Festival

St Patricks Weekend events- GET YOUR GREEN ON!

 

St Patrick's Day doesn't have to be the old salty bacon and boiled cabbage dinner followed by an over 'Oirish', night out in a sweaty over-packed pub! There is a lot going across Ireland with more and more interesting, cultural and fun events popping up each year on the day and beyond. 

We've had a look and found a few that might take you off the beaten track and get you into the green spirit. No matter what you do we hope you have a lot of fun getting your green on! 

1. The Parades

Yes! There are parades in towns and cities across the nation from the huge floats of Dublin to the Tractors and trailers of Athy's main street, why not head to a parade, support the communities involved and soak up the atmosphere. You never know what you might see and it's a great way to get into the Paddy's day mood. 

ST P's Crowd.jpg
 

2. Open Air Cinema

As part of the St Patricks festival Jim Sheridan's film 'In America' will be shown in the grounds of Swords Castle @7.30 on Thurs March 16th. It is the story of an Irish family emigrating to New York in the 80's. This is a lovely chance to see a great directors work in gorgeous surroundings.....and it's free! So grab the blankets and the picnic basket! There is a screening of the briliant 'Sing Street' on the saturday too!  See Details and book your free ticket HERE

Swords Castle.jpg
 

3. The Boat Race of Rivals

The 69th Annual Colours Boat Race takes place in the heart of Dublin City on Saturday March 18th. This is an annual head to head between the endless rivals UCD and TCD which starts at O'Connell Bridge and ends at St James Gate. The first of 4 races kicks off at 1.30pm and is sure to be exciting. So whether you are #trinners4winners o #ucd4life get down to the Liffey and show your support. See here for further details

 

4. City at Play: Funfairs

For the young at heart, Custom House Quay and Merrion Square will turn into funfairs for the festival which lets you let loose and shake off the stresses of all them assignments! Jump on the Walzters, chomp on some Candy Floss and try out some thrill-seeking rides right in the middle of Dublin. What more would you want! 

 

5. Truly have the 'Craic' for Comic Relief

Dara O'Briain, Deirdre O'Kane, Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne, Panti Bliss, Des Bishop, PJ Gallagher, Ardal O'Hanlon, Abandoman, Al Porter..... need I go on! This superstar list of amazingly funny Irish comedians are giving their time, and best lines, for Comic Relief this Paddy's Day with an epic stand-up Gala in the 3 Arena. There are still some tickets left so if you really want to feel Irish on St Patricks day.... laugh your arse off and have the craic for charity. Tickets available HERE

 

6. Young Blood: The Beats and Voices of Our Generation

The National Concert Hall's programme has certainly blown the dust off it's covers over the past few years and now works to showcase the diversity of music and artists in Ireland and abroad. This Saturday, March 18th, they have an exciting line-up of contemporary, forwarding thinking artists who are driving forward music, spoken word, poetry and the vision of Irish Arts now and in the future. The evening will include Tallaght rap trio HareSquead, the recently Choice Prize awarded Rusangano Family and the always inspiring Emmet Kirwan amongst many other wonderful contemporaries. If you are looking for the heart of Irish culture today.... look towards the NCH. Full details HERE

 

7. Head to a real Session

You might think Traditional Irish music is just all diddly-iddle-dee or Daniel O'Donnell but until you've experienced the power of real musics in a real trad session you haven't experienced Ireland! St Patrick's day is like christmas for trad musicians as, with the focus on culture and tradition, sessions are welcomed in pubs in every town across the country. So check with your local, get in early to grab a seat and soak up the talents that our many, many irish trad musicians have to offer. You could even go one step further and check out the talent at the Kilkenny Trad fest, Details HERE

 

8. Run for St Patrick! 

If you still have any energy left from all the shenanigans why not challenge yourself and get a group of friends together to do the St Patrick's day 5KM Run in St Stephens Green. It is free, it is healthy and it is a great way to see this part of the city in another way. There'll be entertainment and a great atmosphere to soak in while you smugly cross the finish line knowing that you've done a good thing! Go on.... Run like the snakes ran away from St Patrick! Even though the poor snakes didn't have legs which was clearly an unfair advantage on Paddy's part!  REGISTER for the run HERE

 

No matter what you do this St Patrick's weekend, make sure you plan your travel, keep in touch with friends when you're out and about and make sure you get home safely. Happy St Patrick's Day! 

