Staff Spotlight: Gillian Dooley

Lecturer in Business & Humanities
Gillian Dooley is a lecturer in the Faculty of Business & Humanities at Limerick Institute of Technology since 2010. She has previously lectured at the University of Limerick, NUI Galway and University College Dublin. Gillian brings substantial industry experience as a Management Consultant for small, medium and large organisations in the public and private sectors. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Studies by Research and Thesis from the University of Limerick, where she had previously taken a Bachelor’s Degrees in Business Studies with French and a Graduate Diploma in Computing, both with 1st Class Honours. She is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).

Meet Gillian at LIT

Did you study abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?

While I did not study abroad during University, I was very lucky to have had a similar opportunity for my first professional role, when I was accepted onto the Management Consultant graduate training programme for PricewaterhouseCoopers. I spent three months in Tampa, Florida with colleagues from around the world attending multi-week, high-tech training courses.

This international opportunity was a key factor in my decision to accept this role. We are living in an increasingly interconnected, global village and experience and sensitivity to other cultures is becoming more and more important for that reason. This is true for every career path: entrepreneurship, small business, multinationals or academia.

How do you think study abroad and international education will change over the next 10 years?

World-wide, there is an increase in spells of study abroad being ‘built-in’ to the normal requirements of programmes taught at third-level. Students today who do not have this as a ‘built-in’ feature of their programmes will need to take the initiative and do this for themselves in order to compete with the graduates of tomorrow for whom it will have been a requirement.

Having international study experience on a student’s CV today is strongly valued in industry. Aside from all of the soft skills a student develops, it proves that they have the maturity, discipline and motivation to successfully manage workloads and deadlines in a new environment.

What unique qualities does your university possess?

LIT’s philosophy of ‘active learning’ is lived throughout our campus. For technical disciplines this means a lot of very ‘hands-on’ laboratory time and workshops. For Business & Humanities students this means problem-based assignments, case-studies and delivering practical solutions for business.

For everyone, it means that while we deliver the philosophical, theoretical and principles-based aspects of your education, there is a parallel track on which we enable students to confront and solve the ‘real-world’ dilemmas of industry that prepare you to be excellent entrepreneurs and employees as graduates. Here at LIT, class sizes are relatively small and we promote a culture of availability and individual attention from lecturers.

What is your favorite study abroad memory?

I have so many good memories that it’s hard to select just one! In general, what I remember most is the comaraderie that developed between all of the trainees. We all arrived from every corner of the world for three months, with the same goals, the same excitement but also a little bit of trepidation about what lay ahead.

The course itself was very challenging but after a few weeks we all found our stride, working hard all week and going on trips at the weekend. We visited New Orleans, Orlando, Miami, Key West, Kennedy Space Centre and the Everglades. These are memories that will stay with me a lifetime. The opportunity to study abroad only presents itself once, so I would strongly advise everyone to grab it with both hands!

What is the best story you've heard from a study abroad student?

The best story I heard was from one of our students who undertook part of her studies through the European Erasmus+ Study Abroad programme in Nice, France. Before she went on Erasmus, she would have been quite shy and a little hesitant in class. I met her in Nice about six months later, while bringing a group of my own students on a study trip there, and she was like a different person. As she put it herself, the confidence she gained while on Erasmus was immense.

She learned how to manage herself, her college work and money completely independent of home. She made friends from all over the world and is looking forward to visiting them over the coming years. She really sold the study abroad experience to our other students and it was wonderful to hear her personal success story.