In a bid to honour the London 2012 Olympic sporting legacy, Susannah Cass (27) a PhD student from Botany in the School of Natural Sciences, Captained a four-strong ‘Row2Rio’ team who have rowed 3,400 miles, 24 hours a day for 56 days from Portugal to reach the next Olympic host nation of Brazil. Susannah Cass, Jake Heath, Mel Parker, and Luke Richmond will cover nearly 7,000 miles by human power alone and are setting out to achieve three world records in the process; the first group to row a new ocean route, the first mixed crew and the first team of four to cross the Atlantic in a rowing boat. The Row2Rio team landed 35 miles north of Recife on Saturday, April 23rd 2016 having set off from Portugal 56 days previously.
Marielle Kelly is one of Trinity’s Careers Advisors. She regularly travels with the TCD Global team to speak to students around the world, and will be attending our upcoming US Open Days in New York and Boston.
There are so many ways to develop your skills and learn outside of the classroom while studying at Trinity College Dublin. Great grades are important, but employers look for so much more than that. They want to hire exceptional graduates who can demonstrate their abilities through involvement in activities outside of the curriculum. Trinity College Dublin provides and promotes many ways for you to get involved, here are five ideas to get you started!
- Join a society
The opportunity to be active in a society is part of what makes the Trinity experience so unique. From getting involved in debating as part of our famous Hist and Phil societies, to trying out your skills on the stage with the Players group, to managing your own stock portfolio with the Student Managed Fund, there really is something for everyone when it comes to societies. Not only will you have great fun, you’ll get to grow your network and develop skills like public speaking, marketing or event management. Trinity has over 200 societies and sporting teams for you to join. More information is available online: http://www.trinitysocieties.ie/
- Get active
We have a state-of-the art sports centre and over 40 sports clubs. Employers love to see that students have taken part in a sport, because it shows drive and commitment – fitting in regular training sessions isn’t easy! Being part of a sports team, like our rugby or ultimate Frisbee teams, or Gaelic football if you want to try our national sport, is a great way to prove that you are a great team player. Or perhaps you’re more interested in individual sports like athletics, golf or boxing, and these can really demonstrate your ability to motivate yourself to succeed.
- Do an internship
We’re a target university for top graduate employers like Bank of America, KPMG, Deloitte, PWC and more, and the Careers Advisory Service advertises hundreds of work experience and internship opportunities every year. Doing a summer internship is a great way to get work place experience and understanding what type of career you would like to have after college. It can be tough to decide your next steps, so the more practical experience you can get in the work place, the better placed you will be to make decisions about your future or your next direction. Employers will appreciate that instead of spending all your summers on a beach, you were proactive and did something to improve your employability.
Competing, and succeeding, looks fantastic on your resume. It highlights your competitive streak, and shows how you are able to get ahead of the crowd and outperform your peers. That’s the kind of graduate employers like to hire! Depending on your interests you could take part in competitions such as Google’s Online Marketing Challenge, the Deloitte Top Technology Competitiong, the GradIreland National Student challenge and more.
- Give back
Volunteering is a brilliant way of contributing to society and developing and demonstrating a whole range of skills and attributes. It shows that you have a social conscience, but it also displays initiative and a strong work ethic, because it takes work to balance different commitments. Depending on the type of volunteering you do, you will also develop skills such as teaching if you support a younger person through TCD’s Voluntary Tuition Programme, or supporting others through our S2S student mentoring initiative, or your ability to work in different cultural situations if you choose to go overseas with SUAS and work on educational projects in Kenya or India. You will get life experience, you’ll learn new things, and you could also get a reference. There’s so much to gain when you give back!
During my time here I have been truly captivated by all the different sports in Ireland. Coming from Chicago, IL I was mostly familiar with baseball, football, basketball (soccer – or ‘football’ – isn’t that big in the Windy City!)
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Finding student accommodation in Dublin has become pretty tough, and for a lot of people living close to college just isn’t an option. This year will see a large number of Irish students commute to university and what I want to tell you today is that it’s not the end of the world. Yes, it can be a hassle and yes, you probably will develop a slight coffee addiction. But commuting will not reduce your college experience. You can still be a *cough* dedicated student and have a busy social life all while commuting. You just need to be organised and follow these tips:
Join a society. One of the biggest concerns commuter students have is that not being based in Dublin city centre will make it more difficult for them to make friends and really feel part of the college community. Joining a society not only introduces you to a large group of people that all share a similar interest but a lot of society events are also held during the day so you can get involved without having to wait for the late-night bus home.
Get a light laptop. If you’ve yet to buy a laptop for university, I’d advise you to buy one that is light and easy to carry. Not only is it necessary for keeping up to date with lectures, assignments and additional online resources but it also reduces the amount of folders or notebooks you’ll need to carry around. The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a relatively cheap and light option.
Get a locker. Trinity offers students the option of renting a locker for the year and I cannot stress enough how useful they are to the college commuter. They’re priced at €40: €20 cost with a €20 deposit that will be returned once the locker key is returned at the end of the year. However, lockers sell out fast so be sure to get there early* on the morning they’re offered. They generally go on sale in the Arts Block during the first week of term so keep an eye out for posters telling you when and where to go.