Festival and Camping tips for Electric Picnic

 

Music lovers have plenty to smile about over the summer months. Now, more than ever before, amazing festivals are taking place in all corners of the country. There’s nothing quite like soaking up the chilled out vibes, singing along to your favourite tunes and spending an exciting few days with your best pals.

 

While fun and games are pretty much guaranteed, attending festivals also goes hand in hand with experiencing some inevitable discomforts. We’ve compiled a list of top ten festival tips to ensure you are as prepared as possible and get the most from your festival– especially if you’re attending Electric Picnic this weekend!

 

1. Beware of the sun and insects

Remember to pack plenty of sun cream and insect repellent. Bad sun burn or lots of nasty, itchy bites are a sure fire way to ruin your festival experience. Reapply as necessary to keep your skin safe and the bugs at bay.

 

2. Plan your schedule

Get your hands on the line-up schedule before you go and decide which bands you want to prioritise seeing. You really don’t want to miss out on your favourite act because of lack of planning. Factor in resting time between the different sets – you’re sure to get tired being on your feet all day.

 

3. Drink lots of water

Many festivals have free water refilling stations so make sure you carry a bottle around with you at all times. Staying hydrated greatly reduces your risk of getting sunstroke and feeling unwell. If you’re not too sure about the quality of water, just use some purification tablets.

 

4. Pack festival essentials

Facilities at music festivals are few and far between so make sure you bring the right toiletries. Dry shampoo, hand sanitizer and plenty of baby wipes are a given.  Other useful items include an eye mask, ear plugs and a torch. And don’t forget the toilet roll!

 

5. Be sensible with alcohol

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in the sun makes for a dangerous combination. Not only does it greatly increase the risk of accidents, it can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea – definitely not what you want! Pace yourself and drink water in between alcoholic beverages.

 

6. Buy decent camping equipment

If you’re camping, make sure your tent is waterproof before you set off. There’s nothing worse than waking up in a pool of water! While you’re at it, pack a decent sleeping mat, pillow and sleeping bag. Getting a decent night’s sleep helps you to feel energised during the day and properly enjoy the music.

 

7. Charge your devices

Can’t live without your smart phone? Fear not! Investing in a mobile power bank will allow you to charge your device multiple times over the weekend. You’ll still be able to keep in contact with your mates and take as many photos as you like.

 

8. Pack sensible clothing

You might want to embrace festival boho chic but remember, you will be lying in a field in the middle of the night. Plenty of layers and a change of clothes are definitely advised. Wellies and big comfy socks will keep your feet warm and dry if it rains.

 

9. Eat healthily

On a tight budget? Bring snacks with you that won’t go off. Cereal bars, crackers and nuts are fantastic for keeping you going in between acts. If you’re buying food onsite be wary of anything that looks undercooked or has been sitting in the sun for too long. Getting food poisoning at a music festival is enough to put you off for life!

 

10. Mind your stuff

Festivals are a great place to make new friends but you still need to be wary of your belongings at all times – not everyone’s intentions may be the same. Leave valuables like fancy cameras or laptops at home and hide your money and phone in your tent when you sleep.

 

So there you have it, some top tips to see you through Electric Picnic! The most important piece of advice – have fun! Festivals are amazing opportunities to meet fellow music lovers, get up close and personal with your favourite bands and even discover some new ones. A little preparation goes a long way towards ensuring you have an incredible time!

THE 12 ESSENTIAL FILMS OF CHRISTMAS

 

Okay, this list is always going to be controversial. One man's 'Love Actually' is another mans 'Jack Frost'. There are as many Festive films out there as there are dodgy 'Christmas classics' blaring on the radio from November 1st. Some, however, stand the test of time. Inspire the season's spirit in young and old alike. Demand duvets and hot chocolates and closed curtains and open fires. These are the perfect way to switch off from the frantic study and forget about the woes of daily life. These films ARE Christmas! If there are any you haven't seen, we lay down the challenge now. Watch them this Christmas. 

Check out your local cinema's for screening or try netflix, apple TV or your own streaming services to find them on the cheap. The IFI and Lighthouse cinema in Dublin are showing many throughout the festive period. 

1. Home Alone

Who doesn't know and love this film? The tale of a boy in an enormous, hectic family who are heading to Paris for Christmas but with all the hustle and bustle of packing....they forget to pack their kid! Yet, We can forgive the terrible parenting and suspend belief in the lack of police assistance..for THIS is a David and Goliath story. Cute Blonde Boy Vs Clumsy Crass Criminals in a fight to the marble-induced back pain. Tricks, traps and ingenuity save the day. Starring a once cute Macaulay Culkin alongside a non-cursing Joe Pesci (how times have changed).... this is a True Classic. Keep the change you filthy animal!

