Graduate Stories

Outdoor Education Graduate - Sarah O’Regan

Sarah O’Regan

What I do: Lieutenant stationed in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin

I am a 25 year old graduate of GMIT Mayo.  In 2006 I completed an Honours degree in Business Outdoor Education and Leisure.  Currently I am a Lieutenant in the army stationed in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin.  After completing my degree I applied for the Cadetship in the Defence Forces to become an officer in the army. The competition process to apply for the Cadetship is a long and involved, with prelim interviews, fitness test, group assessments, psychometric testing and a final interview. For success in the prelim interview you had to demonstrate various competencies. These are planning and organising, leadership and supervision, physical capacity, decision making and problem solving, information handling, communications, personnel motivation and discipline, resilience and working with others.  For each one I had to give two examples and how in my everyday life I displayed them.


How the course helped me

This is where my degree played a major role in my success in my application.  Later after successfully getting a place in the 84th Cadet Class, my other skills and experiences that I had gained while in college came to the fore. In the initial stages we did a lot of hill walking and map reading. Due to completing mountain skills and mountain leader training this gave me a great starting platform to work from and improve. Also the study and researching skills for my dissertation and assignments stood to me during my academic phase. I must say what I studied, gained from hands on experience and knowledge imparted on me from Lecturers and instructors during my time in GMIT Castlebar was a great grounding during my Cadetship and now as a commissioned officer. There is only so much you can learn in the classroom, where as the outdoor world has no boundaries, it gave me that sense, desire and want “for a life less ordinary” that the army provides anyone who joins.