Graduate Stories

Outdoor Education Graduate - Colin Walshe

What I do: Adventure Sports Officer for CYC

I'm working as an Adventure Sports Officer for Catholic Youth Care.  I am basically a youth development officer but focussed on using adventure sports for development.  I have set up a number of Adventure Clubs around Dublin for disadvantaged young people.  These clubs are the main focus of my work.  They are structured from youthwork guidelines and successful outdoor education programmes.  It is my job to see that the clubs continue to run by this structure.  I work with some of the clubs directly and hire tutors for clubs that I can't work with.  These tutors will work alongside the youth worker for the area.  It is also my responsibility to raise money for programmes through grant applications.

How the course helped me

The outdoor education degree was very important for my career. It gave me a clear idea of what needed to be done for my job and how to go about it.  My dissertation especially allowed me to research the company I work for and the work they do.  I also learned modern youth work and outdoor education methods which I regularly use in my job.  Practical assessments throughout the year were really good to practice groupwork skills and techniques.  I had experience working with youth groups as an instructor but I didn't have the knowledge necessary to work in a management type role.  The degree gave me this and confidence in my ability to do the job.  Managing the workload of the final year of the degree was also important to my current position because it gave me an idea of how much I am capable of as well as my limitations.  I was also great to have the opportunity to get new outdoor qualifications and improve on different sports like sea kayaking, windsurfing, and surfing.  The standard of guidance in these sports as well as with my career path was excellent.