Alumni Profile: Jonathan Sweeney, class of 2014

NEWS / 11 January 2023

Stratford interviews alumni to see where they are now and what they are doing. We hear from Jonathan Sweeney, class of 2014.

What course did you study and where?
I had a keen interest in sports and a mutual interest in teaching so this led me to study Physical Education in the University of Limerick.

What are you doing now and where?

After completing my degree, I decided to take a few months out travelling to Thailand, Bali and Malaysia where I was bitten along the way with the travel bug. I really enjoyed seeing new places and learning about new cultures.

Today I am a P.E teacher working in the United Arab Emirates, where the sun is always bright and the days are never dull thankfully!

When did you know this is what you wanted to do?

To be perfectly honest, when you’re in your teenage years, it’s very difficult to decide what career path you wish to follow. I never had an interest in business, but in later years turned into an entrepreneur of sorts and discovered a keen passion for it.

But the real people who I have to give credit to were Stratford College's very own PE Teacher Ms Finnegan and Classics Teacher Ms Donohoe. Reflecting back, both these teachers were incredibly genuine and instilled “a desire to learn and a will to be better”.

I combined both my interests with my hobbies with sports, and managed to successfully complete my degree in 2019.

In Stratford, you were never uncomfortable and always welcomed in the classroom and to this very day in my own lessons with my students the words of Ms Donohoe still echo - “I don’t like a quiet classroom, show me the energy”.

Ms Finnegan was a fountain of knowledge when it came to choosing my next step, and she held nothing back. You were given the straight facts that it would be a tough course in the beginning, and she informed me off all the pros and cons.

What was your favourite school memory?

I do vividly remember accidentally cracking Ms Finnegan on a ski trip with a snowball and seeing her turn bright red before shuffling off away as quick as I could!


What advice for our students do you have today?

Genuinely and I know it’s difficult to listen to adults at times, take it from someone who got demerits daily for wearing the wrong jacket, but take your time then choosing what you wish to do in college or your career path.    I know of plenty of people who have went to college and in year 2 and they find out they no longer have an interest or desire to follow that path. It’s always perfectly ok to change your mind

For any student confused on the path to follow, I have this advice for you. Research everything.

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