Aoife - Computing/Media
"When I started my Computing course in 2014, I had no idea how I would cope with the amount of college work to be done, not to mind the work placement and assignments, but once I started, everything fell into place. The ITT has such a friendly and comfortable environment that I felt myself becoming more confident as a person over the years. I love the fact that the classes are small and all the lecturers are very friendly and that they know everybody by name.
The lecturers are always ready to help students and are willing to make time if we have a problem. I have made so many friends inside and outside of my course that I will definitely keep in touch with after I graduate. In my third year of college, I got the opportunity to go on an internship with a great company and I loved every minute of it.
College life at ITT was definitely an experience I will remember for the rest of my life."
Damien Moran - Computing
"I am currently an Assistant Manager with Deloitte in the enterprise Risk Services department. I specialise in the provision of information security consultancy services to our clients, providing services such as information security program development, security assessments, ethical hacking, penetration testing, vulnerability assessments, application security reviews and secure architecture design.
My experience of IT, Tralee was very positive, with many great lecturers, excellent facilities, well structured courses, good links with industry and the opportunity of valuable real world work experience which was of great benefit to my career. IT, Tralee provided me with an excellent grounding in Information Technology that has been of great help in my career to date. IT, Tralee had cutting edge facilities, the people were great, it was well resourced and the social life was always fun!"
Alen Lovric - Games Development
"The on-point curriculum, great lecturers and helpful support staff have helped me tremendously on starting an exciting career in software development. I have nothing but the fondest memories of my 3 years at IT Tralee."
David O'Connor - Games Development
"I have been very happy with my choice of both course and institution. In choosing the IT Tralee, I have chosen a college with great lecturers and an environment conducive to study. The content here is highly interesting and can change due to evolution in the industry. All the lecturers have been more than willing to help with any queries I have with regards to course content. I would highly recommend ITT to anyone thinking of studying here."
Gary Browne - Computing/Media
"I am currently a third year student studying Software Development. Although it was a tough decision committing myself to 4 years in college, I can honestly say that it has been the best decision I have made. The support the lecturers have given me has been immense and they have always been available both during and outside of lecture hours for any support I have needed. I could not recommend IT Tralee highly enough."
Glen Curran - Media
"What course, what college, what level? These are just some of the questions you're faced with when it comes to third level education. As a mature student this was list was even scarier with thoughts of being too old and past my use by date.
Now I'm a third year studying Computing and to put it simply I don't regret a single decision I've made when it comes to college life. The course content changes to match industry expectations, the lecturers will bend over backwards to help any student who gives an honest effort.
This is to say nothing of the friends I've made who for better or for worse will be friends for life."
Creative Media and Information Technology Testimonials
Emma Higginson - TV, Radio and Media Studies
Why did you choose this course?
I chose the course because I always had an interest in media, publishing and broadcasting. The course was broad enough so that I could try my hand at many different disciplines but the subjects were also related. I figured it would give me a good bearing on the media industry in general while I was still able to specialise through electives.
What attracted you to IT, Tralee?
The IT has a good reputation and the campus is well equipped. The TV and Radio studios were accessible, as was the equipment.
How relevant was this course to your current work?
The course and particularly my work experience in third year was very relevant to me starting my company Webel Media. Covering subjects like law and business administration in college has come in very useful at times.
Any advice for someone thinking about going to IT, Tralee?
I'd advise people to just go for it, get stuck in academically and enjoy it. Make the most of the events and sports on and off campus because everyone misses college when it's over.
Steve Clifford - BA (Hons) Music Technology - 2nd Year
"I chose Music Technology at IT, Tralee because of the broad range of modules and the state of the art facilities that allowed me to produce and record industry standard recordings. Music Technology also introduced me to music theory as a foundation for music production. The practical element of course is very enjoyable. The lecturers are also very friendly and approachable and this creates an enjoyable learning atmosphere.
I am a member and currently Chairperson of the Music Society. The Music Society runs Open Mic nights and there are several lunchtime concerts scheduled throughout the year in North Campus. I’ve enjoyed being a part of different societies and an officer of the students union. I was able to meet new people and make lots of new friends. I would suggest everyone to get involved with as much activities possible and enjoy the nightlife that Tralee has to offer!
