Keith Moran has tried it all: from work experience in construction while doing Leaving Cert Applied to app design while spending an Erasmus year in Germany.
The 26-year-old has just received a first-class honours degree in Visual Communications from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).
The past pupil of Beneavin College, Finglas, Dublin progressed all the way from a post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) course in multimedia in Coláiste Dhúlaigh, a college of further education on Dublin’s northside, to winning the John Craig Award for Outstanding Studentship in his final year of DIT.
After completing the multimedia course, Keith originally focused on photography, working as a photographer for nightclubs.
He soon became interested in advertising and decided to return to Coláiste Dhúlaigh to try his hand at graphic design.
While he was back studying, Keith took on the role of in-house designer and brand ambassador for the coffee house, Java Republic. This new job, and a visit to the college by graphic designer and comedienne Aoife Dooley, inspired Keith to choose his next venture: an honours degree BA Design (Visual Communications) in DIT.
“I applied for entry to second year and got it,” says Keith. The progression system from PLCs to third level allows for advanced entry to second year of a course.
With his background, Keith probably could have gone into third year but decided he needed the extra year.
When he got to third year, Keith took the opportunity to go to Germany on Erasmus, “and I loved every moment of it. I learned about UI/UX design, which is all about designing the layout of an app for the user.”
This experience helped him to shape his future direction and, now that he has graduated, he would like to explore the career prospects in UI/UX design.
His final year in college was one to remember as he played a key role in organising the final year graduation show in DIT with three fellow graduates, a role of which he is really most proud.
“I was at my strongest working in a team. I always say that energy and teamwork beat talent,” says Keith..
Keith credits a lot of his success to his time in Coláiste Dhúlaigh.
“My communication skills got better there and I learned about networking,” he says.
However, he also points out that the support of his parents was fundamental in his many third level achievements.
“College isn’t easy. My mam and dad were a great support,” he says.
Going to College
Every year, at this time, there are a number of vacant college places available through the CAO. These courses were in the CAO handbook but the level of application did not meet the number of places available, so vacancies still exist.