Name: Mairead Daly
County / Club / College: Offaly, St. Rynaghs, Waterford IT
Current Education Course: Masters in Marketing
Previous Course Studied: Bachelor of Business in Sport and Recreation Management
Work: No, but I do a bit of coaching for the Offaly County Board.
Mairead on – going back to postgraduate study:
When I finished my undergrad I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in relation to my career path. A few people around the college encouraged me to do a Masters and with the help of the WGPA scholarship I was able to do that. I chose Waterford IT because it was familiar to me as I did my undergrad there. I was also aware of the services and help that are available to students and a lot of my friends were still studying there so it just made more sense for me to stay in WIT.
I had never even considered doing a postgrad until a few people in the GAA office recommended the course to me. I had no idea how much work was involved in doing a Masters. The course was extremely intense. It was a big step up from doing an undergrad, however once I put in the work I was be able to adapt quickly and it was quite enjoyable. The most important thing that I learned from the postgrad was how to work in groups as every module entailed some level of group work. Time management was also essential as there were constant deadlines that I had to meet.
Mairead on – the next step:
Initially after this course I am hoping to get involved in games development. I have a huge passion for sports and I would love to get involved in coaching to improve the skills and experiences young people are getting in the GAA. In saying that, from completing the Masters I have gained a great interest in the Marketing industry so I wouldn’t mind heading down that route either. Ultimately, I’d like a career where I could incorporate both sport and marketing into one.
Mairead on – this year on the field with WIT & Offaly:
This year was one of the best years I’ve experienced with college football. Last year we won the Lynch cup so we were competing in the Giles Cup this year. Although it was a step up in competitiveness our team was confident that we had the ability and determination to win. We had a huge amount of support from the GAA office in the college which definitely enabled us to reach our full potential. Anything we needed they were willing to help. We also had a great management team who drove us on throughout the year. The standard of college football is so high and the training required to compete at that level is intense. I think that makes is more enjoyable!
With Offaly we have a very young team at the moment so we are still in a building phase. Although we had quite a disappointing league campaign, there were a lot of close games that we felt we could’ve won so this will drive us on throughout the year. The aim is always to win the Leinster and All-Ireland Championship so that’s what I’m hoping for this year, we are just taking it one game at a time.
Mairead on – balancing the dual career:
It was quite difficult to balance college and sport this year in particular. The workload within the Masters was quite demanding and time consuming so it was hard to manage everything. It was essential to work hard for the few hours that I had in the library before and after training in order to keep on top of the workload. In saying that, training and matches allowed me that extra bit of breathing space and forced me take time away from study which I think was important.
Without the WGPA scholarship I never would’ve had the opportunity to pursue a postgrad. The support I received from the WGPA and the GAA services within the college allowed me to challenge myself and reach my full potential both in terms of sport and education. From doing the Masters, I have attained a number of skills such as leadership and personal motivation which I intend to incorporate into my sporting life.
Mairead on – sporting heroes:
My two main role models at the moment would have to be Serena Williams and Cristiano Ronaldo. I think that their determination and work ethic is evident in both their personal life and athletic life as they have both managed to retain the label as being the best in the world at their sport for consecutive years. They are also very interactive with their fans and allow people to see what their lives are like behind the scenes making them more relatable.
Mairead on – advice for interested scholars:
Just work hard. A postgrad is a big step up from undergrad but once you work hard you will have no problems at all. It’s also important to find the balance between college, sport and socialising in order for you to keep in a good head space.
Most proud of:Winning back to back All Ireland medals with the WIT Ladies football team
Biggest challenge you’ve faced:Masters
3 words to describe yourself: Enthusiastic, motivated, outgoing.
These postgraduate scholarships are again available to WGPA members, commencing September 2018. If you’re interested in applying, see Postgraduate Opportunities or contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.