Meredith Storey is a PhD researcher at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick. She completed her MSc International Management & Global Business at UL in 2014, and decided to stay on to pursue her PhD – this is her story!
Hello, future UL student!
My name is Meredith, and I’ve been at the University of Limerick since 2013. I first came over for a one-year Master’s program, a year after graduating college. I left my stable job to pursue the degree, and have never regretted that choice. Like many, the decision to leave came from combining my personal dream of living abroad and seeing Ireland, and my professional dream to pursue a Master’s in International Management and Global Business.
What better way to do so than in an international university with classmates from around the globe—and the already affordable tuition included a consultancy trip to Cape Town, SA?!
I remember telling everyone that “…I’ll only be gone for a year, it’s not thaaat long.” To which my friends would always reply that they thought it would be forever. Now, I’m not sure whether they meant that a year would feel like forever or that I would find a way to stay, but in any case it’s been almost four years and I’m still here!
First and last day of Master’s!
I came to UL because of the affordability of the one-year Master’s program, the ease of understanding from my future course director, and straightforward outline of what to expect which I compiled from the website and other resources. However, I stayed at UL because I made some of the greatest friends, and found professional opportunities of a lifetime time-after-time. I submitted my Master’s thesis on a Friday in September 2014, and began my first university job as a Teaching Assistant the following Monday. The school was not shy to connect me with this opportunity as it fit my schedule, which really set me forward as I applied for the PhD program and scholarship. My PhD supervisor (former Master’s thesis sup) has always been top-notch as well, another great reason for staying! I am now in the third year of my PhD, in the Finance and Accounting Department of Kemmy Business School. Since starting this program, I have taught five Master’s-level modules of my own; guest lectured countless times; hosted conferences with many key leaders around Ireland and globally, including representatives from the OECD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, World Bank, and the UN; and represented the school at UK-regional meetings and international UN conferences. I’ve gotten to work with hundreds of colleges and universities around the world through connections made with my Master’s thesis, and an eight month internship where I lived and worked in New York at the United Nations Global Compact office.
Internship in New York at the United Nations Global Compact office!
The point is, the University of Limerick, particularly Kemmy Business School, never left me short on opportunities to pursue. Like anything, you will get out of this experience what you put into it. To that end- I have a few quick tips below for anyone coming over or looking to integrate into the UL community!
Say yes to opportunity.
If you’re asked to volunteer for a conference, work an orientation, or meet up with friends early in the experience, say yes! You never know who you’re going to connect with or what that opportunity will lead to. Be confident and comfortable with your choices, and try to interact with others as much as you are able!
Step out of your comfort zone.
This is more of a social point, but applies for personal and professional actions. International students always attend orientation with other international students. You might even be living with other international students. Study abroad and Erasmus students tend to come and go quite quickly as the semesters change, but if you are going to be here for a year or longer, go make friends, Irish friends! Some of the best friends I’ve made are the ones living in Ireland full-time. They know the good places to go and the best things to do. They have cars which help infinitely with grocery shopping and sightseeing. And if you’re really lucky, they might take you to meet their family, where you will promptly be adopted by your very own Irish Mammy. I could certainly never have nested into UL as quickly or as sustainably without my Irish support system.
Love both homes.
I don’t think I’ve been proper homesick for three years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss my Dad, siblings, and baby nephew and niece from time to time. Still, work to communicate in a way that is normal for you. We use our family iMessage chat, and all of my friends would tell you that I can be a bit of a serial-Snapchatter. My first year here I was visited for two weeks by my best friend from college, and my second year a friend from home actually came over and joined my old Master’s program! Then later when I lived in NYC, a housemate of mine was a UL grad too! If that’s not having your worlds collide, I don’t know what is.
This point doesn’t just go for the people you miss- I still listen to MLB games on my phone whenever I can. And since my beloved Cleveland Indians have been much improved since I’ve been here, I can safely say I’ve turned many others on to the games and teams! And that goes both ways, I’ve been to countless community hurling and camogie games, travelled all over the country to watch county teams play, and try to make as many Munster Rugby matches as possible!
Home will always be home, but I believe I’ve been lucky to have two homes these past years. Take opportunities wherever you can, and you will be rewarded with your experiences. Best of luck!
Thanks to Meredith for sharing her story! Read more from PostGrad students at UL
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