The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) fosters community university partnerships that aim to promote the principles and practices of civic engagement and democracy.

Eoin Dillon Reflection

My name is Eoin Dillon and I am a Transition Year student from St. Paul's Secondary School, Oughterard, Co. Galway.

As part of TY, my work experience co-ordinator Ms. Kinnevey informed the class that we had to organise a work placement for one week November 13th-17th. I decided to spend the week in NUIG and was under the guidance of Lorraine Tansey from the ALIVE Student Volunteering Programme. I had been in NUI Galway a few times when I was younger at the Youth Academy, so I knew a bit about the campus.

The ALIVE office is located in The Hub on campus. The Hub is a seating/eating area in Áras na Mac Léinn with a recently installed kitchen area. It is a cosy place where you can study, chat, play pool, eat or just relax! The new kitchen is a wonderful addition where students can prepare their own food or get a cup of tea, free of charge. I became very comfortable in this social area on campus and spent a lot of time there throughout the week.

After a brief orientation/planning meeting with Lorraine on day one, I headed to the Radio Station Flirt FM where I spent the morning with the manager/broadcasters and listened to some previously recorded interviews.

I was particularly interested in the Engineering building on campus and coming into my work experience, I had an idea that I wanted to attend some of the Engineering lectures. I found the lectures stimulating and particularly enjoyed the one about construction. Other interesting talks I attended were the Finnish Energy Plans, Coastal Geography, UN Peace Keeping, Sociology and Graphic Web Design to name a few.

I met with the SIN Newspaper editor, had a sneak preview of the next issue and learned about the type of work involved in compiling a paper.

I helped set up stands for a Sustainability event in the O' Donohue Theatre with the School of Business and Engineering students. Some local organisations came together to discuss sustainability in various contexts. On the Thursday, Lorraine and I helped a group of students set up their ‘Reusable cup' scheme for the launch of Galway's Sustainability Programme. This was one of my favourite events, as I enjoyed hearing all of the different views on the project.

Throughout the week I was actively involved in the social media output for the University. I was running the NUI Galway Orientation Twitter handle for the week, giving students updates on events which were taking place, as well as giving some information about workshops and classes I attended. I also had to update some of ALIVE's website. These tasks were very worthwhile experiences, the handling of social media platforms and the responsibility that comes with it cannot be over emphasised. I met so many people doing different jobs during the week.

I came into contact with people from all walks of life, entrepreneurs, academics, media people and students from all over the world. There was a great sense of community in the University. I believe that I now feel more confident when working with adults. I am more independent and self assured when meeting new people. Lorraine and her colleagues were encouraging, positive and engaging at all times. I feel very fortunate to have had such a beneficial work experience with her and the ALIVE staff, and I would highly recommend the experience to other Transition Year students.