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Mother of five Anna Marie Maguire graduates today (Friday 6th July) with a first class honours degree in accounting. She decided to make a change at the age of 42 and applied to Ulster University to study accounting.

With her youngest child starting primary 5, Anna Marie wanted to build a career and she took inspiration from her eldest daughter Cliodhna who had started a degree in Accounting at Ulster the previous year.

Anna Marie explains:

“I had been a full time mum for years but as I my children got older and I had a little more time for myself I realised I had to start thinking about my future. As I supported by daughter Cliodhna in applying to university and attending open days I decided this was something I could do too.”

Anna Marie has always had a flair for numbers, achieving A grades in accounts at both GSCE and A-Level so a degree in Accounting was the obvious choice. For many mothers and daughters studying the same subject at the same university could cause a few tensions but this wasn’t the case for Anna Marie and her daughter,

“Cliodhna has been really supportive. We weren’t in the same year but it actually brought us closer together. We would text each other during our breaks and grab a quick coffee when we could. It was great to support each other and share a common interest.”

Anna Marie completed her degree full time while working two part-time jobs and looking after her children. It was a challenging three years but worth it in the end,

“At school I was never seen as an ‘academic’ but I really enjoyed studying at Ulster and found myself getting firsts in my assignments. I guess it goes to show if you are passionate about what you are studying you can really excel.”

Anna Marie is taking a well-deserved break for the summer before she starts to look for a job.

Cliodhna Maguire graduated from the BSc Hons Accounting programme last year with a 2:1 and is now excelling on Ulster’s MSc Advanced Accounting programme.