Ciara Crossan - Founder of Weddingdates.ie
Ciara Crossan, is the founder of Weddingdates.ie, a website which enables couples to book their wedding venue online. The company works with top venues throughout Ireland and the UK and to drive wedding revenue. Ciara is a regular speaker at conferences and events and was shortlisted as ‘Outstanding Entrepreneur‘ in the UK Women 1st SHINE Awards in 2013.
• Course/subjects studied in UCC
Business Information Systems 2000-2004
• Best memory of UCC
There are so many! Hard to pick just one, but I'd have to say my graduation. I was the first one of my family to graduate from college, so it was a proud moment for my parents and the culmination of four years of hard work. Wearing that cap and gown is stuff of dreams!
• How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?
I feel BIS prepared me so well for starting my own business. We had to do lots of presentations in the course and I was a tutor to other students in fourth year so I got used to standing up and presenting which has been a great asset as I do a lot of public speaking now. Liaising with lecturers, other students, staff, societies etc. really helped me build rapport with a wide variety of people and this has certainly helped me in my job today where I am constantly networking. I would say my time in UCC really set me up for success and gave me great grounding from which I built my career and my business.
• What is your advice to current UCC students?
Get involved with clubs & societies, they really add a whole different depth of experience to your time in college. Enjoy your freedom! You'll be working long enough!
• What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?
I would have to say my classmates in BIS. During the 4 years in college, we spent so much time together in the labs working on projects and then 50 of us went to Boston on our internship in third year. We formed such close bonds and I am still in regular contact with many of them. We gave each other dig-outs when needed, shared notes, swapped tips and advice on assignments and just generally were a great support for each other. I can safely say I probably wouldn't have passed a few modules if it wasn't for the help from a few close friends!!
• Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?
I was involved with the Choral Society right from Fresher’s week. I was actually the First Year rep for the Society so on the committee and enjoyed being involved in the organisation of the Strauss Ball. Choral gave me another cohort of friends outside BIS and I really enjoyed the diversity. Plus we represented UCC on a few trips abroad (notably Budapest in 2002) so it was great fun to travel off campus as a group. The nights out were memorable too!
• Favourite UCC legend or superstition
Not to walk over the crest under the arch of the Quad. I was back on campus recently and I still walked around it! Old habits die hard!