Sunday 18 August 2019

'I was nervous about Computer Science at the start, and thought everyone else knew more than me, but I developed a competence in it' competence in it '

Laura Brennan, TCD

Laura Brennan and Lara Páircéir, former pupils at Muckross Park in Donnybrook, have teamed up with a business idea at Trinity which saw them selected for the annual Launchpad start-up programme Photo: Frank McGrath
Laura Brennan and Lara Páircéir, former pupils at Muckross Park in Donnybrook, have teamed up with a business idea at Trinity which saw them selected for the annual Launchpad start-up programme Photo: Frank McGrath

Laura Brennan's twin interests in terms of third-level study were business and computing.

Taking ordinary level maths for the Leaving Cert was going to make Computer Science a difficult option, and she focused on business courses instead.

But when she spotted the BA Computer Science and Business programme at Trinity College Dublin for which an O2 in maths is acceptable, she "thought it looked really interesting".

She added it to her business-dominated CAO list.

The joint degree programme was a perfect fit for Laura (20) who also had an interest in starting her own business.

The former pupil of Muckross Park, Donnybrook, Dublin is only half-way through her studies and is already well on the way to realising that ambition.

She admits to having been a little nervous starting out, believing that fellow students had a better handle on the computing side of things, but she "discovered that they didn't know as much as they were letting on".

By the time the Christmas exams were over, she was feeling more relaxed about it. "I started to develop a competence in it," she says.

At Trinity, Laura met up with another former Muckross pupil Lara Parcéir, who is studying Sociology and Social Policy, and the two of them teamed up for a student entrepreneur project, which saw them selected for the annual Launchpad business start-up programme on the college campus this summer.

Their skills and knowledge have come together in Ethicart, an app they are developing to provide quick, easy to understand information around a product's sustainability and ethical standards, which was driven by their concerns around climate change.

They believe it should be popular with consumers who want to shop more sustainably but lack time to research and a place to get the information needed.

Laura says the Launchpad learning experience has been "really enjoyable" and it has confirmed her in the view that her future lies in a combination of computer science and business.

Irish Independent

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