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Maire Thompson

BA (Hons) Sports Studies & PGCE in Physical Education
Graduated 1996
Malone College


Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...

exposing me to a diverse range of experiences and opportunities. The skills developed within my placement year were invaluable. The lecturers were passionate and encouraging and the university sporting programme provided unique opportunities to meet new people, establish life long friendships and experience representative honours. - Maire Thompson

My Journey

  • Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability

    The work placement was a life changing experience for me as it exposed me to the world of work and it changed my work ethic and it helped change my approach to my studies.

    I was also involved in a voluntary placement at a Special school. This was an invaluable experience which help also show employers that I had depth, character and commitment.

    Undertaking other volunteering is an essential component that I feel is key and it is always something I am looking for when interviewing for new members of staff.

  • How placement enhanced my employability

    My academic grades soared after returning form my work placement. I think that says it all really. I matured, worked hard and really was exposed to a different set of expectations on placement. It was genuinely life changing.I'm a big advocate of placements!

  • Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far

    1. Getting my Maths GCSE after 4 attempts taught me the importance of perseverance and it allows me to relate to many of our current students and share my experiences. As Michael Jordan said " I have failed over and over in my life and that is why I succeed" .
    2. Getting a first class honours was a really proud moment. My mother died when I was five and I suppose obtaining my degree really affirms for me that your circumstances do not define you.
    3. Becoming one of the youngest serving Principals at 41 in a Post Primary was a significant event. My proudest moment as Principal was when the school received the " Derrytrasna Award" during 2015 for " Outstanding Pastoral Care in a Post Primary school" .

What would your advice to students be?

My advice would be to expose yourself to as many different opportunities as you can. Work, volunteering, competing. Whilst it is important to get a good degree, it is also key to have the soft skills that allow you to empathise, communicate with people, and be proactive in your endeavours.

I think it is important to realise that you are learning everyday and never be afraid to ask for help and advice from others. I will always feel indebted to the staff at the university whose advice I seek and value to this day.
- Maire Thompson