Study leads to a dream career

Marty McLaughlin with Ben McGuckin, Head of Performance Analyst at Derry County GAA.(Submitted Image).
Marty McLaughlin with Ben McGuckin, Head of Performance Analyst at Derry County GAA.(Submitted Image).

A Portglenone man says going back to school has helped him land his dream job.

Studying at Northern Regional College can open up all kinds of different career opportunities for people with the right skills, qualifications and motivation and, as Marty McLaughlin found out, it’s never too late to change direction.

Marty (27) qualified as a joiner when he left school but after a few years decided to try something completely different. He enrolled for Level Two Diploma in Sport at the College’s Coleraine campus and then progressed to complete the Level Three Diploma in Sport at the College’s Magherafelt GAA Academy. With these qualifications under his belt, he went back to Coleraine and did a Foundation degree in Sports, Exercise and Fitness.

Marty is now in the final year of a Coaching degree at Ulster University, Jordanstown, fitting his study around a part-time job as performance analyst with County Derry GAA Board and coaching commitments with local clubs.

Damian McGarry, Course Director of the Foundation Degree for Sport, Exercise and Fitness at the College’s Coleraine campus said Marty landed his dream job with the Derry GAA as a result of a 10-week Sector Specific Project (SSP) work placement he completed as part of his Foundation degree.

“Marty is one of our real success stories,” he said.

“He progressed from studying at Level Two right through to doing a degree and he is now working as a performance analyst with the County Board, all as a result of contacts made during his Foundation degree.

Marty says that going back to College was his best decision ever as it helped get him into a line of work that he really enjoys,” said Damian.

Marty added: “Performance analysis is a rapidly growing area of sport science and there are great new career opportunities are opening up. If I hadn’t gone back to College, I would never have never have landed a dream job - getting paid to watch football!”

*NRC courses across all campuses will be showcased at Open Days this month.