If you are thinking about coming to Tralee then I would suggest two things, come to the Open Day and take a trip down town. Take in as much of the college/campus and surrounding area. Then you can decide whether Tralee is the place for you to earn your degree. I haven’t looked back."
Nuala and Catriona - Bachelor of Business (Honours)
Why did you both choose this course?
Catriona: We both enjoyed Business as a subject in school and personally, I felt it would give me a number of future career options through the broad range of modules. The choice of three different streams i.e. accounting, marketing or management with specialisation in one area for the final years of the course, gives students a chance to experience elements of all areas before making a choice based on performance and experience in the first two years.
What attracted you to IT, Tralee?
Nuala: It is a local College close to home. Some of our friends and cousins have been past students and all had positive stories. On open day the staff and student buddies were very friendly and helpful.
What do you think of IT, Tralee?
Catriona: There is a great atmosphere in the College. The staff are very helpful, friendly and approachable. The student services, careers office and access office are brilliant.
Nuala: The lecturers are very helpful if you need to ask them anything. There are a great range of activities and societies you can get involved in.
Tell us about the facilities in the college:
Caitriona: The new library facilities are excellent with brilliant online resources and project rooms for group study within the library. The Cube reading room is a lovely area where it is easy to carry out online research and is a central focal point for all students.
Nuala: IT, Tralee has a range of support facilities available if you need them and wonderful canteen facilities!
Hotel, Culinary and Tourism Testimonials
- Advanced course in Tourism and Business (IT Tralee) graduated in 2001.
- Professional Cookery . Graduated in 2004.
- Current position: Head Chef at Sol y Sombra tapas Restaurant.
I graduated from Professional Cookery in 2004 in IT Tralee. I then furthered my career between Basque Country and Kerry.
I am currently Head Chef at Sol y Sombra tapas bar in Killorglin (Co. Kerry) , one of the organizer of the All Ireland Tapas and Pintxos Championship held in the IT Tralee in 2019 and preparing the second edition for 2020. I am also part of the Team Ireland for Tapas in the World Championships held in Valladolid every year.
I developed a concept to join my passion for Basque food and Kerry produce and then, Sua Basque Fusion was born two years ago. It is a pop up restaurant held in the “Little Cheese Shop” in Tralee once a month. Where the best of seasonal Kerry produces meets Basque techniques.
IT Tralee is being a major part of my chef career where I learned my skills and gained an inside into cookery and management of kitchens. I was provided with the sole foundation in cooking and great education. It allowed me to stay where I am today.
Day to day in “Sol y Sombra” I apply my leadership into our very professional team aiming for the highest standards and constantly pushing boundaries into the food scene in Kerry.
Keith Piggott - Culinary Arts & MA in Culinary Arts Management
At the ripe old age of 37 and in the midst of a bad economic recession I decided on a career change and decided to retrain as a chef. I applied to IT Tralee studied Culinary Arts and 9 years later I genuinely couldn’t be happier in my career choice.
Culinary Arts in Tralee was more than learning to cook. The lecturers instil their students with a love of food, respect for ingredients and a desire to do things properly. Its always sticks with me that no matter what level you are cooking at or who you are cooking for to make the dish that you are making the best it can be, it’s something I preach to all the chefs that work on my team and will stick with me to the end of career.
The higher certificate programme in Tralee gave me a comprehensive grounding in all area of cooking and kitchen management. There is a great balance between time spent individually in the kitchen, working on skills and dishes, time spent cooking as a team and serving the general public and time spent in lectures, building knowledge of back of house and front of house operations.
A huge element of my kitchen education was the competitions I entered at IT Tralee. There was massive support beyond the call of duty in terms of time from staff and the time paid off massively form my perspective both in terms of doing well in those competitions and the knowledge I picked up working towards them. A particular highlight was after winning an internal pastry competition I got to spend on pastry stagiare at Hotel Bad Schachen in Germany which the college has close links with. Seven years later and I’m still using so many of the recipes I picked up over there.
Another huge aspect of the course was my placement organised by the college, it was an instrumental element in shaping my career. I was placed in Global Village in Dingle and the he lessons I learned in class kitchens were put into place out in industry. I stayed in Global Village for another couple of years after my placement.
