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Postgraduate study in Sustainable Energy Engineering

My postgraduate study: Ryan McKenna (MSc Sustainable Energy Engineering)

By undertaking the masters I’ve definitely gained a higher level of maturity

Primary degreeSustainable Energy Engineering, WIT 2016, Masters of Business Studies in Management (WIT 2013)
Postgraduate study MSc Sustainable Energy, WIT 2016

What is your postgraduate area of study and where are you studying?

My undergraduate degree was in Sustainable Energy Engineering (BEng (Hons) in Sustainable Energy Engineering) in Waterford Institute of Technology, graduating in October 2016. My postgraduate area of study is an MSc in Sustainable Energy Engineering in Waterford Institute of Technology. After much deliberation I decided to undertake a postgraduate just because I felt it was what was best for my future career and I could rely on the course being of a high standard, especially considering the fact it was accredited by Engineers Ireland.

What made you make the decision to choose postgraduate study?

I suppose as a person I am also looking to make progress and naturally in my career I hope to achieve as much as possible so by undertaking a postgraduate course it will enable me to further my career prospects in the future. When the opportunity to do the postgraduate became available, I decided to go ahead with it as I felt that at the time I was best equipped to undertake such a task rather than leaving it until later in my career when it may not have suited as much.

What was the most challenging aspect of the move from undergraduate to postgraduate study?

The most challenging aspect of the move from undergraduate to postgraduate study had to be how there was much more of an emphasis on self-learning. One thing you must realise is that it is another level up in terms of workload, in terms of assignments and exams, compared to an undergrad. Another thing I’ve realised is that I can work well under pressure, which is important especially with the volume of work that must be completed in the course to specific deadlines. By undertaking the Masters I’ve definitely gained a higher level of maturity that perhaps I didn’t have after completing my Undergrad.

What advice would you have for students considering postgraduate study?

You must have a keen interest in the area you intend to study in order to keep motivated in what is a tough academic year, you must also be prepared to put in the work and hours in order to succeed in your postgraduate area of study as it will require a significant effort. What you put in is what you’ll get out of it is the best advice I can give. Having a good relationship and interacting with your lecturers is also beneficial.

What are your plans for after you finish your studies?

My immediate plans are to secure full time employment in Ireland and to start my engineering career. At some point I would like to move abroad and work in my area of study but also I would like see the world as travelling is a strong interest of mine. Eventually I would intend on becoming a chartered engineer in Ireland which obtaining a postgraduate qualification enables me to do.

What particular supports did you find useful during your postgraduate study?

The class sizes tended to be quite small so there was good interaction between the class and the lecturers of the modules. The lecturers were very good in that they were prepared to give one on one time also if required which was a big support when you were having difficulties with assignments or class work. The facilities at WIT are very good also and the Luke Wadding Library provides the perfect environment for studying or doing assignments. Your dissertation supervisor is also a great support as they will provide guidance when it comes to the area of undertaking your dissertation which is a big task. My dissertation supervisor Billy Rowesome was available to help me even during the college summer break, which was a great support.