Business & Humanities Graduates
Sports Coaching & Business Management (Soccer)
During my four years at IT Carlow I studied the BA Sports Coaching and Business Management (Soccer) and the BA (Honours) Sport Management and Coaching. The courses provided a good balance between sport and academic work while giving students an insight in to what it would be like to work in a professional sports environment. The wide range of subjects on the course offered me a chance to explore areas such as coaching, performance analysis, player development, strength & conditioning, sports marketing, economics, finance and media management.
I am a performance analyst at the scouting department of Manchester United FC. The role involves the collation, analysis and feedback of scouting information to help aid decision-making on players who could potentially play for Manchester United first team.
The facilities on campus are second to none, I was able to make full use of the performance analysis lab with industry leading equipment that I still use in my position today. I gained valuable analysis experience working with teams at IT Carlow, Irish international teams and various other individuals and organisations. I was also lucky enough to travel to the World University Games as the performance analyst for the Men’s football team on two occasions (Kazan, Russia in 2013 and Gwangju, South Korea in 2015), something that wouldn’t have been possible without the help from my lecturers while I was there. The staff (on both the sport & academic side) that deliver the courses are enthusiastic, approachable and most importantly want all their students to genuinely do well and be successful. IT Carlow also has a great social environment, the sports clubs are well run, very successful and offered a great opportunity to talk with like-minded students who love sport.
Upon graduating from IT Carlow I was able to gain employment immediately. I went to Reading FC as an Academy Performance Analyst where I spent 3 successful years before moving to my current position last March at Manchester United. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent at IT Carlow and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to work in sport.
Media and Public Relations
I enjoyed the variety of modules the course offers, I particularly enjoyed the more practical subjects like Film & Radio and Irish Literature Studies in my final year. The classes are small and every lecturer knows you by name, this is something you don’t get in every course or college and one of the things I’ll remember IT Carlow for.
Since graduating I’ve been working on my career while focusing on travelling. So far, I’ve lived and worked at home in Ireland, America, Australia and next up is New Zealand. I’m currently living in Melbourne, working as a Senior Client Manager in a creative marketing agency called Dig & Fish. I manage a range of clients in alcohol, fast food and tourism industries and each client has a different need ranging from advertising, public relations, brand development and strategy to digital marketing and social media. The role requires me to be available at all hours of the day and night (including weekends), and to manage the teams within the agency including digital, design and PR. My next career goal is to move from agency to in-house which is something I remember learning about in Year 1 PR with Pauline. The experience you get in a fast-moving agency is invaluable and after five years in agencies, I’m ready to move in-house and find a company/brand that I align with and fully believe in.
Since graduating in PR, I can see how the course is designed to prepare students for a career in this field. However, the beauty about the course is how broad it is and once you graduate you can go down many different routes. I chose PR but my career has evolved into marketing and advertising and the course gave me the stepping stones to do that.
Ann Marie Guinan
Media & Public Relations
I didn’t know what I wanted to do in college, my guidance teacher in school was pushing me towards psychiatric nursing and social care. At the time I was the captain of the Offaly u16 team that reached an All-Ireland, so I was getting interviewed a lot as we made progress. My aunt suggested a course with media studies and the rest is history.
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed my course in IT Carlow, during this time I did a media studies essay for Dr Irene McCormack titled “Citizen Journalism, the death of journalism” which was a pretty interesting title and now we see in the modern day how everyone is a journalist with their smartphone. In my final year I completed a Public Relations campaign under the guidance from our lecturer Dr Pauline Madigan for the Walsh Whiskey Distillery in Carlow. It was a very tough but exciting project which we got to present to Walsh Whiskey.
In 2018, I was awarded the Mick Dunne Memorial Public Relations Officer of the Year award by the Camogie Association, an award I don’t think I would have won without the skills I learned at IT Carlow.
I currently work as a Client Relationship Manager for an Irish Company called Future Ticketing based in Tullamore. Every day I use lots of elements that I learned during my course such as relationship management, IT, Photoshop and design, communicating your message effectively, social media skills, to name just a few.
Sport Management and Coaching (GAA)
I was always interested in coaching and sports management and wanted to gain a deeper understanding and knowledge in this area. Sport and coaching is a passion of mine and the course provided an opportunity to merge both. The balance of theoretical and practical content was very enjoyable and helped to relate the theory and science to the practical setting. Practical subjects such as player development, coach education and exercise and fitness instruction where balanced with theory subjects ranging from marketing and sponsorship to finance for sport.
