for IT Carlow Students' Union, ensuring that international students settle in effectively and enjoy their time in Ireland.
On top of this, Melanie worked a few nights a week making pizzas in the local Domino's.
And having been involved in the anti-bullying mentoring programme Meitheal while at school, Melanie has returned as a volunteer leader every summer since.
In her final year, the high achiever won a summer internship with local animal feedstuffs company Connolly's Red Mills, and starts an internship with Coca-Cola next month.