You left SC in 2018 what have you been up to since?
I left Stratford College in July of 2018. Since then, a lot has happened! I achieved a 1:1 Business Studies Degree from DCU Business School, complete with a 13-month long internship with Volkswagen Group Ireland (VGIE). Full-time employment began just two months after submitting my final college assignment in April 2022, where I had the opportunity to return to Volkswagen Passenger Cars' Product & Planning Department.
What is working in Volkswagen like?
As a Planning Executive with Volkswagen Passenger Cars, there is a real sense of pride in all that the brand is achieving here, both in Ireland and beyond. It's exciting to work in such a famous company with eyes on the future in terms of both technology and sustainability, made very clear by huge investment pledges in battery technologies and sneak-peeks at EV concepts with promising price-tags. This makes now a really exciting time to work within the automotive industry.
When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
During my final years in Stratford College, I hoped that my future career would have some positive impact on the environment.
I was (and very much still am) an environmentalist, and care deeply about the world we live in and our attempts to restore it to a cleaner, greener one. The efforts of legacy automakers though, like Volkswagen, and their bids at reinventing themselves while staying true to their heritage in an age of environmental turmoil, really piqued my interest.
What’s your favourite school memory?
It's impossible to pick just one!
Co-hosting 2015's Stratford College Talent Show (aptly named 'StratVision') is certainly a firm favourite. Classmate Cormac Kelly and I spent a great deal of time script-writing, filming and editing a funny opening skit, documenting an over-the-top odyssey to school, which was played right before the event kicked off (to appear as if filmed live!). Bursting through the school hall's doors when the video finished to a huge round of applause was unforgettable.
I will also never forget 2018's 5th & 6th Year Classics trip to Rome, where one of Europe's harshest blizzards on record doubled its intended duration. It allowed the class groups to see the Roman Forum under snow.
Any advice for our students today?
"Life moves pretty fast..." goes Ferris Bueller's famous line (I hope some current students might be familiar with that classic).
My friends and I still often talk about how quickly time has gone. One moment, you're attending entrance exams and fitting on that navy wool jumper for the first time, and the next you're itching to get those last words down on your leaving cert script.
For those lucky enough to still be there, enjoy your time at Stratford. Make sure to find a balance between school work and fun, continue to push yourself and never stop following your interests - you never know where they might take you.