Ulster University - Undergraduate degree in Sport Studies in 2007 & Postgraduate degree in Sport & Exercise Psychology in 2015. Then completed a PGCE in 2019 at University of Cumbria in Primary Teaching with a PE Specialism.
Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...
I have been fortunate to work for Tyrone GAA, Irish FA as a games development officer and PE specialist for over ten years and more recently teaching PE with LLS and currently back Ulster University in a paid PhD Researcher role.
Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability
Making use of the opportunities to get coaching badges while at University had a huge part in my early employment opportunities both part time as a casual coach while at University and full time roles with the IFA and Tyrone GAA.
Networking and taking the time to develop relationships with university staff as they have since been a huge help in my professional development following graduation.
Build your own sports industry community through keeping in touch with the people you’ve attended university with as you’ll cross paths again many times.
How placement enhanced my employability
Working as a casual coach for the local council in their holiday camps while at university and a part time leisure attendant definitely helped get my first job along with the coaching badges gained from University.
Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far
- Department of Education not renewing my contract while working with the IFA to continue going into Primary Schools to teach PE. Forced a career change and return to university to complete the PGCE which I’m glad happened now.
- Having a child reasonably early in life helped give me a focus that I probably didn’t have beforehand to plan ahead for a career in the sports industry.
What would your advice to students be?
Careers don’t usually begin and end with the first company you work for now. Don’t panic if you haven’t got your dream job just yet-do the best you have can with the job you’ve got for now as you’ll always need that employer for a reference.
Time management-be where your feet are. Give your total focus to work while you’re there but remember to leave it behind when you return home and look after your own well being.