*When I say early I mean really early. I’ve known people who’ve begun queuing at 6:30am. If you’re an Arts Block student you don’t want to arrive late and end up with a locker in the Lloyd Institute. It’ll be too far away to be of any use. Make the effort to get there early and reward yourself with a breakfast from Lemon afterwards. After you’ve secured it you can pack it full with the rest of your essentials.
Invest in a good thermos or travel mug. Make your early morning bus a bit more bearable with a hot drink to wake you up (or to help you to fall asleep again). Keeping a few coffee sachets or tea bags in your locker will also help cut down on the cost of paying for coffees on-the-go. Hot water from the campus cafés costs 70c, that’s about 60c cheaper than your average coffee order. For a student those 60c savings will add up fast. Keep a box of cereal bars in there too. As a money-conscious student you’re probably going to bring a packed lunch with you (pack lunch the night before, nobody should sacrifice those extra few minutes in bed for a couple of sandwiches) but having a back-up snack for unexpectedly long or tiring days will definitely come in handy at some point.
Keep your books and folders in your locker, rather than at home. This will also help ensure you get your work done in the library and avoid having to drag them home with you. After a long day at university, with an added commute, you’ll have little motivation to study once you get home. Get into the habit of studying in the library, doing some reading during your commute and keep your time at home for relaxing.
Pack an ‘emergency’ bag. Avoid missing out on last minute class nights out by having a bag with a standard pub/club outfit, a travel-sized kit of bathroom necessities and some extra clothes to wear the next day. You’ll also need a kind friend to offer a couch to sleep on, but that shouldn’t be too hard to find! (And if you’re really organised you could also store your gym bag there and take advantage of Trinity’s state of the art Sports Centre during long gaps in your day.)
Have I missed out on anything? What would be your commuting essentials?
Aoife is a recent Trinity graduate and intern with the Global Relations Office. She spent her third year abroad in Paris and is dedicated to making sure international students feel at home.
When I began my degree a few years ago, 4 years felt like an eternity stretched out in front of me; but now I am about to begin my final year and I can’t believe that the time went by so fast! Although I’ve been busy socialising with societies and studying, there remain a few things I want to get done whilst I’m still a Trinity student.
I would definitely recommend getting involved in everything Trinity has to offer whilst you have the chance as the years can fly by quicker than you think. Here are a few things you should definitely do to get the most out of your time at Trinity:
Be an over-eager fresher
When you first get to Trinity, try your hand at as many things as you can. There are lots opportunities to try something new, and before you know it you will have found what you love. I was involved in a few different societies in my first year and I met so many great people. However it wasn’t until the end of the year that I found where I was truly happiest, in the Comedy Society. If you play it safe in your first year and only get involved with things you’ve already tried you might miss out on discovering a new passion, and will never meet the people who share it with you.
Use societies as a way to build your CV
Depending on what you want to do when you graduate, societies can be a great way to build your CV. Joining a committee demonstrates both teamwork and leadership, and can help you build useful skills (such as event planning or marketing) depending upon your role. If you want to be a writer, there are plenty of opportunities to contribute to Trinity’s publications, and by the end of your degree you may have the opportunity to become an editor for one of them. You can develop your public speaking and presentation skills at The Phil or The Hist (the university’s debating societies), both of which host a range of guest speakers throughout the year. Volunteering is another way in which societies can strengthen your CV, Trinity lots of charitable societies who each year come together during RAG (Raise And Give) week to fundraise throughout campus.
Use your breaks to travel
Whether you’re discovering Ireland’s beautiful landscape, or using Dublin Airport to see Europe, the best time to travel is whilst you are at university. You may not enjoy the same freedom once you have graduated, and Dublin is ideally connected both to Ireland and the rest of Europe (with over 20 million passengers passing through its two terminals each year). There are plenty of opportunities between semesters and during reading weeks to explore both Europe and Ireland, and many societies arrange affordable trips which their members can sign up for.
Over 50 sports clubs operate out of Trinity and the sports centre organises loads of classes which cater for a range of abilities. Whether you’re sporty or not, having a go at a new sport or developing your skills is a great way to make friends when you’re new in the city. Before I graduate I want to spend some time up the sports centre’s impressive climbing wall, and I’m planning on signing up to a weekly yoga class once term starts to help balance out the stresses of final year.
Take an evening class
Taking another class after you’ve finished a day of lectures might sound a little over-keen; however it can be a really fun way of learning something new that your degree doesn’t cover. The college runs evening language classes which cater for a range of abilities, helping students to expand their vocabulary or learn a brand new language from scratch. If you’re looking for something more light-hearted to fill your evenings, many societies run evening classes as well. In my first year I took the Comedy Society’s stand-up classes (which led up to a live gig at the end of term) and in my second year I attended creative writing classes organised by the Lit Soc. Both classes were lots of fun and pushed me to be creative in new ways in a relaxed environment.