- 27 Jan 20
In the run-up to the CAO deadline on February 1, we’re sharing some words of wisdom from students who have been through the process – and lived to tell the tale.
Richard Guiheen, New Media Studies, IADT
CAO deadlines can be an extremely stressful time for Leaving Cert students. My experience with the CAO was a difficult one – I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, or whether the universities I had put down were right for me.
I had researched a number of colleges that matched my interests in film, TV and media, and after attending open days and emailing course coordinators from several universities, I was able to lay out my college preferences in the order of interest.
My CAO offer came through – I didn’t get my first choice or my last. I was given my Level 7 choice, but I knew it wasn’t the course for me. I waited for the second round, hoping for a better offer, but that didn’t happen. I made the decision that I wanted to follow my interest in media, so I did a PLC in Radio and Journalism at GTI Galway, where I found my passion in radio. From my PLC, I got into NUIG, my third choice, which felt like a dream. I accepted, but later I got my second round offer, which gave me my second choice – studying New Media Studies at IADT. It allowed me to learn about media on a more practical level than my friends doing other courses, making films, documentaries, podcasts and more. Taking the course in IADT provided me the skills and confidence to do a diploma course with Today FM School of Radio, which provides insight into the radio industry from those working in that industry.
When filling out your CAO, put down the maximum number of places you can, including Level 6 and 7s. Trust your gut instinct – if you can’t see yourself attending that college and doing that course with enjoyment and passion, don’t put it down. That’s what I did, and it has brought me path with so many opportunities.