Orlaith Kelly

Musical and Theatre Director
Self Employed
Ashford, Co. Wicklow
Teaching and education
BA (Double Hons) Media Studies and Music

I had a great experience in Maynooth University, and the highlight of my time there was meeting so many friendly people, lecturers and students alike. Everyone was always very helpful, and I always felt like there was someone on campus that I could talk to about anything. It also made the first few weeks as a first year student a lot less daunting, given the big change from secondary school to college.

During my time at Maynooth University, I was involved in lots of Clubs and Societies, namely the Fencing Club, Dance Society, Music Society, MAD Society and Disney Society. I think they are a very important part of the college experience, and they are a great way to make new friends. I participated in a number of intervarsity competitions which were always great fun, and a nice way to bond with the people in your group. I was the Treasurer of the Fencing Club and the PRO of the MAD Society for two years. In my final year at Maynooth, I was also the Musical Director for the MAD Society's Variety Show, as well as the Musical Director and Co-Director of our very first musical production, 'Grease'. I found this to be a great experience and it has led to me setting up my own musical theatre school in my local area.

The unique thing about studying at Maynooth University is the fact that, while it is a growing campus, it is still a very close-knit community. This makes the transition to college a lot easier, and it also means that you get to know a lot of different people from different parts of the college. In a lot of the courses, particularly courses like mine which didn't have a large number of students, you get to know a lot, if not all, of your classmates. There were 40 students in my course, and by the end of our three years together, we were all quite close.

I learned many key skills at Maynooth University that have influenced my career. Being involved in the committees of the Clubs and Societies, particularly the MAD Society, and being involved in the production of our first full-scale musical has led to me founding my own musical theatre school with my family. We are currently preparing the musical 'Alice in Wonderland', and I know a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes after doing 'Grease' in Maynooth. I also learned a lot about planning and running events, different methods of fundraising, and how to advertise through being the PRO on the MAD Society committee. Through my Media Studies course, I have learned a lot of valuable skills with regards to the production of television and radio, which I hope to use as I progress with my career in that area. In my final year in Media Studies, I was involved in the creation and direction of a short film, and my partners and I were involved in all aspects of making a film. Through this, I picked up lots of valuable skills, including organising shoot days and actors, and problem-solving, both on the spot and in the editing room after. Through my Music course, I learned a lot about the historical aspects of music which has given me a better context of how ideas and techniques have developed, and this has helped me in my performance of classical pieces. I also majored in performance, and learned a lot of valuable singing techniques, as well as developing my voice further. I learned new and interesting ways of composing music, and I hope to bring these skills with me throughout the course of my career.

If you are looking to do Media Studies with Music, then this a good course for that, as it is the only course in Ireland that allows you to study Media Studies with another Arts subject.