Mar 16 2016 Posted: 09:07 GMT

Over 200 people attended the first ever national Student Talks Conference which took place in Dublin last week. Student Talks is a student led initiative which won the NUI Galway Students’ Union Enterprise Award in 2014 to give students and other early career professionals the opportunity to share their passions and show their commitment to their careers in designated time slots.

Student Talks, founded by Dr Brian Slattery, who now works in the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, first started with a one hour mini-conference with students of NUI Galway presenting to an audience of students and staff. This year, in a major development, Student Talks went national with support from student unions across the country

The national event was a truly multidisciplinary affair, with talks on a multitude of topics including health, technology, careers, history, and entrepreneurship. Competing for the Student Talks 2016 Award 18 speakers gave a six minute talk with Sarah Tallon of Dublin City University taking home the first prize.

The short talks were complemented by invited speakers including: Lynn Ruane, Trinity College Student’s Union President and Seanad candidate; Dr Brendan Rooney, Cyberpsychology Researcher; Tracy Keogh, Bank of Ireland StartLabHQ Community Manager; Alex Musgrave, Dog Day Media founder; Dr Áine Mangaoang, Postdoctoral Researcher in music at the University of Liverpool; and Brian Kennan, Google Director of People Operations. Institutes all over Ireland were also represented, giving attendees an opportunity to network with people from other disciplines and backgrounds.

Student Talks aims to support people in the early stages of their career and have partnered with a number of startups. This year, Howling Hamster, a Galway-based games company, and Suas, a youth and education focused organisation, exhibited at the event, while Lemonade, a graphic design company, designed a once-off digital art print to form part of the Student Talks 2016 Award. Galway video production company Slipjig Media, Student Talks’ media partners, were present to document the day, and will be creating videos of all the talks to be made available shortly.

Student Talks founder, Dr Brian Slattery, said: “I would like to thank all the speakers and attendees for making the event a success. It is difficult to demonstrate your burgeoning expertise at an early stage in your career, this doesn’t happen till much later on, but so much exceptional and exciting work goes on by students and early career people and it is important to recognise this work and showcase what talent we have in Ireland. Student Talks is a great stepping stone for people starting out. Student Talks is a unique and important event and we hope to develop it into a large scale annual event that becomes a pillar of the early career calendar.”

More information on Student Talks can be found on studenttalks.ie, with regular updates on Student Talks shared on Facebook at facebook.com/StudentTalks1 and Twitter @Student_Talks.

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