Graduate Stories

Outdoor Education Graduate - Josie Fitzpatrick

The BA (Honours) in Outdoor Education has been very beneficial for me because I was keen to work abroad and gain experience. I worked for two different companies in New Zealand, in both very similar positions.

The first company was called ”Full On” and they run their programmes during the summer in Wales, Italy, NZ and Australia and I worked in three locations. The type of course they organise focuses on self-development through the outdoors. They do a lot of outdoor education and adventure activities in New Zealand
throughout the year. I also worked for the Youth and Outdoors department of the YMCA in Christchurch. The other company I worked for was called “Village Camps”. They are based in Switzerland and France. They run outdoor education camps for international schools in Spring and Autumn.

I worked in the organisational administration side of outdoor education as well as instructing. I find it a great balance. I get to work behind the scenes making things happen such as liaising with clients and planning their programmes and helping them to identify the goals and adjusting activities to ensure these learning outcomes are met. I also instruct some of the activities so I get to see the projects or courses through, which is great for feedback and it also allows me to see what works and what doesn’t. I really liked travelling and seeing how different cultures make use of the outdoors for both recreation and development.

Over the 4 year programme at GMIT Mayo Campus and through the work experience you get such a thorough understanding of the different aspects of outdoor education and development. After the programme I felt I had developed a good understanding of how to plan programmes of outdoor education. I had also developed the facilitation skills needed to run these programmes. I found that having a BA Honours in Outdoor Education opened a few doors in getting work in the organisational side of adventure education. The information technology and business subjects on the programme were also beneficial. I have now applied to further my education in this field with an MSc in Outdoor Education at the University of Edinburgh.