Student profile: ‘I’m delighted I changed my mind on the CAO form’
Aibhne Breathnach: First-year applied computing student, Waterford Institute of Technology
Aibhne Breathnach: ‘Talk to as many people as you can about the course you’re interested in.’ Photograph: Patrick Browne
Aibhne Breathnach First-year applied computing student, Waterford Institute of Technology Aibhne Breathnach (19) made good use of the CAO change-of-mind form last year. He had a couple of ideas about where he wanted his future to go when he started in Leaving Cert and spent the next few months wavering between nursing, music and computing. He made the most of college open days and took every opportunity he could to talk to lecturers and get more detail about each of the courses he was keen on.
“When I went to open days I’d always look for information about nursing,” he says. “My mother is also a nurse, so she would have talked to me about it too. I kind of changed my mind after speaking to my mother and getting her insight into it. I decided it probably wasn’t for me.”
A keen music enthusiast, Breathanch decided to list music as first choice when February 1st came around. He thought he’d like to take a general course, and later get into music teaching. But conversations with relatives steered him off that path too.
“A couple of my cousins did music in college, but they said to keep it as a hobby rather than doing it as a full course, so I changed my CAO form to Applied Computing in WIT.”
There were a couple of factors that influenced his final decision. He heard a lot of positive stories in the local Waterford media about the tech industry. Furthermore, the inner workings of the internet had always interested him and after completing a HTML course in transition year, computing had stayed in his mind. “I really enjoyed that [TY course] and I was interested in learning more. At the open days I asked lecturers what I would actually be doing on the course, and where it could lead me to.
“My brother was also doing the course, so I asked him questions, too. He told me about the programming and web development and maths. That sounded good to me.
“ I’m delighted with my choice and that I changed my mind on the CAO. My advice for anyone who isn’t sure is keep your options open when you’re putting stuff down and talk to as many people as you can about the course you’re interested in.”