2. Elf

A more modern classic with Will Ferrell at the helm, somehow managing to channel the very essence of innocence in Buddy the 'Elf' and drawing you in to the santa-loving spirit too. With an almost unrecognisable Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) singing songs loud for all to hear at every little opportunity, this is a film that mocks itself just enough so you can watch it wishing and hoping for the perfect ending every time. And it's always satisfying! You can not watch this film without smiling at the telly. And if you can, then you too need a trip to the candy cane forest for some festive cheer. SANTA!!! I KNOW HIM!!

3. Die Hard

Yup! YIPPEE KI YAY FILM LOVERS!! If warm and fuzzy isn't your thing then take a study break for one of the greatest action characters of all time. John McClane is not gonna add marshmallow's to your hot chocolate, but is he going to destroy the terrorist plot that is ruining your office Christmas office party. Barefeet, broken glass, crazy Germans with ponytails and machine guns. Nothing is going to stop this man from taking Hans down not even how manky his vest gets. He needs to save his wife. Her name is Holly. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

4. It's A Wonderful Life

It's a wonderful life is the story of an Angel-in-training named Clarence sent down from Heaven to help show George Baliey that life is worth living. George hit's desperation and wishing he has never been born, but through Clarences eyes her sees that he has all the ingredients for happiness within his grasp. He also realises that his very existence has touched the lives of others. Frank Capra's classic black-and-white will be 60 years old next year but stands the test of time with it's warm wit and special energy that will make it part of your annual traditions. 

5. Trading Places

This is up there as one of Eddie Murphy's greats and has a brilliant twist on a classic rags to riches tale. When the fusty heads of a Stock Exchange company decide to make life interesting by proving that 'Money maketh the man'. Billy Ray Valentine is plucked from his street-con-artist perch and swapped for a snobby silver-spooned stock broker to yield a film of iconic performances and unforgettable moments. With a young Jane-Lee Curtis, Dan Akyroyd, and Jim Belushi, these are comedy heavy-hitters who show a darker side to New York with the help of Inge from Sweden, a drunken Irish priest and a gorrila. Worth a watch for Eddie Murphy's laugh alone.... but you may not want to eat smoked salmon again. Be warned. 

6. The Santa Clause

Another tale of a grouchy man seeing the light through the miracle of Christmas cheer. A divorced, top-business man with no time for frivolities inadvertently finds the jolly bearded man in a red suit has suffered a tragic death and starts magically turning into the big SC himself. He is transported to the North Pole but believes it's all a dream until his beard and belly start taking shape too. He must quickly figure out how to avoid looking like a mentaller, keep his new job secret and keep the magical mystery of Santa alive. This is one of those films that makes young and old insist that Santa is real again! Tim Allen makes a quality appearance in an easy-going classic that will perfectly pass the time. Exams, what exams..... there are toys to be delivered and we need to know the new Santa is up to the task! 

 

7. Love Actually

Okay, first-off! Let's dispell the myth that this is one for the ladies only. It's romantically schmaltzy at points YES, but it beings a quirky level of Christmas-cringiness (chringe) to make up for it.  Director Richard Curtis intertwines the complex romances of 8 different lives in this cosy cross-section of love at different points in life. From the little boy with an all-consuming school crush Colin Firth's language barrier and Pri-minister Hugh Grant's tension with his assistant we are all reminded of how awkward we can be when love is involved, how sometimes the most unlikely of people can turn out to be your soulmate and how telling the truth can set us free. For the walking dead fans you also get to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) with an english accent and a serious case of unrequited love. A brilliant cast with a heart-warming message. Snuggle down and leave you cynicism out in the cold...for just a little while. 

8. Scrooged

A cynical yet TV-executive who dreads the thoughts of the seasonal TV programming except for seeing them as a rating opportunity, to sex it up a little. He tries to baa-humbug his way through a Charles Dickens adaptation of A Christmas Carol with no regard for the lives of the staff he cracks down hard on..... but You guessed it. The curmudgeon gets the Dickens treatment himself. Visits from a trilogy of ghosts ensue to freak him out and restart his festive engine in the timeliest of fashions. Frank Cross needs to re-evaluate his priorities, be less selfish and learn to love and live again. Success isn't always about winning, and Christmas is all about giving.  Bill Murray is...well...Bill Murray, and that is ALWAYS a good thing. A modern take on a soul-filled classic, with a real late 80's comedy feel.

