Aisling Rose McDonald

Aisling Rose McDonald

“Looking back on my time at DCU, I believe that my overall experience could be encapsulated as positive, demanding, and at times stressful, but it was also truly fascinating and rewarding.”

Aisling Rose McDonald, who is graduating with a BA in International Relations, also said she first discovered the course when she was in secondary school.

 “I can vividly recall feeling intrigued, enthusiastic, and perhaps assured that this was a course that would nurture and encourage my passion for both learning and raising awareness about global and intersectional political issues – particularly those where gender, race, class, and other factors intersect.”

The broad range of modules, including Introduction to Development, Conflict, Security and Peace, Issues in American Politics, and Gender and Politics, were “a selling point when choosing this course.”

She explained, “I am a feminist and a young woman who has long cared about people, from all walks of life and issues such as gender-based violence and racism which impact many of these people.”

“With this in mind, I was drawn to this course as it appeared that curiosity, concern, independence, and furthermore questioning and challenging the imperfect society in which we live appeared to be traits that this course encouraged students to develop. I cannot explain it, but I just felt that this was one of the few courses that would suit me.”

This specific degree, combined with the size of the DCU campus, and the invaluable student supports contributed to her choosing it for her college education.

The pandemic resulted in 18 months of the course being delivered online. Aisling said the transition from face-to-face to online education “was made somewhat easier for me by several of my lecturers showing their support, kind understanding, and unwavering commitment to helping students with any concerns or questions they may have had. “

She chose not to avail of the optional INTRA/Erasmus year but added, “I had the wonderful opportunity outside of my studies to work alongside several like-minded and talented individuals on DCU’s Mental Health Society (MHS) committee.”

“I served on the committee for three years and it helped to instil self-confidence and develop my interpersonal skills. Moreover, it will happily remain quite a challenging yet highly rewarding experience that showed me the power of people coming together to make a difference for a worthy cause.”

“I would encourage both current and future students of DCU should they have the time and feel comfortable to do so, to put themselves forward for even one of DCU’s clubs or societies that capture their interest. You never know where joining a society may lead you in the future and it often provides a positive talking point when potential employers see such an experience recorded on your curriculum vitae,” she added.

DCU provides a wide range of supports for students and Aisling availed of the Writing Centre service and said, “the DCU Writing Centre team were professional, friendly, and supportive. They provided me with sage advice and helpful guidance on several things including how best to structure an essay for a particular essay question. I was also given constructive feedback on my academic phrasing and use of language.”

As she looks towards the future, Aisling, who is from county Cavan, said, “I believe that my International Relations degree has enhanced my prospects of obtaining employment in a wide range of areas that may interest me. It has helped me to develop crucial skills and reaffirm the need for values such as equality, inclusion, and kindness that I hold dear.”

For sixth year students contemplating their third level options, she said, “despite the stress and anxiety that being a college student can inevitably bring, I am glad that I went to DCU, both for the education and for the people. I do not believe that I would have had the same experience otherwise, had I gone elsewhere.”


DCU Prospectus - Go back to International Relations