Sarah Ann Quinlan

Kilkenny and Waterford I.T.

Age: 23

Club: Young Irelands Gowran

Current Education Course: MBS Management

Previous Course Studied: Bachelor of Arts – Business and Accountancy

Current Work:  CTB Recycling

Sarah Ann on – going back to postgraduate study:

I completed my undergraduate degree in Maynooth University in 2016, I was unsure of what I wanted to do for the coming year. I felt I needed a Masters after completing the undergrad and I decided to talk to Conor Phelan in the college about the master programme. It was great to get some advice from Conor as he was also doing the masters part-time, he informed me about the scholarship and the different streams in the programme. It was a very easy decision for me to make as I knew a good few people in the college and I could commute every day as it is only 40 minutes away from where I live. The college also has top class sports facilities and a fantastic campus so this made my decision that bit easier.

Sarah Ann on – her course:

My undergraduate degree in Maynooth was very intense; I loved the business side of the course however not so much the accountancy side. The course was very exam based and when the exams came around it was very stressful. The masters in WIT was not as intense, however if you did not keep on top of your work, the pressure could come on very quickly. Overall I loved the course and I enjoyed going in everyday especially with a great group of people in my class. We have done so much together as a group through various presentations including the dragons den experience where we had to present our own business as part of a group. We also went to Brussels at the end of February where we had to complete a module in 5 days, it was very tough but overall it was a brilliant trip. We were fortunate to visit the EU parliament and meet some of the Irish MEPs such as Sean Kelly and Liadh Ni Riadh. It was a very memorable experience.

Sarah Ann on – the next step:

Right now I am working part time for CTB Recycling, a farm plastic collection business in Gowran. I am also currently applying for jobs however everything is up in the air at the moment as I am trying to complete my thesis so hopefully after completing the masters I will find a job that I enjoy.

Sarah Ann on – the year with W.I.T Camogie:

It was great for me personally to get to play Ashbourne camogie this year as I had played so many years of Purcell camogie; it’s a fantastic competition where some of the best camogie players are on display.  The college has top class facilities and anything we needed was provided for us both on and off the field. After the massive effort we put in we ended up losing to a very strong UCC team by a point in the semi-final. With the management team of Anne Downey, Paddy Mullally and Conor Phelan who I was very familiar with from the Kilkenny County set up along with Jacqui O Connor, who all put in a serious effort throughout the year that didn’t go unnoticed by the panel. Overall it was a very disappointing year for us as I felt that we had such a talented team to go all the way but unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be.

Sarah Ann on – her hopes for Kilkenny:

After winning the All-Ireland last year it was an unforgettable experience for us and has left us with many happy memories, however this year is a new year and it’s going to be an even greater challenge to retain the title. We know it’s not going to be easy and it’s going to take an even bigger effort than last year, but we are looking forward to the championship and we will see where it takes us.

Sarah Ann on – managing the dual career:

It is tough at times especially with the MBS as there are a lot of essays and deadlines to adhere to and it can all get very hectic. I believe that it’s all down to organisation and time management while getting the right balance; I found that going into college and getting a little bit done every day really helped. The busy time is over now as I have completed my exams and all my essays have been submitted, I found that it was all about prioritising my work and having a good work life balance.

Sarah Ann on – sporting heroes:

From a young age I have always looked up to Cora Staunton, she has dominated ladies football for many years, her vision, strength and accuracy in front of the post always amazed me. From watching many interviews of her in the past one quality I admire is her belief in herself and her team mates.

Tony Kelly has also been someone I admired, his skill, speed and leadership is outstanding.

Sarah Ann on – the value of the W.I.T. / WGPA scholarship:

It was a fantastic financial support for me as it made it that bit easier not having financial pressure while deciding to take on the master programme. It is a great opportunity for women in sport to be able to have an opportunity like what I have experienced. The scholarship was a great help not just financially but also for my personal development as an MBS student it has allowed to improve my time management and organisational skills.

Sarah Ann on – advice for anyone thinking of postgraduate study:

I would highly recommend the masters to those considering it. It is an experience I will never forget and an opportunity that I am glad I have taken.

I want to especially thank Conor Phelan and Sheila O Donohoe who introduced me to the programme and supported me throughout the year with anything I needed. I also want to thank WIT scholarship programme who welcomed me onto their scholarship programme.

Sarah Ann on – her proudest moments:

Winning the senior All Ireland with Kilkenny

Winning the Club county final with some my closest friends

Reaching Purcell final in 2016 with a great bunch of players

Returning to play from various injuries and trying to get back even better

Sarah Ann on – herself (in three words!)

Committed, Determined, Driven

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