Blogventure – We blog our adventure
Kanodas Inc

Most of my blogs on here were about my various trips throughout Ireland and Europe… but doing an Erasmus year also includes studying, believe it or not… That’s why I thought I tell you a little bit about my studies here today.. so everyday life, here we go…
Well, to be honest.. it’s everyday life, yes but completely different from studying in Bonn.. so looking back, the term is about to end and I had seven different classes since September in English and Musicology as well as in Sociology, Entrepreneurship and Product Design. It was much fun learning about other things than just my usual subjects. Uni kept me busy with writing many essays and exam (even though most of them are in January actually). Aside from that I was part of two bigger projects which I would like to write about today.

Go Kanodas!

May I introduce you to Kenny, Anna (myself), Nicole, Orla, David and Aideen Susan (order on the title picture as well) – we are Kanodas Inc, a nice little group of music students taking a class called “Music and Entrepreneurship”.

Since September our lecturer Ivan McKenna, a business himself, told us various things about how to run a business, what challenges you have to face setting up events, which roles group members can have and lots of other interesting stuff. He introduced us to people working in the branch already who turned their own art into a business and run crazy schedule once in a while to achieve what they want to.

Alongside we had to establish our own project and set up an event to raise funds for a charity. According to this circumstance, theoretical knowledge and pratical experience were closely related. My experience from Germany with Hürth Rockt, klangTunnel and projects back in school were quite an advantage. Still, it was something totally new to set up an event in a foreign country without any network or people who know somebody. Luckily my colleagues are well connected so we could manage that problem quite well.

In the end, we set up an Musical Auction in a cute little venue at Maynooth main street. It is a concert with a twist, where several bandsplay a set of a few songs at first. To engage the audience, some songs are auctioned off afterwards and the chosen songs are played as well. The concept worked pretty well and the evening was a success. The money we raised was for TENI, the Transgender Equality Network Ireland. They provide help for trans
people and their families and fight for legal and medical rights. Furthermore TENI campaigns aim at raising awareness of Trans issues, to educate people and to increase inclusion and acceptance.

It’s been a great project and an awesome team to work with! We learned a lot about communication, management and marketing throughout the whole process. For myself, it was a special experience to do such a similar work with a complete new background – and it worked out well! Thank you all! :)

Here are some pictures of our event, just to give you an impression what it was like.

Product Design: Samkhat and Soltouch

Once a week I studied a little bit on how to design a product. What is universal design, what to think about creating a new product or improving an existing one, how to develope ideas and form them into an actual concept… pretty interesting in theory already, but even better in practice. Therefore, we worked together in groups of 5-7 people and I had the honour to create a product with Catherine, Divya, Ferdia and Dylan.

Aiming for a good group spirit and professionalism we wanted to have a name and called ourselves Samkhat. (After some goddess who stands for happiness and joy and as we want to make life easier and happier for people with our products that should fit.) Having decided on a name, we started brainstorming.

First of all, we didn’t know how to come up with many different ideas but in the end we had way more than we actually needed. Making notes and sketches, doing interviews and research on different topics, drafting ideas and concepts just to start a new one the next day… lots of different approaches and thoughts. Finally we got stuck with a product for the hands. Developing something to enable people a better grip, protect their ankles and skin from heat as well as from cold, not stopping you from doing anything else like using a smartphone or washing your hands –  all combined in one product. We created Soltouch, a multi-functional glove, which is like a second skin.

Next Tuesday, we have our final presentation and get to know what everybody thinks of our ideas … it’s not over yet. For now I got some pictures here to show you what it looks like when we were working…


Well, that’s the news for today… I hope to write some more blogs ’till Christmas about my last time here before Christmas as well as finally some more information on Belfast history. We’ll see how this goes. Looking forward to the next few days packed with carols services at the lovely St Patricks Chapel some last classes and unfortunately lots of people leaving at the end of the week…

Hope you enjoyed reading and see you next time :)

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Anna-Lena Oehmann

I am studying Musicology and British Literature at Bonn University in Germany and will spend my year abroad at Maynooth University near Dublin.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • what a beautifully well written Synopsys of your experience and what a privilege it must be to travel and experience such diversity and study at the same time. I’ve had the honour of visiting Maynooth and Ireland a couple of times as well as the beautiful university, it is a lovely quant little town filled with quality inspired people. You all have such great musical talent that the rest of world should see too. Enjoy your journey to the fullest wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing your article and experince