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Lisa O'Kane


Where are you from?

Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

What degree pathway did you study at Queen’s?

I studied Modern History with English and graduated in 2008

Why did you choose to study History at Queen’s?

I had always enjoyed History at school and chose Queen’s because of its reputation and the chance to study subjects other than History in 1st year – I chose English and German as my extra subjects and enjoyed them so much I ended up changing my degree to include a Minor in English.

What did you particularly enjoy about studying this subject at Queen’s?

The wide range of topics available was great and allowed me to take classes as diverse as Tsarist Russia and Anglo-Norman Ireland.  The lecturers are all enthusiastic about their fields, which makes classes an enjoyable experience as well as an intellectual one, and they are always willing to meet outside of class to give you feedback or offer advice on essays etc.

Tell us about any funding you received to help you take this course or any scholarships/prizes you have been awarded.

In first year, I was awarded the Federal German Government Prize for Translation.

What about studying at Queen’s in general? What was that like?

During my time at Queen’s I was part of the History, English and German Societies, as well as the Trampolining Club.  I also made use of the facilities available at the PEC, taking Aerobics and Pilates classes and making (very infrequent!) use of the gym, and at the PFC, where I studied Italian.  I also took part in several courses ran by the Careers Service, including Careers Management Employability and Skills and Insight into Management.
In my third year, I took part in the Business Education Initiative which allowed me to study Business in America.  After 9 months on a campus in the middle of Pennsylvania, I really appreciated going to university in a city – Belfast just has so much to offer.

What is your current occupation? What are you enjoying about your career?

I am currently an Associate in Ernst & Young and am studying for my Chartered Accountancy exams.  I love the variety of my work – every week I am working on a different project for a different company so there is always something new to learn.

Would you recommend studying History to other students and to study at Queen’s? What advice would you give them?

I would definitely recommend History and Queen’s to potential students.  The best advice I could give is to make the most of every opportunity available to you – whether it’s through a study abroad scheme, joining a club or society, or just choosing a module on a topic that you’ve never studied before.