I graduated in 2012 and worked in a variety of roles and kitchens. From fine dining to gastropub to industrial catering all of which increase my knowledge and skill set. In 2016 I returned to IT Tralee and started an MA in Culinary Arts Management through UCB. The focus in this course was on developing management skills and applying them to a hospitality environment. It was a huge personal achievement for me to get the MA and also another milestone in my career as a chef.
I am currently Head Chef at Oak & Apple Adare and The Good Room in Adare. We are a small team and we focus on using Irish ingredients and local ingredients as much as possible. Flavour and presentation are always at the forefront of our minds and the desire to do things properly is an essential element to working on our team. The Good Room is a daytime operation serving breakfast and lunch and brunch at weekends, we change the menus seasonally. Oak & Apple is a night time restaurant where we serve small plates or Irish style tapas, again the focus is on seasonality and Irish produce and we change the menu once a month to reflect that.
Since I returned to Limerick from Kerry I have also gotten involved in the Limerick Food Group where we seek to highlight the food offering in Limerick by partnering producers and chefs to run events based around Limerick produce and Limerick’s rich food history. We run the Pigtown Food Festival every September as well as several smaller events through the year.
IT Tralee played a huge role in developing me as a chef. Learning in a college environment is so different to learning on the job. But in terms of learning the foundations of cooking its such a great environment, away from the pressures of a commercial kitchen environment you get to focus on technique and skills. The pressure and time constraints of an industry kitchen are not always conducive to good learning but college kitchens allow are and IT Tralee was in spades.
Caroline Danaher - Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Culinary Arts - Graduated 2015
- Food Equipment Consultant with Corcoran’s Food Equipment, Tralee
- Chef at The Boatyard Restaurant, Dingle
- Tutor at Dingle Cookery School
My passion is food and my mission is to teach the true taste of fresh local produce. I believe in serving food “from pier to platter”.
I graduated from I.T. Tralee in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Culinary Arts. I found the Culinary Arts programme to have the perfect combination of practical and theoretic modules, varying from Contemporary Culinary Trends, Food Globalisation to Food Photography and Video Production.
The Institute of Technology has opened so many doors for me and also created many unique opportunities, namely the Kerry Food Story publication, which was a cherished experience for me.
On completing my Culinary Arts Degree, I acquired the position of Food Equipment consultant at Corcoran’s Food Equipment. Corcoran’s Food Equipment is one of the country's largest providers of design services, equipment and supplies to the food service industry.
My job consists of training people on the latest technology from high speed ovens to slow cookers and deck ovens. I am eternally grateful to the I.T. Tralee for their help in acquiring this position and their belief in me.
I am also working as a chef in The Boatyard Restaurant, Dingle, where all the meat, fish and vegetables are sourced locally within the Peninsula. I was thrilled to be Head Chef at The Boatyard in 2014, when we were awarded Best Restaurant in Munster.
Dingle Cookery School run Diploma courses in Culinary Arts and I am honoured to be part of their team, where I teach classes throughout the winter.
I have recently been taken on as a relief tutor with Kerry Educational Training Board (Kerry ETB).
An entrepreneur is someone who sees an opportunity, sizes up its value and introduces something new to the market place. From a very early age I turned my passion for food into a living .Starting any business is no easy task and becoming a food entrepreneur is a special challenge.
While I have three children, my life balance can get hectic at times but it’s like being in the kitchen, it’s all about being prepared weeks in advance.
I truly believe my achievements to date would not have been possible without the help, support and guidance of the lecturers and staff at the I.T. Tralee. Their belief in me gave me the confidence to flourish.
I am so honoured to have returned to the college as a Guest Lecturer
My advice to anyone thinking of a career in Culinary Arts is to seize every opportunity, work hard and enjoy every moment. We have a huge amount of opportunities in this sector and I am so happy to be part of the Culinary Industry.
I have made friends for life.