9. The Muppet Christmas Carol

As with Scrooged, this is another rework of Charles Dickens infamous tale, which itself has become a Christmas tradition in many a sitting room. The Muppet's keep a little truer to the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge with his miserly disdain for the thoughts of Christmas Day. Scrooge won't let up, give a day off, pay fairly or crack the cold-hearted facade BUT #begrand because Kermit, Miss Piggy, a load of furries will turn things around for Michael Caine to impart the true meaning of Christmas. More ghosts, but comical little guys with a distinct agenda this time, make Scrooge see the err of his ways in a way that you can't help but love. Muppets..... what more do you need! Watch it... You Muppet!;)

10. Gremlins

More small furry lunatics take centre stage in this iconic, but always bizarre, 1984 comedy horror. Not Christmassy yet, but bear with us. A father who needs a Christmas present has a browse in a Chinatown store (as you do) to find a small furry creature called a Mogwai named 'Gizmo'. The wise old store-owner Mr Wing refuses to sell it but his grandson decides to sell it behind his back. The Mogwai comes with three rules which his new owner, Little Billy must adhere to; don't expose it to bright light, don't get it wet, and DO NOT feed it after midnight. Seems simple enough, but as we all know nothing is ever so simple. How are they to know that cute little Gizmo could spawn mischievous and evil reptilian gremlins who are happiest torturing and destroying all that they can?  Billy and his folks must figure out a way to stop the mayhem and overcome the gremlins. Along the way many lessons are learned though we aren't sure exactly what. We're thinking giving a kid a living animal for Christmas may not be the best plan now..... because you never know.. 'There might just be a gremlin in your house' Also, Cuteness can kill. 

11. The Nightmare Before Christmas 

Another dark twist on seasonal cheer but one that has inspired fan-fiction, art and tattoos since it's release! Even more apt as Christmas literally starts the day after Halloween these days, the story-line is propelled perfectly by Tim Burton's uniquely angular and spirited animation (making many think he should stick to the drawing board) creating a standalone, original Christmas Tale. In this Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king of Halloween town is disparaged with the usual Halloween festivities and when one day he stumbles into Christmas town and sees the beauty of Christmas. He decides this is the celebration they should be putting on. The problem is how do you celebrate Christmas if you're raised on scariness... how do you understand what Christmas is? Jack enlists the help of his town's ghouls and goblins and along the way the true meaning of Christmas is lost and then found. This is a film with a difference that you won't regret taking the time out of essay writing or cramming for. (well not entirely anyway)

12. Miracle on 34th Street

A film for all of you Santa nay-sayers again, this time it's Santa defending himself, in court no less and it's not always an easy watch. This film really is all about believing in the modern meaning of Christmas and putting the worries of life aside. When a major department store's Santa get's drunk it's manager, Elizabeth Perkins needs to find a replacement asap! Swiftly she discover an old man, Kris Kringle, and desperately convinces him to be their Santa. He is phenomenal...the real deal even... until he runs into some legal trouble and his absolute belief in himself and Christmas must battle with the judicial system which creates a media frenzy and a real dilemma. You'll have to put some time aside to see the rest but trust us. It's a good'un. The late, Sir Richard Attenborough, IS Santa. His warmth personifies the spirit of Christmas. Truly a Christmas Miracle. 

Share your own Christmas favourites with us on Twitter @StudentLeapCard or let us know what you think of our list. Which one's are we missing? Which one's haven't you seen yet?

Wishing you a happy cosy, stress-free Christmas from Student Leap Card 




FESTIVE FUN GUIDE

 

This time of year it can feel like it's just dark evenings, loud toy ads on telly and an onslaught of bad xmas songs and tacky decorations until you have to fork out all you hard earned dough on presents and eat your weight in roasties. Baa Humbug!

So!... We thought we'd give you some ideas with just things that are taking place across the country to get you in the holiday humour. Grab a few friends, hit the town and get into the festive fun!!

Ho Ho ho.......

 

Running off all those cookies left out on Christmas eve!

Someday we'll look like this on ice!

GRAB A NAFF CHRISTMAS JUMPER

The Costume Shop

Funky Christmas Jumpers

The Old Reliable: Penneys

The Lads!

 

Five things to do this summer for under a Fiver

 

Make the most out of the Summer in Ireland this year and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There is plenty to see and do, check out our Top five picks for Summer 2015.

 

1.    The Jeanie Johnson Famine Ship 


Stationed at Custom House Quay Dublin this working replica of Dublin’s most famous famine ship (the boats that took victims of the potato famine across the Atlantic to a better life) had been excellently restored and there’s a fascinating museum inside which is only €5 to enter.

