I think the great thing about Maynooth is the relationship between the town and the University. I would encourage students, if they can, to move to Maynooth and soak up that feeling of living in the only university town in Ireland, it's such a beautiful, small and close community and that's what makes it great. Some of my fondest memories are of all the random jobs I did across campus as well during my postgrad. Tutoring in the Maths Dept, the Maths Support Centre, working in the gym and for the exams. I met some lovely people, many of whom I'm still in touch with. But the joy of Maynooth is all of Maynooth, walking through Carton Estate, or lounging in the May sun outside the library, it's a great place.
I was one of the founding members of the Feminist Society back in the early 2010s, that came together in the early days of campaigining for Repeal of the 8th Amendment. Some of the people I met through that became housemates and close friends and it was a fantastic experience for a worthy cause.
The university town aspect, there's always a quiet spot to go have a walk and relax. Maynooth is busy but it's also quiet, though I was mostly based in the Maths Department so that could explain why... It's also a place where you'll know everyone even though again, there are a lot of students and staff. It gets that balance right.
I think the key experiences for me where when I was teaching, first as a staff member in between my undergrad/postgrad and then during my postgrad. Maynooth is very quick to give experience to trusthworthy but inexperienced people and to help them gain those really great experiences from teaching. Especially with maths and statistics, teaching really deepens your knowledge, a question can be on anything and this is more reflective of the workplace than any other academic experience. In my job, so much is open ended, and knowing that it's ok to not know and to ask a colleague, this really is a skill I picked up from working in the Maths Dept and the Maths Support Centre.
Maynooth is about the holistic student experience. It's the additional bits that make the student experience great, it's the Access Office providing help to those who need it, it's the little bits of work floating around that might help you cover expenses and worry less about things, the staff being friendly and approachable and most importantly grounded. Maynooth is the least ego-orientated university. And I've worked and studied in a few others, and Maynooth is all round the best university for taking on all elements of issues a student might have.
I love making visuals. I love to make maps as well. This is the most creative part of the job. Someone wants data but you are the one with total power over how it's presented. I love to make maps because GIS wasn't a skill that was part of my training or education and was especially relevant when I worked in housing. Often the people I liaise with in the GIS space have studied in Maynooth, I sometimes wish I'd had a chance to do the course there.
To summarise though, adding a new skill like that makes work more interesting, enjoyable and adds variety to how you can present your work. People get sick of seeing similar types of dashboards and a new type of visual or map can help overcome that.