Tracey Horgan - Masters degree in Culinary Arts management
Current Position – New product development manager – Prestige Foods Ltd
I am currently the NPD manager for Prestige foods, a food company based in Listowel, Co Kerry. Over the past five years the company has grown from producing food products for the Irish retail market to producing frozen desserts and savoury canapes for customers in Ireland and five other European countries. I work on all aspects of the product development from creating the recipes to sourcing the ingredients to first production and launch of the product. We work closely with customers to create products which suit their markets, customers and ingredients guidelines
I first attended IT Tralee in 2005 when I completed a certificate in professional cookery and returned in 2013 to study for a Masters degree in Culinary Arts management. I had a passion for food from an early age and it was in IT Tralee that this passion formed the basis for a professional career. The facilities in the college are excellent and lecturers have a genuine passion for both for food and for teaching. The certificate course in IT Tralee provided me with solid training as a Chef, and as part of this course we were not simply taught to cook but were introduced to all aspects of the hospitality industry, as well as learning about food culture, food history and gastronomy.
The MA course was instrumental in the progression of my career and enabled me to make the move from the hotel industry to the food production sector. The course was interesting and engaging, with varied topics, which were educational but also offered practical training which still benefits me daily in my working life. The fact that the course was part time and designed for people who were working and wished to progress their careers was hugely beneficial
Overall IT Tralee provided me with a comprehensive education which was well balanced between the practical hands on aspects of the food industry and the academic aspects needed for food business and career progression
Louise Brosnan - BA (Hons) in Culinary Arts
Dingle, Co. Kerry
Working in Solas Tapas and Wine Bar Dingle
I began my journey as a student in the I.T Tralee in 2004 6 months after my daughter Roisin was born where I took part in the Higher Certificate in Professional Cookery. This was a 2 year course which was a great starting tool which provided students with culinary abilities and knowledge such as knife skills, Food Nutrition and Food Science, Gastronomy to name a few. I was a mature student when I took part in this course and was made aware early by lecturers of the possibilities to move up the educational ladder with other courses after this one. This was always going to be the option and direction I wanted to pursue. At the time of this course I was working in Dingle Bay Hotel, Strand Street, Dingle. Here I worked along with the head chef in the restaurant side of the Hotel preparing and serving a Table d’Hote style menu. While working here I also got the opportunity to work during the busy lunch and dinner services of the Hotel. This was an important skill to learn as speed along with accuracy is skills a chef will always need and use. During these 2 years I also took part in some culinary competitions with the college. We entered a team event in the Educater competition where we took part in a cooking challenge and took second place for starter and first for our dessert. This gave me a taste for competitions and knew I would compete again.
In 2006 I had the opportunity to enter the Bord Bia Irish Pork competition and made it through to the finals in Dublin Institute of Technology. This was a well-publicised competition and had judges including Lucinda O Sullivan and Tom Doorley. I finished the competition in 1st place and was delighted with this achievement, for the prizes received and the pride of winning for the college and myself.
I graduated from Professional Cookery in 2006 with a Higher Certificate in Professional Cookery as well as the accolades received from the competitions I entered, and to top it off received the great honour of Student of the Year.
I decided to return to college a few years later to participate in the course of higher degree in Culinary Arts as again this would help in my future career. This was a part time course for 3 years and suited work and family life. This course was more focused on academia rather than culinary but provided me with knowledge of kitchen management, contemporary cuisine, food product development and statistics to name but a few. During this time I entered Catex competition in the RDS in Dublin where I competed in the Irish Potato Dish category. Here I finished with a silver which was the highest award given for that category. The support and extra guidance from the Lecturers for competitions was second to none.
I continued to work in the Dingle Bay Hotel for a few years and got to step up there in responsibilities and sections. This was a difficult position to leave as the hour’s suited family life for me in order to spend enough time with my daughter. As my daughter grew older and began school I saw this as an opportunity to change jobs and heard about a position in a local restaurant.
After finishing the 3 year part time course I took the position as chef de Partie in the Global Village Restaurant, Upper Main Street, Dingle. The restaurant was one of the highly acclaimed restaurants in the town and had a menu that intrigued me with dishes I had never cooked or even eaten before.
The restaurant has a strong belief in using local ingredients and Irish produce, a belief that I would personally feel very strong about. The education in college and the competitions I participated in stood to me here as the Head chef and owner Martin Bealin was a great believer in the education and drive of young chefs. Whilst in this position the restaurant took students from the college for placement each summer. This was an opportunity for me to take on a guidance role and show the students how menu items were prepared and served.
