In 2004 I decided to return to college. The more courses and careers I looked into, the more I realised I was interested in doing an engineering degree.
I had a number of challenges though. I didn’t have the strongest leaving certificate as far as the relevant subjects go.
I was somewhat disheartened that not having the right subjects or points from the leaving certificate would hold me back from getting into the course I really wanted.
After some research, I decided the engineering degree at DIT Bolton Street, was one of the best engineering courses in the country. However, looking at the points and subjects required for admission to the course, I realised I was facing a bit of an uphill struggle.
I was intent on studying engineering though and after looking into a number of courses in a number of colleges and institutes all over the country, I came across Preliminary Engineering in Ballyfermot College of Further Education.
This course offered me a route into the common first year engineering programme in Bolton St. which was exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to apply and obtained a place on the course. Preliminary Engineering gave me an excellent foundation in subjects that I had not previously studied such as physics and chemistry and allowed me to improve my level in other subjects such as mathematics and mechanics. On entering first year in Bolton St I found that the level was very similar to that of Prelim, especially in subjects such as chemistry, math and mechanics. This made the first year seem relatively easy, and my good results allowed me the chance to choose the engineering discipline I was interested in. I am now about to enter my final year as a structural engineering student, I doubt if this would have been possible if I had not completed Preliminary Engineering.
I attended BCFE’s preliminary engineering course in the 2003-04 college year, it allowed me the opportunity to progress into the honours degree program in DIT Bolton St where I opted to study Structural Engineering. I will be qualified at the end this college year 2008 and I can honestly say that without the help I received from the staff at Ballyfermot I would never have made it. I was a mature student when I started preliminary engineering after having spent several years away from formal education. The enthusiasm and the one-on-one teaching nature within the preliminary engineering faculty and course helped me to come from a very basis level of mathematics and the sciences to be able to step into a degree course all in just one year. While the course is not easy it gives students an opportunity to be taught in a personal, caring environment which they cannot expect to find in other third level institutions. I hope my experience can be of help to others to go on and progress further in the engineering field, with a degree of engineering from DIT you will be giving yourself the best start to your chosen career.
Structural Engineering DIT Bolton St.
When I set about searching for the right media course, Ballyfermot came highly recommended by various industry professionals I'd contacted for advice. I attended two courses at BCFE, BJS (now MND) and THND. My time at Ballyfermot was very enjoyable and well worth it. Since leaving BCFE, I have worked for all the major players such as The Farm, Setanta Sports, RTE and TV3. It's been fantastic to work alongside many of the friends I made at the college. At present I am working full time as a Promotions Producer for TV3.
I have been working in RTE Radio 1 for the past ten years. I produce and present armweek on Radio One each Saturday morning at 8.30am. I also stand in for Joe Duffy on Liveline and I also present the sport on Morning Ireland from time to time. Before joining RTE in 1998, I worked in Shannonside Northern Sound Radio for five years. I was a BJS student in Senior College from 1990 to 1992. Without doubt, I would never have made it in the media world without my time in Ballyfermot. I learned so much about the media. And many of the tips and hints I learned from there back then, i still use today in my work. I made friends for life there whom I keep in regular contact with. And its thanks to Brenda, Joan, Fergal, John and Jim that I am still working in radio today.
'I had planned to go to college for one year, that was all I thought I'd be able to stomach. One year of presentation and performance for media and I was positive I would be the next VJ on MTV. However, I ended up staying a student of BCFE for three fantastic years. In my first year I got so much positive feedback about my writing and my assignments that the lecturers encouraged me to continue on. So, I decided to do two years of General Media. GMHND was great as it gave be a broad overview of the many strands of media including, radio, TV, PR, print, and web design. During my time in BCFE my course coordinator put me forward for a SMEDIA award for Journalist of the year for which I was shortlisted. The encouragement and support I was given by the BCFE team was amazing and something you just don't get in larger Universities. I know this because I completed my BA in Int. Journalism in Liverpool John Moore's University, after our course coordinator had set up a link between BCFE and Liverpool. So my one year turned into five, possibly the best five years of my life ! Whilst a student of Ballyfermot I met friends who continue to be a part of my everyday life 5 years after I graduated from BCFE. The small classroom situations meant I bonded with everyone in my class and formed lifelong friendships. I now work as supplements and feature executive for Associated newspapers in Dublin, having freelanced for a number of publications including Kiss, Hot Press, Space, Exclusive, and the Sunday Mirror. You don't need 400 capacity lecture halls, or state of the art canteens in order to get a good education and enjoy your college experience. BCFE's reputation for media is second to none and you really won't get any better'
Ariana Dunne - Supplement and Features Executive, Associated Newspapers Ireland - PPM and GMHND Graduate