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Karenanne Coughlan-Pierse

Karenanne Coughlan PierseWhat would you like to do? Return to work.

Stay-at-home mother Karenanne Coughlan-Pierse studied languages with The Open University, and returned to work renewed. 

Karenanne explains: 

“I left school with an Irish Leaving Certificate and then went on to study Medicine at Trinity College, Dublin. I’ve also since gained a Masters in Medical Science (Human Anatomy and Anthropology) and a Fellowship in Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 

I‘d often seen The Open University advertised in various media, and over the years had perused the undergrad prospectus. When I made the decision to leave work and stay at home, I signed up for the degree in Modern Languages (French and German) and started studying.

At the start, I had a small baby, but the other children were in school and so I had a few hours every day where I could do some study. Although I had given up my career to be at home with my children, studying with The Open University kept me in contact with the adult and academic world.  I was challenged, but found every module worthwhile and enjoyable. 

I was able to transfer credit for having done a year in University of French and German in the past.  The course was a good mix of book and online work, becoming increasingly online as I progressed. There were also two compulsory residential schools, one in France and one in Germany.

I loved going back to study and my family have supported my throughout my studies unwaveringly. I think it showed me that I can do anything that I put my mind to and that really helped me when, after 11 years of not working, I was offered, out of the blue, the opportunity to re-enter the medical arena in a totally new area to me. I grabbed the chance, knowing that I’d be able to manage this new role. I had confidence in the interview that, because of my Open University studies, my CV looked vibrant, despite not having been at work. Since returning to work, I have had to do a lot of work-related study, but every so often, I look longingly at the Masters of Laws course that The Open University is offering!”

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