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Forging your own career with past pupil Megan McGuire

1st June 2018

Megan Maguire left Castlepollard Community College in 2015 with two important attributes to pursue her chosen career; a passion and talent in her field of interest, Art and a motivation and drive which was fostered during her time at the college. Megan has been completing her teaching practice hours at the school over the past few months so we decided to ask her how she has forged such magnificent prospects at third level.

Attending the NCAD (National College of Art and Design) has given Megan a double edge to her career prospects. Her course allows her to become a fully qualified Art teacher along with giving her the space to explore her own artistic endeavours in Textiles and Artefeacts. Megan’s style of materials installation work is inspired by her loves of patterns and the great range of music festivals which Megan has experienced all over the world.

Last year Megan won the Mary Cawley Travel Bursary to attend a music festival in Budapest, the world famous, Tsziget Festival at which she gained further inspiration for her work taking in part in workshops and working with other artists. This all links very well with Megan’s career goals as she wants to become a teacher but also work in fashion design.

Enjoying Art was something that came naturally to Megan and as Megan says herself, the encouragement and direction of Castlepollard Community College Art teacher, Ms Mimnagh, only heightened this love of the subject, “Ms Mimnagh was a big influence to push my creative side.” Ms Mimnagh’s encouragement in an extra-curricular sense helped Megan to focus on her goals in the subject also, “Ms Mimnagh brought us to NCAD (National College of Art and Design) to see it in 5th year. Knew then that was what I wanted to do.

Along with this Megan cites the overall atmosphere of the school as important in her education at second level, “The small class sizes and friendly atmosphere with the teachers meant there was always a supportive and friendly atmosphere in all my classes. It was great to have this bond with teachers as they knew when you might have been struggling with something and then they were able to help you.”

When speaking with Megan you get a strong sense of her drive and ambition and this can be seen in the various scholarships she has been awarded and worked hard to achieve at third level. Megan was awarded the “1916 Leader and Learner bursary for people in higher education” which has been a huge help to her development as a teacher and an artist. The award is designed to assist motivated and talented young people at third level who have contributed to the community.

Megan’s work as a leader in her local community in Dublin, which she does along with her studies again shows the drive and ambition she is using to her advantage. The award was a huge honour which Megan recently received in the GPO from the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton. Megan will use the money to travel to Central St Martin’s Art College in London to broaden her artist horizons and experience in the industry.

When asked what advice she would give to students when they leave for third level education, Megan says, “Believe in yourself and always push yourself further than you think you can. You don’t expect you can do things until you give your best effort. I never thought I’d be back teaching. I could only dream of being a teacher and giving back.”

Castlepollard Community College
Castlepollard, Co.Westmeath
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