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With college coming to an end, students wonder what the future may hold.  Who knows they might end up going into politics. Before they entered the Dail, Enda Kenny, Micheal Martin among various other TDs studied in universities.  Below is the story of three TDs that talk about their college lives and offer advices to current students.

 

 

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Name: Jim Daly

Political Party/Area/Committee: Fine Gael/Cork South West/Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform.

Alma Mater: BA Degree (Gaeilge and Philosophy) NUI Maynooth and Grad Dip Education (Primary) Mary I Limerick

 

1)      You have attended various colleges in your life. Was there any of them in particular that you liked or disliked?

I’ve been to two different colleges. I did my primary degree in NUI Maynooth and I did a postgraduate diploma in Mary I college in Limerick. I have very fond memories of Maynooth and it was a growing university at the time. It’s now a very big university. In its early stages and while it was growing, it had a family atmosphere because it was small enough to network so I have very fond memories of that.  As for Mary I, I spent eighteen months there. It was ok. I found it very difficult to go back to Mary I. It was restrictive and it was more like a secondary school than a third level college.

 

2)      What was your favourite moment in college?

My favourite moment in college was passing my exams and getting my degree in Maynooth. The highlight of my college life was definitely my graduation day and night. I have very fond memories of that time.

 

3)      What was your least favourite experience in college?

My least favourite experience in college was failing my teaching practice in Mary I. I think I was on my second term there and when you fail anything, it’s not nice and it’s not positive. I went back and I subsequently got it but that would certainly be my least favourite experience I had in college.

 

4)      How has college helped you in your career and life today?

I think the biggest strength that college has got going for it is to help you grow up and you have to grow up very fast having to go out and live an independent life. Some people typically think that it’s a free and easy life where you have no responsibility. You actually have an enormous amount of responsibility in college because you have to manage your own affairs and your own life and timetables for the first time ever. You are coming out of your own comfort zone away from a local area. I came from the tiny village of Drinagh to go up to the city of Dublin. It’s a big change. However, I think that the biggest benefit that I would still bring with me that I learnt from college is networking by getting to know people and getting involved in organisations. I was the vice chairman of the Irish Language Society in Maynooth.  It was a great opportunity which was a very challenging but very rewarding time where we organised events and guests speakers. That art of networking continues with me today.

 

5)      Is there any advice that you wish to give students attending college today?

I never like to give advice but I always share my own opinions and views. So if I was going back to college, would I change much? Not especially. I think you have to enjoy it and it’s important to enjoy. Moderation is good in all areas of life. I think there is something about learning that gives me the greatest buzz in life to this day. I don’t have enough time to read or research. I hated going to the library when I was in college. It was the one last place we had to be but I certainly say to students enjoy that side as well. The learning side of it. Learning can be fun. I know it sounds patronising but I think as you grow older in life, you appreciate more and more the time that you have to learn in college. Cherish it and you make some great friendships there. Keep up those friendships; they’re well worth working at to keep them up for the future.

dessie ellis

Name: Dessie Ellis

Political Party/Area/Committee: Sinn Fein/Dublin North West/Joint Administration Committee and Environment, Transport, Culture and Gaeltacht.

Alma Mater: Kevin Street College of Technology

 

1)      What was your favourite moment in college?

I was mainly working throughout my years there but yeah I did have good times while I was there. I wouldn’t have a particular favourite moment.

 

2)      What was your least favourite experience in college?

When I was in Kevin Street College of Technology, I was working four nights a week. It was pretty hard going working.

 

3)      How has college helped you in your career and life today?

Thanks to my course, I’ve been an engineer. I’ve worked on television, video and other electrical stuff in Kevin’s Street College. I’ve done electronic telecommunications and other subjects that went with that. I’ve done an apprenticeship of being a technician which helped me with my television repair company.

 

4) Is there any advice that you wish to give students attending college today?

Students should do their best and try to improve themselves but they should pick something that they enjoy and that they have an interest in which I think is very important.

 

 

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Name: Michael Creed

 

Political Party/Area/Committee: Fine Gael/Cork North West/Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and Justice, Defence and Equality.

 

Alma Mater: University College Cork and College of Commerce in Rathmines

 

 

 

1)      You have attended various colleges in your life. Was there any of them in particular that you liked or disliked?

 

I enjoyed all of them but I suppose particularly UCC which was my first port of call after my Leaving Certificate and I suppose you’re more wide eyed and innocent back then at that stage and years later, I studied in the College of Commerce in Rathmines which is now a part of DIT but I think UCC will always have a place in my heart.

 

 

2)      What was your favourite moment in college?

 

I think the relief of passing exams. It fortunately happened to me on all occasions but also I think the friendships you make in college are ones that would probably last a lifetime and I managed to make a few good friends in college particularly in UCC which was more sociable to learn in than the College of Commerce in Rathmines which was an early morning trek that was an in and out course every Wednesday and Thursday morning for a couple of years.

 

 

3)      What was your least favourite experience in college?

 

Doing exams was my least favourite part of college. I remember in UCC when the cherry blossoms were blooming outdoors, we kind of knew the time was up and it put fear of God into us about exams. So I think exams were a difficult thing to deal with in college.

 

 

4)      How has college helped you in your career and life today?

 

A formal education is always something to have under your belt. It’s not a requirement for a successful career in politics but it’s a great help and that combined with life experiences which you can only acquire as ticks on, will help you succeed in the world of politics. The history that I studied in college became useful in the political district. College is an important ingredient in politics as much as it is in any other career. It provides a broader insight into life and politics. I think education fortifies you. It gives you a more philosophical outlook on life and whether it’s your career or private life and relationships, it’s important to have that fortification and philosophical overview.

 

 

5)      Is there any advice that you wish to give students attending college today?

 

Enjoy it. I look back now and realise that they were absolutely the best years of my life and at the time my buddies and I would worry about exams, relationships and girlfriends among other things. Nonetheless, those were the best times of our lives or my life anyway. I would say to students enjoy them. They are in some way a shelter from the chilly winds the economy is blowing at the moment so coming out of college with a qualification is important but enjoying the journey from college is equally important.