Grateful for being given summer of a lifetime

Ahead of the CUBS Conference on March 13, Jennifer E Chadwick talks studies, travelling, and her proudest moment
Grateful for being given summer of a lifetime
Jennifer E. Chadwick, a Quercus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholar of BCL (Law and Business).

TELL us about yourself;

I’m currently in my third year of studying Law and Business in UCC, and I am a College of Business and Law Representative on the UCC Students’ Union. I’ve had the most incredible few years at UCC, including being elected Chairperson of the Entrepreneurial and Social Society, having the chance to work on the Students’ Union, and having represented Ireland and the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards.

I have been extremely fortunate to have been supported by UCC throughout my degree, having received a Quercus Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scholarship in 2015. Most recently, I have been working as co-organiser for this year’s Cork University Business School (CUBS) Conference. We are delighted that this year’s conference will once again be held in the impressive Cork Opera House on March 13.

Where were you born?

I was born in Cork — and I never let any of my friends from outside of Cork forget it!

Where do you live?

I live in Passage West with my parents, who I can imagine are looking forward to the day I move out!


My mother is a teacher and my father works in sales. I have one sister, Robyn, who is six years older than me. We are very close, despite the age gap, and while I really miss having her in the house with me, I’m sure she loves the fact that I’m not stealing her clothes anymore.

Best friend?

I was lucky enough to meet him on my first day of college during the Quercus Induction Day and we have been best friends since. He has an incredible sense of humour and work ethic, and he always is on the go. He is one of the most talented people I know and knows so much about so many different topics. He’s moving away soon — and I’m absolutely heartbroken!

Earliest childhood memory?

Most people who know me well know that my memory is terrible, but my earliest memory is my dad taking me to the beach in Garrettstown where we as a family go every summer and teaching me how to surf. I don’t know how he had the patience to spend hours upon hours with me in the water, but it’s something I’ll always cherish.

Person you most admire?

Simon Coveney — I really admire the measured and firm approach he has taken as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tánaiste. It’s no secret that Brexit is one of the biggest challenges our country is facing, and I feel that he is doing everything in his power to ensure that we get the best outcome for both Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The fact that the Department is also expanding its global reach shows me the value he sees in our embassies and consulates, and the work that is done abroad on behalf of our citizens.

Person who most irritates you?

Boris Johnson. I read recently that he was paid over €58,000 to speak at Pendulum in Dublin. Need I say any more?

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

Feargal O’Rourke, current Managing Partner of PWC. His tax strategies, in my view, have been instrumental in encouraging US-controlled MNCs to come to Ireland and register here for tax purposes, and in turn have brought prosperity to Ireland.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

I travelled to China when I was in transition year with friends to study Chinese as part of program with the Confucius Instititute in UCC. It was my first time travelling that far on my own, and it was such a culture shock — but I loved every minute of it. I would love to some day live/work there in the future if possible.

Favourite TV programme?

Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up – there simply aren’t enough episodes and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Netflix orders a second season. I really admire her philosophy and approach to how we truly value our possessions.

Favourite radio show?

Morning Ireland on the way into college, and Eoghan McDermott on 2FM on the way home.

Your signature dish if cooking?

I really can’t cook, but there is one meal that I can make which is a vegan sweet potato curry. It was given the seal of approval by my boyfriend’s family, so it must not have been too awful! I am a keen baker though and I like to make scones and cakes the odd time.

Favourite restaurant?

Elbow Lane in Cork — it’s my favourite place in Cork to eat. It’s a real treat to go there and the staff are so lovely and really are passionate about the food they serve. Every time I go there, I end up talking about it for the next week. I’d highly recommend it.

Last book you read?

Quiet by Susan Cain. It was incredible! Sometimes I think society puts a lot of pressure on people to be extroverted in order to be successful and this book explores that idea, demonstrating that it is possible to be introverted and successful.

Best book you read?

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi. I think everyone should read this as the author’s story is incredibly powerful. It’s a memoir of a young neurosurgeon facing a terminal cancer diagnosis. The story demonstrates to the reader how important is to live a good life, and a meaningful life. It’s a book I find myself reading again and again, every time I need a reality check. Sometimes I get so caught up on the small things — college exams and other worries — and this book reminds me that these things really are small and essentially, I should cop myself on and really appreciate what I do have.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

My Spotify subscription is something I will always find the money for, but I’ve been listening to Sigrid’s complete playlist, and Dermot Kennedy’s new release Lost on repeat for the last few days.

Favourite song?

Constellations by Tom Odell — anything he writes is gold, but this song in particular just makes me smile every time I listen to it.

Do you have a pet?

I have two dogs, one goldendoodle and one labradoodle and they are both demented. If anyone mentions the word cheese, all hell breaks loose.

Your proudest moment?

Getting selected for the Washington Ireland Program last year was definitely my proudest moment. I was able to travel to America with 29 incredible people who are all trying to create positive change in their communities and are doing amazing work. I lived in Arlington and worked as a legal analyst in a VC firm for two months. The program also organised special workshops with US politicians, journalists, government workers and representatives of non-governmental organisations.

I was fortunate enough to meet Dan Mulhall, UCC graduate and current Irish Ambassador to the US, and give the final farewell speech at the Embassy. I feel so lucky to have made the friends I have through the program and I’ll always be grateful for the summer of a lifetime that I was given!

What makes you happy?

When the people I’m close to are happy, that makes me happy. However, if I’m ever stressed, I believe that a cup of tea pretty much solves everything.

What else are you up to at the moment?

I’m currently rehearsing for an Irish drama titled Griosach na Luaithe, as part of An Cumann Drámaíochta in UCC.

At the moment, we are in the final stages of our preparations for our CUBS conference, which will be held in Cork Opera House on March 13. We have an incredible line up of speakers this year from across business, finance and technology alike, who will share the unique perspectives gained from their careers and business experience.

We really hope that students from across the university and not just students of CUBS will attend the event. The CUBS conference is an opportunity for attendees to gain an insight into the changing landscape of Irish and International business from entrepreneurship and sustainability to the graduate experience.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the other members of the organisation committee and I hope that our hard work will pay off on the day!

For more information on the full line up of speakers, or to purchase tickets visit

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