BSc Econs – graduated 1974
· "My initial intention on graduating was to pursue a career in accountancy but after joining a national accountancy practice in Belfast, I quickly realised it was not for me and returned to higher education and a PGCE at Stranmillis College.
After four years teaching at Carrickmannon Primary School I made another career change and joined the family travel agency, McNeill Rigby Travel, where I spent two years before returning to education as a lecturer in the (then) College of Business Studies in Belfast (now subsumed into Belfast Metropolitan College).
I finally severed my links with the education sector by joining the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) as Assistant Director and subsequently became a radio producer at BBC Radio Ulster responsible for business and general programmes.
When my children were born I moved to part-time employment with the charity, Business in the Community, and during my four years there became full time and a Director of the organisation.
As my daughters reached primary school age I sought another part-time role and joined the Institute of Directors in 1995 as Director of the Northern Ireland Division where I remain today.
Having a degree from such a respected institution as Queen’s has undoubtedly benefited my CV.
Aside from the content of my degree, my knowledge of the University and the network of fellow students has been useful in various roles where I have needed to source information on a wide range of issues.
On the social side, I joined the Queen’s Ladies Boat Club and still row competitively with many of the people I rowed with during my time at university.
· At the time when I took my degree, work experience as part of the course was not common practice for students, and apart perhaps jobs during the vacations, preparation for working life was minimal. I would encourage students to obtain as much experience of working in different industries as possible, not just for the experience of daily working life but also for the network of contacts that can prove invaluable when seeking full-time, permanent employment.
· I would recommend Queen’s as a choice of university. The location of the campus and the investment in modern buildings and facilities make Queen’s a university where students can enjoy both the academic life and the benefits of a vibrant city centre. The university also offers a very wide range of social, cultural and sporting opportunities. An economics degree is a useful foundation for a career in many business sectors as well as the public sector, and as a step in one’s lifelong learning.
· Before going to Queen’s I was a pupil at Methodist College Belfast."