Hello and welcome to a new series! Yes, another one. If you’ve been around for a while, you may remember I interviewed a lot of students on various placements around this time last year. Now that they’re all back at university and almost ready to face the big, bad world of life after graduation, I thought it a good idea to check back in with them.
This series is going to re-visit the past interviewees and see how they’re getting on, their thoughts on final year, plans for the future and what they make of the Diss.
What I’m most hoping for is that they’re all as clueless as I am when it comes to plans for the future – but that may not be the case. So stay tuned for further interviews with all of the final years and in the mean time, you can check out their placement interviews here.
My eleventh interviewee to talk about #FinalYearFear is Chloe Magill who who spent her placement year working in Barcelona, lapping up a year full of sunshine – and even managed to make the headlines of an Irish newspaper. Probably the smartest and most humble person I know, Chloe’s talent for languages scares me a little and I wish I just had one ounce of the bi-lingual skills she possesses.
Chloe has just finished her final year of the Business with Spanish degree at the Queens University, Belfast and spoke to me about her final year a few weeks ago.
Orlagh: Hey senorita, how are things with you? How are you finding final year at the minute?
Chloe: Things are quite stressful at the minute – just finished my first exam yesterday and two more to go! To be honest, final year has involved a lot of work and I’ve probably spent more time in the library this year than all other years combined but I’ve actually quite enjoyed it.
I feel like everyone on my course has become a lot closer this year after our year abroad which is nice. It’s been good craic and good to share the fun and stressful times with such a fab group of people.
Have you noticed much of a difference between final year and your first two years at uni? Is there a lot more pressure and work to do?
Chloe: Definitely a lot more work required and a lot more work done! There’s so much more expected of us this year, however I think the high expectations have made us all work harder and improved the quality of our work as a result.
Also, going out has been a very rare occasion this year but I would pin that down to having football nearly every day of the week rather than because of university demands!
How have you found transitioning back to university life after placement?
Chloe: I honestly didn’t find settling back into university too bad – at times I wish I was still working 9-5 and not having to go home and do work etc. but at the same time, I appreciated the student life being back, more so knowing that my days left in education are limited.
Now that you’ve experienced life in the corporate world, are you excited to go back or sad to leave university behind?
Chloe: A bit of both. I loved my placement experience but I know that I have my whole life ahead of me to be working in the corporate world so I’m just enjoying the rest of university while it lasts.
I’ll definitely miss it – I’ve had the best four years at the best university with the best people (as cheesy as that is, but it’s true!).
Have you had to write a dissertation this year? How’s that going?
Chloe: No dissertation for me, thank god.
THE FUTURE AWAITS
What are your plans for the future? Have you secured a job/grad scheme? Are you planning to travel? Masters?
Chloe: I’m staying at Queens University for one more year – starting a Masters in Business Analytics in September!
What made you decide to do a Masters? How do you feel about another year in education and what are your plans for afterwards?
Chloe: Getting one more year at college football as we got beat in the All-Ireland semi-final this year, so hopefully we’ll go one step further next year!
Haha, no in all honesty, I was originally planning on getting a paid job after university. My placement helped me to decide that analytics was the career path I wanted to pursue so I applied for an Analytics graduate programme for a firm down in Dublin. I went through about five stages and got through to the final round but missed out due to lack of experience using proper analytics software like Python and SAS. I realised after that, that if analytics was the path I wanted to go down, I needed to gain more experience – so the Masters will provide me with that!
I’m looking forward to it; one more year won’t hurt me. The analytics/data science industry is rapidly growing and there are so many opportunities in it which is exciting. I know I have so much to learn in the area but it’s something I have an interest in and something I am keen to learn about so hopefully it will be good and worthwhile.
“Knowledge is power.”
Where do you see yourself in 18 months’ time? What do you hope to have achieved by then and where would you like to be?
Chloe: Hopefully I will have successfully completed my Masters and found a graduate job! Where that will be… I’m not sure.
What’s the number one highlight of your entire university experience and why?
Chloe: Cliché as it is, but it has to be the year abroad – I would recommend it to anyone. I can’t believe it was the one thing putting me off choosing my course when applying for university, but I’m so glad I decided to go for it. I had such a good time, learnt so much, grew so much personally and professionally which will only stand by me throughout my career.
What’s one thing you’re looking forward to after graduating?
Chloe: I suppose the excitement of building a career and taking advantage of the opportunities out there.
What’s one thing you’re fearing about life after graduation?
The fact that once education is over, you’re in full-time work for basically the rest of your life – so finding the right/an enjoyable job will be important!