Alumni Profile - Fiona Maguire, Class of 2016

NEWS / 7 March 2023

Stratford interviews alumni to see where they are now and what they are doing. We hear from Fiona Maguire, class of 2016. 

Hi Fiona, you left Stratford in 2016, what have you been up to since? 

After leaving Stratford, I went to Trinity College - a fantastic experience and I joined many societies (table tennis, rock climbing and surf soc) and did some incredible travelling and made friends for life.

What course did you study?
I studied BSc Social Studies (Work) and received honours in my degree in Trinity, the course is the only undergraduate route to becoming a qualified Social Worker in Ireland. It also qualifies you to be a Social Worker in England, Scotland, Australia etc. I’m currently on a career break and travelling in Australia.

What was studying Social Work in TCD like?

It was brilliant, the course is intense and placement heavy. The first two years you do a lot of social science related subjects. This for me was the most challenging aspect. The second two years focused on social work focused subjects such as child protection, the family courts and legal studies and attachment studies.  I completed four placements and was given amazing opportunities as part of this. In my first year I went to the USA and worked and trained to be a lifeguard at a camp for adults for intellectual disabilities.. I completed other placements in child protection teams and did a neurology placement with Tallaght hospital

What is working as a Social Worker like?

The last two and half years as a child protection social worker have been incredible. I’m very passionate about what I do and I can’t imagine being anything else but a social worker.   The agency I work with has afforded me fantastic opportunities to complete further trainings in attachment studies, court training, non-violent resistance training, assessing parents ability to supervise and protect children when a person subject to abuse allegation is present in a child’s life, and much more.  
The work itself has very challenging aspects and requires you to be emotionally resilient. A good self-care routine and sharing how you’re feeling with your supervisor is really important.

When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I did always know I wanted to work in a caring profession but wasn’t sure which option to follow. I met a Social worker at a careers night in Stratford, then I did a TY placement in a school for children with disabilities.. it just felt right and I haven’t looked back.

Favourite school memory?
I loved Delphi, I loved surfing with the class, we had so much fun. I loved transition year and all the laughs we had and how giddy we would all be.. I found Stratford really comforting and kind. I had a great time there and had some fabulous teachers.

Any advice for our students today?

Be ambitious, everything I planned when I was in Stratford has become a reality for me now .. all the travel plans I had, all my college and work plans. Work hard, have fun and day by day you will find your way.

It goes without saying but .. be kind too.

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