 

2.    Cork Cycling Festival 20th-28th July


Cork Cycling Festival celebrates the bicycle as a fun and clean way to get around Cork. The festival is 100% free event so there is no excuse not to get involved. The event includes themed city cycles, tourist countryside tours and bicycle parades, to DIY workshops, fashion events and a bike beauty pageant - Cork Cycling Festival has it all. And if you don’t have a bicycle, you could try out the great new Cork bikes option.


3.    Galway International Arts Festival- runs until July 26th


Fancy some culture this summer? Well there is something for everyone at this years’ festival and there are still a few days of highlights left. The last weekend is sure to have some serious gems! Explore the different performances including Experience, Theatre & Dance, Visual Art, Comedy, Spectacle and First Thought Talks. Tickets start at €5.00 and some shows are even Free. 

giaf

 

4.    Foynes Air Show in Limerick 


Foynes Air Show 2015 will no doubt be a thrilling and exciting Air Show of an international standard, tied with the rich aviation history of Foynes and its location on the Wild Atlantic Way providing a outstanding backdrop to the display. This is a Free event and certainly not something you experience everyday. The Air Show has now become an annual event and the 2015 date has been set for Sunday, 26th July 2015.

5.    Medium Extra Value Meal at McDonald’s 


After all of that fun and excitement you will need to refuel. You can head to your nearest McDonald’s and for only €5 with your Student Leap Card you can choose from a Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, Quarter Pounder, McChicken Sandwich or 6 Chicken McNuggets. 

WIN FESTIVAL TICKETS and Be Centre Stage

 

Want to win a pair of tickets to Castlepalooza or Indiependence??

 You've come to the right place!

Festival season is in full swing so we are delighted our partners  over at Vodafone are quite literally Centre Stage and ready to share the festival love. Vodafone are giving us a pair of tickets to each of these exciting festivals so we can give one of our lovely Student Leap Card holders a weekend to remember. 

TO ENTER

All you need to do is follow us on twitter and TWEET US.......including:

  1. Which Festival you want to go to. @castlepalooza OR @Indie_pendence 
  2. Which artist you want to see most
  3. Include #WinCentreStage

Just like this.............

@Studentleapcard I really want to go to @Indie_pendence to see Basement Jaxx get their groove on!

Castlepalooza

Castlepalooza returns to Charleville Castle, tullamore this August Bank Holiday weekend for 3 days of great music, art installations, camping and good times!

Vodafone Centre Stage is back again this year helping you, the festival goer have the best festival experience you can get.

As soon as you arrive you can be sure to see the ‘Centre Stage Black Cab’ that offers lifts from the entrance of the festival location right up to the castle. Vodafone will also be catering for all your fancy dress needs when it comes to being rightly attired for the Sunday fancy dress theme (to be revealed) and will have a fully stocked costume shop at the festival where you can find the perfect fancy dress outfit suited to you!

Vodafone has dedicated a space for all festival attendees to go and have some R&R time where you can re-charge your phone for free while taking a breather. And last but not least Vodafone presents to you an amazing Main Stage where you can watch headliners perform all weekend! 

Keep an eye out for major re-mix masters Aeroplane, the uplifting modern-folk of I Have a Tribe, and the crazy disco cuts of Late Nite Tuff Guy.

Get there with Centre Stage! Click here for full Castlepalooza details

Indiependence

indiependence

Indiependence returns to Deer Farm, Mitchelstown, Cork this year, from July 31st to August 2nd. 2015 will be host to a seriously strong line-up of big acts who have big stage presence! 

As well as the heavy hitters such as Basement Jaxx, Kodaline, The Dandy Warhols and Ham Sandwich, Indiependence features comedy, spoken word, artist attractions and even a small cinema. Vodafone will also be on site to help you and your phones recharge your batteries too.

Aside from the big names, Indiependence is a great spot to find your next favourite artist. Make sure not to miss The Klares, Maud in Cahoots, R.S.A.G. and late addition Jack Savoretti, to name just a few.

Some say the word Indiependence will soon be entered in official dictionaries, defined to mean- A Weekend of Absolute Craic!

Click here for full Indiependence details

With Big Thanks to our partners, Vodafone and @CentreStage

Terms and conditions:

Winner will be chosen by 4pm on Monday July 27th. Winner will contacted directly and tickets will be posted in advance of the festival. One winner will be chosen per festival to receive a pair of weekend tickets. Winners must be over 18 and must comply with the rules of attendance of their respective festival. Transport is not included. Festival tickets are non-exchangeable for cash value or any other Vodafone or Student Leap product or service. 

