Many students have walked through the halls and doors of O'Carolan College. They have gone on to do many things in the world, in various different sector and industries. When possible, we like to maintain our connections to past pupils to celebrate their achievements. We also like to give them the opportunity to help inform the new generation of students that came behind them of their successes, both in O'Carolan College and in the wider world outside second level education.
Emma Kelly was kind enough to give us her time and update us on the goings on of her life, since she moved on from O'Carolan College.
When I was studying in O’Carolan College I heard the phrase “you’ll miss it when you’re gone” and I like many didn’t pay any heed to these comments because like most I couldn’t wait to finish school and head into 3rd level. However, 5 years on I would still go back tomorrow. There is something about O’Carolan College and you can realise this from talking to people who attended different secondary schools. The comradely that is present in OCC is one that I will never forget from being in such relaxed atmospheres that is the classrooms and being able to ask anything without any judgement is a huge benefit that OCC had on me. Don’t take it for granted although I enjoyed 3rd level it just didn’t quite compare to what the experiences were like in school. I think I might have taken part in any extra circular activity there was in OCC from drama to sports it didn’t matter what it was I was signing up for it. Although it is hard to keep in contact with everyone, you do meet people from time to time on your trips home but it is important to immerse yourself in “college life” and get the most out of it.
When I finished school in 2013 at the age of 16, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I got my first choice on my CAO which was Event Management in DIT, I thought it sounded like something I was interested in but again didn’t know if this is what I wanted to study for the next 4 years. The first two years I was still contemplating if this was the right thing for me but in 3rd year when I had to do a 6-month placement in an event company I knew that this was the right choice for me. Sometimes the modules in college don’t set you up for what you may be doing in the workplace when you finish your degree but that’s okay because I find you learn so much more by doing and gaining the experience in what you want to do. From completing my degree, I am now working in the Operations department in Croke Park, working on concerts to All-Ireland Finals (Up the Dubs!). I feel that by taking part in all the extra-circular activities in school made it easy for me to fit into the great team that I am apart of now.
Lastly, you don’t realise until you leave secondary school how much of an impact it has and shapes you as a person. The only thing I can say is that cherish your days in OCC, don’t be afraid to ask for help the staff in OCC are the nicest most helpful teachers I know and have helped me get to where I am today.