I continually broadened my knowledge in coaching and business practices by volunteering for many projects in my free time. I gained practical experience in many areas such as fitness testing, strength and conditioning, performance analysis, sports management and GAA club administration.
GAA Games Promotions Officer with Dublin GAA in St Vincents GAA Club my job involves:
• promoting Gaelic football and hurling in local primary and
• coaching 800 children per week in local feeder schools.
• providing club assistance to all team mentors within the club.
• delivering coach education workshops and programmes blitz
• coordinating weekly academy and nursery programmes.
I got the opportunity to develop both as a player and person. I have gained in-depth knowledge in the areas of Sports management and coaching through theory and practical learning. I completed a work placement in China. I worked with various GAA Clubs on areas such as club development, club administration roles, club structures and coaching assistance in 6 major cities-Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Suzhou and Dalian. I also have been involved working as a Performance Analyst with Kilkenny senior hurlers for the 4 years while completing my studies. Institute of Technology Carlow provides top class facilities and staff that allow each student reach their potential. The variety of modules provided a wide range of disciplines to focus in on. It has also allowed me to continue my education by completing a Master’s course in Strength and Conditioning in Institute of Technology Carlow.
Sport and Exercise (Rugby)
I learned so much at Institute of Technology Carlow, including coaching development to IRFU Stage 3. I was surrounded by a professional environment from day one. When not taking part in my academic studies, I won three All-Ireland rugby medals - one as captain of the team. On qualifying, I became the Clubs and Societies intern in the college which gave me a much better understanding of the management side of rugby such as planning buses, meals and physios etc.
Since leaving Institute of Technology Carlow, I have become the Club Community Rugby Officer for both West Offaly Lions and Wexford Wanderers. I handle the screening and coaching of youth players entering the Leinster System. This year I was appointed coach of the Institute of Technology Carlow men’s team.
Institute of Technology Carlow gave me both the knowledge and the experience to start coaching at an elite level and I firmly believe I would not be in the position I am now without them.
Professional Social Care
I particularly enjoyed the applied nature of the course. Most of the lecturers had worked in practice prior to moving into education, and therefore they could provide practical examples and case studies relevant to the topics under discussion. Class discussion was actively encouraged which I found very beneficial. The modules were interlinked so very often content covered in one module came up again but from a different perspective in another. This facilitated our learning as we could look at topics from a variety of different perspectives and consider different points of view. The placement module was particularly relevant as the time spent on work placement gave us the space to see the content learned in college in a practical setting. I particularly enjoyed my final year research project as this brought together a lot of the knowledge we had studied over the course of the four year degree programme.
Having worked in the social care sector for a number of years, I am now back in IT Carlow as the Supervised Professional Practice Coordinator. My role is to secure placement opportunities for students, to ensure that students gain the necessary experience whilst on placement to develop their professional and personal skills and to maintain links between IT Carlow and industry. It is an exciting and varied position with a broad range of duties and responsibilities associated with it.
As placement coordinator, I oversee students preparation for practice, and also supervise students whilst they are on placement. The course provided me with a range of skills which I utilise on a daily basis in my current role. In particular, my role dictates that I have a broad knowledge of the sector, and an understanding of the general challenges faced by students who are going on work placement. Much of this knowledge was garnered whilst I was an undergraduate student here in IT Carlow.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying at Institute of Technology Carlow for many reasons. I found the course very interesting as it challenged common preconceptions on the world around us and how everyday problems can be solved. The course was structured in a manner that allowed valuable time and input from my lecturers while also giving me the freedom to find my own design style and preferences. We were always pushed to challenge the norm and the informal studio environment aided creative thinking greatly.
Before my current job I spent three years as a design engineer with Oxley Developments Ltd in the Lake District in England. Oxley design and build EMI and LED technology for the commercial and military aerospace industries. I had the opportunity and pleasure to work with many huge companies, including Gulfstream Aircrafts, Boeing, Sikorsky, Saab, Augusta Westland and Lockheed Martin to name a few. I now work for Siemens AG in the energy and power sector as a design and development engineer. I am based mainly in new product development for subsea use. My main focus is fibre optic product development. I am part of a team of roughly 10 multidiscipline professionals who create and design new product technology to withstand harsh subsea environments.