 

Music to your ears

 

The Klares- EP

Comparison with The Strypes for their youth and energy is an inevitability that surely irks and pleases The Klares at the same time. It is, afterall, hard to ignore the fact that the combined age of the Dublin-based band members adds up be younger than Mick Jagger (71). Look and listen beyond that, however, and you find a rawer, grimier sound more akin to the Madchester alt-rock explosion of the early 90’s that is heavily seasoned with an Artic Monkeys punch. 

The Klares recently released  their second EP 'Cookoo' just a few weeks ago and on first listen it impresses with both maturity and edginess. Influences are evident, from The Strokes-esque punchy rhythm guitar driving Cookoo, to the Arctic Monkey akin creeping bass lines and Turner-style drawl on Dress to Impress; there’s a familiarity that works as a strength without undermining a strong sense of originality. These boys have time, talent and a clever musical sensibility on their side and they are using it all to their advantage. At a time when fans quite easily succumb to the marketing drives pushing the latest 15year old US popstar onto our playlists, with their formulaic, second-hand songs and lack of clothing, we all too often overlook the young hard-working bands. This band master their own instruments, write their own tracks and tread their own path. There’s no room for overlooking The Klares. They WILL be heard so you might as well go on and turn up the volume.

Listen to The Klares EP- Cookoo here

Find out more about The Klares on www.theklares.com 

Discover your passion through Volunteering

 

When you think of volunteering, what image springs to mind? Bucket-shaking to fundraise for a charity?  Helping to build a house abroad? Befriending an older person? Volunteering is all these things but also many, many more. Volunteering is a wonderful way of learning new skills, meeting new people and making a difference in your community.

Of course, it’s also a great way of sharing your skills with others - why not volunteer your social media skills to help an up and coming organisation? Play music for older people at a local convalescent home? Organise a fashion show with a local charity shop? Or perhaps there is a cause that’s close to your heart – whether you’re a wildlife aficionado, a music lover or you’re passionate about helping those less fortunate than yourself, anyone can volunteer and there are countless ways in which to do so.

Summer can be an ideal time for developing skills and making new friends. You need to make time for yourself and for discovering where your passions lie. What better way to achieve this than through volunteering?

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. To see how you could start volunteering this summer and to read some inspiring stories of how others have made a difference, visit www.volunteer.ie

Volunteer Ireland, the national volunteer development agency, which promotes and supports volunteering in Ireland. 

 

 

Make your summer work for you

 

SO, you’ve got a long summer to look forward to but are yet to make your plans? The exams are over and you don’t want to think about college at all, right? But that doesn’t mean you can’t think about being proactive with your summer and doing something to gain great CV busting experiences.  We have put together our top tips with a few different ways to make the most of the summertime……….. Earn Money, boost your resume, have fun and meet new people!

 

Get Experience....

It could be paid work to fund your festivals, friday nights or future studies. It could be an internship at a respected company in your chosen field, it could be volunteering for a charity, a club or an event. IT ALL ADDS UP! Not only do you look good on paper, you have gone through that valuable learning curve and have the insight to show for it. You might want to sit in all day binging on the Game of Thrones season you sacrificed for that ‘Principles of Biochemistry’ project BUT you will appreciate them all the more after you’ve gone out worked on something proactive. 

  • Job searching

Job searching can feel soul destroying but our trick is to treat the job search like a job itself. Get organised and get crafty. Your search can start with an online job search engine but that needs to be just step one of many. Network! Ask around, get your parents to ask to, talk to your lecturers about opportunities. Speculate! Contact a business or company yourself, register your interest with them and tell them the length of time you could work and where you would see yourself fit in. Companies are using short-term contracts more and more and you might just be the short-term solution they were looking for. Follow-up! Have a spreadsheet for your applications; Where, when and to who you applied. After a week if you heard nothing, follow-up with a call, or drop in. People are busy. The reminder is often welcomed with the benefit of making you stand-out as a more memorable, personable and proactive candidate. Keep an eye on twitter using #jobfairy too...it throws up great leads on who is hiring and why. Event management companies are always looking for positive outgoing students during the summer too. 

