Jessica Sheehan – BBs (Hons) in Marketing

Name: Jessica Sheehan 

School: Gortnor Abbey, Crossmolina, Co. Mayo

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you chose Marketing?

My name is Jessica and I am 22 years old. I am currently studying the Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Marketing at ATU Sligo. I have just recently returned from Lyon, France, where I was studying for semester 2. It was a brilliant experience.  

Tell us why you chose ATU Sligo?

After finishing my Leaving Cert in 2018, I decided to take a year out. Being a student with anxiety can be very difficult at times and the thought of going straight from Leaving Cert, which is a very stressful year, into college, an unknown area to me, was honestly terrifying. I went to ATU Sligo’s Open Day in 2019 and had a brilliant experience. I knew I was interested in business but I wasn’t sure what course I would like to do. I was introduced to many lecturers and heads of departments, who reassured me and explained their courses. Through this very positive experience, I decided this course in Marketing at ATU Sligo would best suit me, as I have an interest in marketing and I love communication which is an important tool for marketing.  

What specifically about the degree do you particularly enjoy?

There are many things I enjoy about my degree. Firstly, this degree covers many modules such as communication, accounting, digital marketing, consumer buyer behaviour etc.  In this course, we also have a lot of presentations to do, which I love. They give you the chance to speak about a topic you enjoy while also learning about marketing techniques. For example, for a particular module, we had to pick any Irish TV Advertisement we like and interview the creator of this advertisement. This project gave me a real insight into how advertisements are created and also why they are created, what was the message behind the ad campaign and so on.  This course, although many modules are theory-based, is taught in a fun, practical and interesting way. This course gives students great flexibility. It covers a broad range of marketing subjects.  In this course, we also go on many college trips. As a student, we can see what we have studied in the classroom in real-life situations. Most recently we visited the Gun Powder Gin distillery in Drumshanbo.  

What is the best thing about your course that you think new applicants should know: 

The best thing about this course that new applicants should know is that there is an opportunity to go on Erasmus, which means that students get the chance to study abroad.  In January 2022 I travelled to Lyon, France, along with two other girls from my course to begin our Erasmus adventure. It was such a great experience, not only in an educational sense but personally also. During our college days, we were placed into three different classes along with other Erasmus and French students. It was a great opportunity to meet people from all across the world. I enjoyed learning about their cultures.  The personal side of this experience was huge. I grew so much as a person. From developing my social skills, to gaining a lot more confidence in myself. I went on many trips, I visited Annecy, Grenoble, Geneva and Vienne. They were all amazing places. I also explored the areas around where I was staying. Bellecour was just beautiful, it was where I spent many of my weekends and days off from college.  Before I went on Erasmus, I was very hesitant. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go, and the idea of studying abroad in a foreign country scared me. However, I am so glad I did it. It was the best experience. For any student who has doubts about going on Erasmus, don’t. I really couldn’t recommend this experience more.  

If you were speaking with a first-year student about to start your course, what advice/information would you give them: 

  •  The class sizes are small, which is of great benefit. You get to know your classmates well.  
  • A lot of the course work is carried out in group work, so students will be working in small groups due to the class size and students also get the chance to work closely with their lecturer.  
  • Be open and be excited to get to know the people in your course, this will make it a lot easier when you have to carry out presentations etc.  
  • This course is mainly assignment-based bar a few modules for example accounting. As a student with anxiety, this takes a lot of pressure away as my years’ work is not just based on one final exam.  
  • Have fun, a lot of the course work is carried out in creative ways where it includes the learning outcomes with a topic you may be interested in. Be creative in your projects.  
  • For any first-year students who may be feeling anxious about starting college, that is completely normal and ok. ATU Sligo has many great resources for that, and all lecturers are understanding and helpful.  
  • Just remember that if you are feeling nervous or unsure about something tell yourself it feels scary because it’s unfamiliar to you not because you aren’t capable of doing it.

What do you like about life in Sligo?

There are many things to like about life in Sligo. The fact that Sligo is very accessible, the town is a quick walk from the college itself, if you are like me and don’t drive yet! In the town, there are many shops, restaurants, bars, and a cinema, to keep students entertained, especially in the first few weeks when you may be feeling a little homesick. I also like the fact that Sligo is a small town. It is easy to get around and find your feet, which is nice for students who may be coming from small towns themselves and are not used to busy city life.  

What advice would you give to a student thinking about coming to ATU Sligo? 

For any student thinking about coming to ATU Sligo, I would advise them on coming to the open days. I found this to be of great benefit to me. Students get the chance to explore the college and see what it is like. Students also have the opportunity to meet with lectures to discuss what is involved with the course and how it will be carried out. What will be expected of the students and the course work involved, which can be very useful as it gives students a real look into the course, instead of just reading about it online.    

 What are your plans after ATU Sligo and any long term goals you are aiming for?

I’m not sure what I want to do once I have finished college. I know I would love to go travelling and continue learning about new cultures from my Erasmus experience. After ATU Sligo a new adventure awaits me, and I have to say I am very excited about it. Ultimately, my main aim and goal are to be happy with whatever I end up doing.

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