The course prepared me for the pressures of “real world” product development by enabling my ability to challenge and push the boundaries of what is possible. I still believe the most valuable life skill I have received from the Institute of Technology Carlow design team is my design thinking. Due to constant presentations in the first few years of the design course, I managed to become quite comfortable in front of a group when presenting my own designs, something which I still use to this day! Thanks to the Design course, I feel I can deliver far more focused and concise presentations with confidence. The 3D modelling and computer aided design skills which I learned during the course have also been absolutely critical to my employment success. It is not easy to prepare future design professionals for the tough world of industrial design while they are students, but I feel the team at Carlow did this in a very unique, fun and professional manner.
There are many reasons as to why I thoroughly enjoyed the course. However the main reason would have to be the small class sizes. I cannot emphasise enough how beneficial this was as it paved the way for being on a first-name basis with the lecturers, and made participation in discussion in class far less daunting. This, in turn, led to relationships of mutual respect between the lecturers and students, who, on many occasions, listened to my queries long after class had ended.
Having completed the LLB, I then attended the King’s Inns and was called to the Bar of Ireland. Since then, I have been devilling in the Law Library in Dublin, practising mostly in Commercial Law and Litigation, but also covering Crime and other areas. This entails drafting, making court applications and appearances, and legal research, to name but a few of the tasks required of a Barrister.
Given that my aim, whilst I attended Institute of Technology Carlow, was to become a practising Barrister, it is safe to say that the LLB prepared me immensely for practice at the Bar. Institute of Technology Carlow built the foundations – and strong foundations – necessary to prepare me for the King’s Inns and beyond. I cannot recommend this course highly enough. It gave me the necessary skillset to turn a passion into a career. Whatever career path you choose to take, the LLB will be an invaluable asset at your disposal.
Early Childhood Education and Care
Returning to education as a mature student was probably the best decision I’ve ever made! There were obviously stressful moments but overall, my time on the BA in Early Childhood was a hugely positive, enriching experience. It ignited a love for learning and a passion for working professionally with young children. I still find all aspects of early childhood learning and development fascinating. The Philosophy in Early Childhood module has a special place in my heart, it made me realise that it’s not necessarily important to have all the right answers, but so important to ask the right questions. I am very interested in promoting young children’s creative and critical thinking skills. The Psychology and Working with Families and Communities modules were also particularly influential for me. I continued on my studies after the degree, to do a Masters in Child Family Community in DIT. However, IT Carlow for me was where it all started - it really transformed me as a person.
I am currently working as the Early Years Professional Practice Coordinator at IT Carlow, with responsibility for all aspects of professional practice workshops and placement for our full and part time Early Childhood students. Prior to this, I worked as an Early Years Educator, a Parent Support Coordinator and a Family Visitor on a child development programme.
My learning on the degree programme helped me to develop certain values that are vital for any professional working in the field of early childhood- recognition and respect of children’s rights and being in awe of the potential of young children. (We underestimate them so much!). I hope I am as effective in passing these values on to the students I work with. Also, I acquired the knowledge and skills to learn how to apply theory to practice and be a critically reflective practitioner and educator. Every day I am still learning, reflecting and asking myself how I can improve, which I think is critical for any educator working with children or adults.
Early Childhood Education and Care
I loved the mix of theory and the practical side of work experience. It allowed me to gain a large basis of experience in crèches/pre-schools both large and small scale, Early Start Programme, Junior Infant classes, community education services and special and additional needs. This experience allowed me to reflect on my strengths and lay the foundations and ethical ethos of my practice.
I am a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) and the Senior Behaviour Support Specialist for a private preschool service for children with Autism. I did my final work experience in final year in this service and I am still working for them 11 years later. I work part-time 3 days a week. I also lecture part-time 2 days a week in IT Carlow as an Assistant Lecturer in Early Childhood Education and Care.
The job prepared me to be ethical, accountable and transparent in my practice and these core values were rooted in the course. The importance of the child, their wellbeing and development was always and remains to be at the forefront. I learned to manage my time between assignments, exams, portfolios etc. and to be able to prioritise my work load which has stood to me over the years. The range of work experience taught me to be flexible and adaptable as each new setting was different. This has helped me in my current role when working with children, training and working with staff, working with different professionals and liaising with parents. The degree also gave me the learning bug and I went on to do my Masters in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Continuing Professional Development is a regular part of my job now and each year I attend different conferences in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis and Early Childhood Education and Care.