My Own Summer – Dusting Off The Writing Cobwebs

I thought I would write a quick post about my summer to get back into the swing of things before the academic year. It has been a long summer I have to say, finishing my exams at the very start of May has given me four months off. The week after I finished my exams I was off to Cartagena, Spain to take part in a tech start up scrum run by EU-XCEL and partnered with UCC. I had been accepted for this all expenses paid trip the month before and I was looking forward to the challenge of learning the scrum ideology.

cartagena, summer
Summer in Cartagena

It rained a lot in Cartagena but was still hot, hot enough for me to get burnt the first day. The experience of the whole week was great. I met people from all over Europe with similar interests in new technologies and  the use of Internet Of Things. We got to attend lectures and talks on entrepreneurship, new technologies and the scrum framework. As well as pitch our own ideas, get into groups and start building on these ideas. The end goal was presenting our idea for a business in front of the groups and mentors.

Besides from all the work at the scrum, Cartagena was a beautiful town with a nice harbour and lovely centre. The food and drink was cheap and very nice, I got to experience proper tapas and Spanish beer. The only problem I found was that they don’t cater for vegetarians very well.  As a result there was not many options on the menu apart from meat or fish dishes. The whole group had a good time bonding over food and drink in the backdrop of this lovely Spanish town. After the 6 days of full on days of work on tech scrum ideals, late nights of drinking and eating it was time to go home. Sleep was needed and then to continue with the rest of the summer.

The rest of my summer was spent between Cork(Where I live) and Galway (My hometown). My summer was spent visiting family and friends, working on the second stage of the EU-XCEL programme, playing gigs with my band and working on other projects to do with my field of study. I also had and Interview for a job in the IT centre in UCC for work during the academic year. I was very happy to get offered a position in the staff helpdesk starting in August.

My EU-XCEL group had decided to create a business plan for our idea, Wellness Ecosystem in the Cloud(W.E.C).  Where you would have an all in one app that can connect to many different wearables to track your health, fitness, social, nutrition and also connect you to professional in your area. We were looking to focus on people with disabilities and middle aged/older people. The research found that it would be beneficial for these target groups to track all these areas. We all did our research in our perspective countries and tried to meet every week via Google Hangout. After three months of research and drafting plans and designing a prototype we submitted our business plan to the program.

The whole experience was very beneficial to me, learning business, technology and entrepreneurial skills. Even if we don’t get chosen to go to the final in Munich, I have had a great experience doing this program and met some great people.

I was very pleased with the outcome of my results from first year that I received during the summer. I got first class honours in every one of my subjects. This led to me being invited to apply for the Quercus academic scholarship.

Conclusion

Finally it is now time to start my second year in UCC.  I have to say I am looking forward to going back after a long Summer break. This year will be a busy one too, with a heavy workload in semester one, my job and my position as Webmaster on the Squash Club Committee. It will be good to get structure back to my days and my head down for a few months.

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