Twenty-two year old Laura Brady from Drumhillock in County Monaghan was the inaugural recipient of the UrbanVolt postgraduate scholarship in 2017/18. She explains how the scholarship opportunity has enabled her to pursue a future career in human resources.
“I have always had a keen interest in business which stemmed from growing up on my parents mushroom farm business in Monaghan, where my siblings and I worked. From a young age I’ve been a bubbly, chatty person and always loved to help people. When it came to choosing my college course, I was unsure whether to pursue a business course or one that could lead to work in a caring profession. I eventually decided on DCU’s BSc in Health and Society as it covered a lot of areas that I was interested in, but was broad enough not to limit my future career options.
It is a brilliant course which I absolutely loved, but I found as the years progressed that I enjoyed the sociology side more than the health focused modules. In my final year, I began to realise that I still had a strong desire to work in business and I felt somewhat unsure of my career prospects.
A friend of mine then suggested that I consider a career in Human Resources and from there I could see a future career path that I would really enjoy and succeed in. I did a lot of research into the area, spoke with people working in HR and also to recent graduates from DCU’s MSc in Human Resource Management. The more I looked into the course and got a feel for it, the more I was certain that I wanted to change direction and that this was the course for me.
My only problem was the financial aspect of completing this course – the cost of living in Dublin, together with the cost of the master’s fees seemed enormous. My parents had closed the mushroom business in 2014 and had already helped finance my undergraduate degree. I also have two sisters and a brother, so it didn’t really seem fair to put this financial burden on my parents.
I was considering either getting a loan or taking a year out to save up for the master’s. But I was afraid that if I got a job and started earning money that I wouldn’t be as driven to go back to college, as I had seen that happen with a lot of other people. When I discovered the UrbanVolt scholarship, I was thrilled that the MSc in Human Resource Management was one of the eligible courses, but was not very hopeful of winning the scholarship.
I could see that UrbanVolt are a very creative company and that they were looking for somebody innovative who stood out from the crowd. I put a lot of work, thought and creativity into my application. They wanted somebody who could think outside the box and I decided to focus on human resources using the knowledge of sustainable development that I had gained during my undergraduate degree.
In my video application, I shared my ideas on why Human Resource Management is a critical part of ensuring companies have motivated and dedicated employees who will work with the organisation to help it achieve sustainable development.
I’ll never forget the day when I got the call from Jamie Heaslip to say that I had been chosen for the scholarship. I am so grateful to UrbanVolt, not just for the financial support but also because they have really kept in touch with me throughout the past year and have shown a genuine interest in how I am getting on.
This scholarship has enabled me to complete my master’s a lot sooner than expected and has given me a platform for my future career in Human Resources that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Once I graduate I am planning to work as a HR generalist and I know that I wouldn’t have even been able to get my foot as far in the door for these roles without adding this master’s qualification.”