From Indiana to Ireland: An Interview with Student Ambassador Shelbi Macken

Shelbi BlogFirst things first. Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where did you go to undergrad, and what did you study?

  • My name is Shelbi. I grew up in Indiana. I studied my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

What are you studying now at UCC?

  • I am studying a Masters in Applied Psychology.

What made you decide to attend graduate school in Ireland? At UCC?

  • I wanted to pursue research in transnational migration. I felt that Europe/Ireland was one of the best places to do that. I was attracted to UCC because of their reputation for applied psychology research and by a few of the researchers working in the department.

What aspect of attending graduate school in Ireland has been the most difficult to adjust to while in Cork?

  • Things are structured a bit differently in Ireland than in the United States. The most difficult part to adjust to was learning to relax a little bit. I am used to everything being very structured months in advance whereas here, things just tend to work themselves out.

What is your favorite “hidden gem” (place, restaurant, pub, etc.) in Cork City?

  • For coffee, I’ll always go to Alchemy. For a pint, my favorite place to go is Fionbarra.

What are your career aspirations after UCC?

  • I am hoping to continue in research and academics. I will be completing my PhD at UCC and after that… I am not really sure yet.

If you could give students any advice about managing classwork while at UCC, what would it be?

  • Don’t stress out too much at the beginning of the semester. Still do the work to prepare yourself for things you know will be coming up, but save your energy for the end of the semester.

What has been your favorite place to visit/explore while in Cork? While in Ireland?

  • I enjoy going down to Kinsale often and anywhere out in West Cork.

Had you gone abroad before coming to graduate school at UCC?

  • I had never studied abroad but I have visited Turkey, Colombia, and Ireland before attending UCC.

Aside from your area of study, what are your passions? What do you do in your free time?

  • I enjoy reading, yoga, spending time with friends and exploring.

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