  • Internships

The idea of working for little or no money might sound painful when you could be in Ibiza or just in bed. It is! But it’s an investment in your future job searches. Internships give you the chance to witness and par-take in a role, learn on the spot with a lot less pressure, meet the right people and put a big sparkling stamp in their mind on your CV. ‘HAS EXPERIENCE- CARES ENOUGH TO LEARN ON THEIR OWN TIME’. That says a lot. You can get a professional reference out of it too which will be important down the road. LinkedIn job searches are great for finding internships. Use a keyword search and include the word ‘summer’ to see what opportunities are out there. Approaching companies directly can work too. What have you got to lose! Try Careerjet.ie,  Indeed.ie, or Xperience.ie for a start

  • Volunteering

This is a great one that not a lot of people do. It’s impressive professionally and can be life-affirming to life-changing personally. There are unlimited options available and you can really find a role that suits you, your interests and even your future career. If you want to get into marketing why not approach a charity and offer to work on social media for them. If you are an artist you could teach classes or design posters. Even if a role doesn’t seem to relate to your studies volunteering enhances your problem-solving skills, people skills and employability immeasurably. You will not regret it. Check out www.volunteer.ie for nationwide options.  See our blog post on Volunteering for a bit of inspiration too. 

  • Festival Volunteering  


This is perhaps slightly less of a personally sacrificial contribution to society and more of a gateway to great times but festival volunteering is a clever way to hear great music, meet like-minded people and have some adventure in your summer without breaking the bank. Indiependence, Electric Picnic, Longitude and Castlepalooza are all looking for stewards, activists and just darn positive hard workers. You get to experience a festival, balance work and play and achieve a sense of camaraderie with your fellow volunteers that almost rivals the friendships made by that one person who hands you toilet roll. Check out Oxfam , the Festival of Curiosity or Kilkenny Arts Fest to name but a few. 

You can also sign up to Volunteer Ireland’s festival newsletter here 

Learn to Drive

You will never know the freedom you are missing until you get in your car and GO! Learning to drive can be time consuming and expensive so spreading classes through the summer and practicing with family members and friends can make a huge difference. Even if you can’t see yourself getting a car in the near future driving is a life-skill that increases your opportunities by 1000%. You’ll be glad you took this down-time when you have no time after graduation. Just be careful with loved one you practice with. There is no environment that brings out personalities and tests a persons patience more than this! There is no bigger fight to be had than ‘I did put the clutch down!!! I don’t know why I hit the side of the house! It wasn't my fault’ 

Build your Profile for the future

Summer is also a great time to get some headspace, step back and think about the practical steps you can take towards the job you want at the end of your hard academic slog. But before you can boost your CV you need to build it. Take some time out to reassess your CV (If you don’t have one start putting it together NOW). Seeing your skills on paper will help you focus on what your goals are and what you need to do to surpass them. E.g. If you want to do social work, do you need to volunteer more? If you want to go into PR, is now the time to start searching for that internship? If you want to teach, why not look for summer camps who need helpers so you can flex your skills in organising groups of kids?


CV Formats and content are important for the type of job that interests you. There are a million sites on line to help but we recommend checking out Grad Ireland’s concise guide as a great starting point. 


Focus on the skills you have gained in non-paid roles as well as previous jobs. At under-graduate stage you can’t be expected to have 10yrs experience but you can show off the strengths and skills that employees are looking for. Tell of leadership and discipline learned through sport. Talk about the team-work skills you’ve hones through your coursework. Talk about your interests and how you pro-actively strive to improve your skill-sets. Have you ever blogged? Played a role in a school/club event? Learned a different language? 


DON’T FORGET about online! A CV tells a story to a potential employer but your on-line presence gives them a flavour of who you are. Once you have put together your CV, create a LinkedIn profile so it can be digitally accessed. Network with peers, family, business owners and influential people you know in real life. Follow groups for tips on your developing your career path. It’s never too early to start painting a professional digital self-portrait.


OBVIOUS NOTES! 

  • Be careful with your language, spelling, punctuation, grammar and tone. If you hand an employer a CV to represent who you are and you’ve spelled ‘organised’ wrongly, you don’t seem organised!
  • Keep your personal profiles private! Switch everything on FB/Twitter/Instagram to private unless it visibly backs up your business skills. Keep your personal life personal. No Future Boss wants or needs to see those ‘INSANE HUNZOs HAVING DA SHOTZ’ Electric Picnic pics! 
  • Don’t Lie. It’s never worth it. Saying you are fluent in German because you got a B in the Junior Cert might come back and bite you in the ‘Arsch’.
 

