Grainne Hayes- BSc in Health and Medical Information Science

Name: Grainne Hayes 

Can you tell us what motivated you to start studying?   

For a long time, I have wanted to move away from retail. However, the main reason I decided to go back to study online was down to the inspiration of my father.  While working within the County Council, he returned to college where he completed an online engineering course and graduated.  My father returned to study later in life however, he inspired me to take the chance and follow in his footsteps. 

Can you share some detail of your career path to date?  

I have worked in retail for several years; however, I always knew there was more to life and that returning to study would expand my options into new fields and avenues of work. 

What does your current role involve? 

I am currently an assistant manager in an off license which involves the management of stock, staff, cash management and I also run the social media channels in the store such as Facebook and Instagram pages for engaging with customers online. 

Why did you choose this course from ATU Sligo? 

I have always wanted to return to college and have thought about it intently over the past few years.  I have completed many courses in different subjects to see what I would be interested in.  I have a love of technology and I had a passion for science in secondary school, so this is what geared me towards the course I am involved in now. 

How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging 

I found the systems and applications used to deliver this online course such as Microsoft Teams are great and aid the learning process significantly. Teams allows students to catch up on information that could have been missed or information they are confused about with a chat box function here you can ask questions and raise an issue with a lecturer. Microsoft Teams also can be used on a mobile phone which means you don’t always need a laptop to hand. There were many benefits to studying online and the flexibility of recorded lectures make it very efficient when working on the move and help individuals balance their work/college life. 

Did you find that the elements you were studying had practical relevance in your day-to-day role? 

I find the course very interesting and have enjoyed my studies to date. The computer and technology-based modules have aided my level of competency and as a result of this, I have found that the company performance and engagement levels have improved since I started this course. 

Why did you choose a full-time online course, rather than a full-time, on-campus programme? 

I chose to study a full-time online course, rather than a full-time, on-campus programme asat the time the lectures suited me to do during the day before work so I would attend lectures in the morning and then go to work at 2 pm and I wouldn’t have missed any lectures whereas the part time courses were in the evening from say 6 pm or 7 pm. Now two lectures are usually in the evening but I’m usually on my day off for one of those and catch up on the lectures from the other. The online study gave me the flexibility to work and study which was vital when working in a family business. It was just a better balance for me at the time. 

What advice would you have for anyone considering studying online? 

The advice I would give to students considering studying online is that the hard work and time spent on exams and assignments is worth it. I believe that there is no better feeling than when you finally submit work and assignments that you have been working hard on and receiving the results you deserve. The feeling of accomplishment when you complete exams and the ability to be proud of yourself, there truly is no greater feeling in the world. 

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