It was then I figured how I enjoyed showing others things I had learned myself. The passing on of knowledge to me appeared to be something I was very passionate about.
Whilst working in the Global Village I took part in a programme on TG4 called Mi na Mealla which was a programme about couples recreating their honeymoons. My job in this was to serve the customers in a scene where they were revisiting a restaurant. A year later I was asked if I would participate in a programme called O Cuisine where chefs from around Ireland would present and cook a 3 course meal in Irish. This was a great opportunity and experience for any chef. I took part in this programme for the next year also.
In 2014 I was told about an add-on year to the culinary arts programme by Head of Department Chef T.J O Connor which would offer students a Level 8 standing. I didn’t need to think to long about applying for this course and began in September of 2014.
During this time I also was approached by Chef/Lecturer Mark Murphy to help with a great programme called The Apprentice Chef where I would act as a judge/mentor to secondary school students that had a passion for cooking.
The chance to compete in Catex appeared again in February and I entered a team event in Cook/Serve along with 5 other students and an individual event of Irish Pork. The college did very well at this event taking home several certificates of Merit, 3 silver medals and 2 bronze. We received a bronze in our team event and I got silver for the pork dish. This again was an amazing and educational experience.
The Global Village has received many accolades in the last few years such as Best emerging Irish Cuisine in the Restaurant Association of Ireland awards in 2013 and Best restaurant in Kerry of the same year. The restaurant appears on the Michelin guide and Lucinda O Sullivan’s best places to eat listing.
After working in The Global Village for 5 years, I went to work in Idas restaurant in Dingle. The restaurant which was run by Chef/Proprietor, Kevin Murphy had a distinctive approach to food, using local produce in conjunction with foraging from both land and sea. The restaurant focused on tasting menus which offered the diners an experience of dining that was both flavourful and unique.
Having worked in Idas for 2 years, I then began working in Solas Tapas in Dingle as sous chef. The restaurant opened in spring of 2018 and has been a popular addition to the Dingle food scene. Here we focus on small pates, full of flavour and using what the area has to offer in terms of local vegetables from the Maharees, Kerry mountain lamb, and freshly landed fish from the Bay.
My time in The Institute of Technology Tralee not only taught me how to become a better chef, it taught me how to have pride in my local food culture and showcase it on a plate.
In an industry that is forever growing and improving, my journey is far from over as I have so much more to learn. A great Irish saying says “Tus maith, leath na hOibre” which means a great start is half the work, and that is what I got from the I.T Tralee Catering Department.
The education and opportunities I have received from the I.T in Tralee will stay with me forever and will always be looked at as the back bone of my career. A special thanks to the lecturers for that in particular the Head of Department Chef T.J O’ Connor.
Mick Ryan - Degree in Culinary Arts management - MSc Culinary Arts Management
Current position - Regional Sales Manager with La Rousse Foods
After first graduating from CERT in 1999, I went on to work I various restauarnts and hotels such as restaurant Patrick Guilbauds, Raymond Blancs Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and The Kenmare Park hotel. I also spent a year travelling around Australia and worked in Post and Prime in Martins Square Sydney.
From there I decided to seek some more experiences working overseas and secured an executive role at the Pink Beach Club Bermuda. At Pink Beach I stayed for almost 5 years, overseeing the running of 4 food outlets at the resort and a team of 22 chefs.
When I returned to Ireland I wanted to return to collage mostly to see what roles I could contemplate outside of the kitchen and with that I signed up for a degree in Culinary Arts in Tralee in 2011. It was from my networking with other chefs in the collage that I heard about employment coming up in La Rousse Foods as the Kerry rep. one month later I had started with the company.
Following my completion of my degree, within 1 year I was back studying my MSc at IT Tralee. It was one of the hardest undertaken I have done, but the most rewarding.
Within my career, by 2013 I was promoted to regional sales manager. I have been in this role since, leading a sales team of 5 and 10 regional drivers. It is a fast paced job, with every day different.
Looking back at my time in IT Tralee I always think that I was in the right place at the right time to hear of that role in La Rousse Foods that I took and 8 years later still there! Completing the MSc, it really does change your thinking at many levels, certainly when I see it on cv’s now I have a lot of respect to people that have completed one.