What have you been up to since winning the Undergraduate Awards?
I spent part of last summer working in a physiotherapy centre for children with disabilities in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. The work was challenging, both emotionally and physically, but it was a truly amazing and worthwhile experience. I became completely immersed in a culture that was so different to anything I was used to. I was overwhelmed by the kindness and openness of the people, the untouched beauty of the landscape and the resilience and optimism of the children I worked with.
In October 2010 I started a PhD in Psychology. The research is funded by the Road Safety Authority and looks at the psychological profile of drivers (particularly young males) who are resilient to ‘fear appeals’. It also examines the types of messages that moderate intentions to take driving risks in this audience. Since the undergraduate awards ceremony, I have been based in an office in NUIG, working on a literature review which will make up the first part of my PhD thesis. This year I will also be running tutorials and giving lectures to first and second year psychology students (the prospect of which is more than a little nerve-wracking!)
What did winning the Undergraduate Awards mean to you?
It was an incredible honour to be presented with an Undergraduate Award. I felt privileged to be a part of such a prestigious event and genuinely humbled to be considered among the top entries. The Undergraduate Awards give support, recognition and encouragement to Ireland’s undergraduates, allowing them the unique opportunity to have their course work judged on a national level. In doing so, they add value and meaning to undergraduate work. It was a wonderful experience to have received the award and I am very grateful.
What tips do you have for students entering the Undergraduate Awards?
Firstly, I would recommend entering the UAs to everyone. Having your work commended is a hugely heartening experience and since entries consist of completed and corrected work, there is very little involved in submitting an essay. From the feedback I received on my essay, it is important to be original. Regardless of your topic, writing style is really important so make sure that it flows well,that it is easy to read and holds the reader’s attention. Finally, it is possible to submit up to three entries, so if you have two or three essays eligible for submission, enter them all! You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain…
Undergraduate Award Winner in 2010
University: National University of Ireland, Galway
Category: Life Sciences