Ciara Walsh

Contract Administrator
Glenveagh Properties
Construction, civil engineering and QS
Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

The highlight of my time in Maynooth University was representing the lady’s soccer club for four years. Having the option to mix my studies with the sport I love was an important factor for me in choosing to go to Maynooth University. I got to meet some of my best friends through the soccer team, whom I remain friends with to this day. I also got to experience winning many trophies with my teammates including two league titles and an intervarsity title. I also enjoyed the travelling to different campus' across Ireland to play matches. One of the main highlights whilst representing the club was being able to go on a trip abroad to Manchester, during my final year, with my teammates. The trip away capped off an amazing four years at Maynooth University.

I was a soccer scholarship recipient during my time in Maynooth University and served on the Soccer Club committee for three years. During my time playing for the lady’s soccer team, we managed to win two premier league titles during the 2016/2017 season and the 2018/2019 season and the Intervarsities title in the 2016/2017 season. We also were crowned club of the year twice, during my time in Maynooth, at the clubs and societies awards. There were a few disappointing runners-up medals throughout the years, but we won't talk about those as you can't win everything!

The most unique aspect about studying in Maynooth is that although it is a big university with a big campus, it still maintains its small town atmosphere. Most big universities are in cities, so Maynooth is unique in this way. I feel this gives it more of a community feel, which I would consider to be a good factor.

I would definitely say people skills was one of the main skills I learned during my time in Maynooth. Interacting with students and lecturers through group projects and presentations, along with being involved in clubs gives you the confidence boost you need when leaving University, ahead of both interviewing and networking for job opportunities. Another key skill would be organisational skills. The university offers a challenge, unlike secondary school, in making sure that you get yourself organised independently by keeping up with your studies and assignments.

I initially started off studying an arts degree (politics, law & sociology), as I felt there were a few different areas I was interested in. By doing this I was able to find exactly what I enjoyed the most, and that was law! My advice for prospective students, if they are uncertain as to what exactly they want to study, go down the arts route first of all and find what you enjoy the most. Law is a challenging degree. It does involve a lot of individual hours spent reading and researching. But in the end, it's a very rewarding degree.

Throughout my four years in Maynooth University I worked part-time as a front of house usher and receptionist, as well as an administrative assistant. I then got offered a job as a contract administrator in February 2021 in a large construction and property company in Maynooth called Glenveagh Properties. Working as a contract administrator has allowed me to incorporate some of the skills I learned whilst studying law into my day-to-day tasks. There is also a lot of terminology in the job I had come across throughout the different modules in my law degree.

My current role involves completing subcontracts, collateral warranties, and professional appointments for issue, along with liaising with solicitors and QS teams to obtain relevant information. I am also responsible for reviewing contracts, verifying accuracy, ensuring relevant documentation accompanies contracts and other administrative tasks.

The most challenging would be the construction terminology that is sometimes used. It can be hard to understand, when you don't have a background in construction, but it is also interesting to learn all about the construction industry and how it works.

I found my current job through LinkedIn. 

The job market can be extremely daunting when you leave university. Especially when you are not sure which career area you would like to go in to. It is not as easy to find a job as you may think. It takes time, perseverance, and a lot of research. Make sure to research into graduate programmes, internships, and apprenticeships too. It may take a while to get going but it's really important to keep going no matter how many brick walls you hit and to never give up. I found reading GradIreland brochures very helpful. They offer tips on CVs, cover letters and job interviews. I therefore would recommend getting your hands on one of them from outside the career centre. As well as attending graduate and career fairs, be prepared to sit aptitude tests. You would be surprised how many companies use these tests nowadays no matter what sector you are planning on going into. Another tip would be to create a LinkedIn account and showcase yourself to hiring managers.