 

Whatever you choose to do this summer we hope its a great summer to remember. Live it to the fullest, make it count by using it wisely but above all have fun while your at it! This is your summer! Don't let your future self down by hibernating with a box-set. That's what horrible, wintery, rainy term-time days are for!

 

Win VIP passes to the Beach Party Weekend of the Year

 

 Sea Sessions 2015

Bundoran, Donegal

June 19-20-21

Win a pair of tickets VIP Tickets to Sea Sessions with thanks to Vodafone! To enter click here, tag the one mighty friend you would bring with you as your festival accomplice..... and tell us why you choose them!*

It seems to us like every year there is a new temptation when it comes to festivals. Depending on the year you can either want to go to all of them, head off on a J1 or need to knuckle down, get a job, study for repeats and hibernate for the summer! This summer, if you are looking for festival that has that extra sprinkling of magic...then you should look at Sea Sessions. 

Irish Festivals are not just about great music anymore though they are, of course, a chance to see a bus-load of your favourite bands and to find some amazing artists you didn't know to look for. But beyond the Music, the cans and the pop-up tents there is much more to be discovered. It is this 'je ne sais quoi' that Sea Sessions has in buckets and spades. 

The setting of Sea Sessions is in the gorgeous sea-side town of Bundoran. A world-renowned surfing destination which was listed by National Geographic in the World's top 20 Surf Towns in 2012. Before you even see the sea you will sense the surf as you stroll past the surf-shops, surf schools and hang-outs on the main street. Sea Sessions is designed to give you a taste of the life lived in the in the west coast of Ireland and it does this in many clever ways. 

STAY WHERE?

First off... yes, you are camping! The beauty of this camp-site is that you are in the middle of town, just off the mainstreet with a welcoming pub at the gates and the town at your tent-porch. If you are driving there's a shuttle bus to the car-park, if you are bus-ing it...the stop is at your threshold. There are other options but if you are going to experience this festival to the max, wellies and all, get thee to the GAA camp-site! It's true, weather can be a friend or a foe when it comes to the Irish coast so prepare well, leave the valuables and vanity at home ,and you'll be mighty!

DO WHAT?

Surf, Sand, Skaters, Sports, Sand, Surf, Songs and Sessions. Beyond the Festival's Music Tents you will find a tantalising spectacle of activities, great for shyer spectators and feisty participants alike. This year there is Beach Soccer, Volleyball, Tag Rugby, Body-boarding, Ultimate Frisbee and of course the Sea Sessions Expression Sessions, a surf-off of the top 10 surfers in Europe. This is the type of stuff that get's you charged up and feeling alive and what do you do then? You head over to a big marquee by the sea and dance your heart out to your pick of a top-class line up. 

Eh...THE TUNES?.....

In recent years, Sea Sessions have attracted such top-of-their-game artists as Kelis, Bastille, The Dandy Warhols, Le Galaxie, Kaiser Chiefs, The Coronas..... on so on. This year keeps the standard mightily high with the lastest line-up rolled out including aptly named Sea-Sick Steve, Example, Sigma and Maverick Sabre........ You'll be dancing into the wee-hours and trawling through spotify starring all your new favourite tracks on the way home.

2015 Sea Sessions Line-up Announced!

2015 Sea Sessions Line-up Announced!

Anything Else?

Sculpture Sessions, supported by Vodafone that's what! Sea Sessions and Vodafone are searching for Irish Artists to send in their designs for an iconic sculpture that encapsulates everything that is great about Ireland’s wild west coast, with it’s unique surf, skate and music culture. All artists have to do is send in a sketch. It the judges like it, well....they'll BUILD IT. 

The winner of Vodafone Sculpture Sessions will get the following:

VIP tickets to Sea Sessions 2015
€500 for arts materials
Vodafone Phone and Credit
Opportunity to work with our artists at building & installing the project

Entries must be received by May 15th .. Click HERE for full details.

So what now?

Sea sessions tickets are selling fast so read all about it and get booked in.  Weekend tickets are just €99.50, which compares well in festival terms. Use your Student Leap Card to get the best rates on Bus Eireann travelling to Bundoran . 

 
*Terms and conditions for VIP tickets Competition: VIP tickets allow access to camping, the Sea Sessions festival within it's defined times and determined VIP areas. Over 18's only. Competition winners are chosen by Student Leap Card and decisions are final. Winners must be able to attend Sea Sessions, Bundoran, June 19th-21st. Tickets are non-exchangeable for any cash value or alternative product related to Vodafone or Student Leap Card. Transport is not included. Camping access only, no accommodation is included. Winners will be announced May 18th to brighten someones Monday!