Third year Sean was a 2020 nominee for student of the year and was also amongst the first ever RecMan students to participate in the Erasmus programme
Sean Whelan is from Waterford City and a past pupil of De La Salle College
What attracted you to study at Waterford Institute of Technology?
The FE course I was participating in had direct links to WIT and my house is just 5/6 minutes of a walk from the main campus. The college also has affordable fees and boasts a range of courses that attracted my interests, more specifically those in the sports category.
Did you always know this was the course you wanted to do?
Not during my secondary school years but once being in the FE course I knew I wanted to get into it. The sports side of it was always an interest from a young age and I knew that the business degree meant that even if a sports related job suddenly wasn’t what I wanted anymore, I would still have learned a range of different business modules to adequately equip me for a career in the corporate business world.
Why did you choose the FE progression route into WIT?
Initially I didn’t achieve the results I wanted from my Leaving Cert, the FE course was suggested to me by a cousin who had previously completed it. I had received an offer for a different course in WIT or had the choice to try get into a sports related course by completing the FE programme. I chose to follow the FE route and even stayed for another year on top of the initial one before moving on to my current course.
What have you done in life prior to studying here?
I have played soccer my whole life with achievements varying from playing in the Kennedy Cup at U14, playing in the Cordial Cup in Austria at U15 and winning a Munster Cup and reaching an All Ireland semi final. All of which were with the Waterford county team. I also won a Youths A League at club level with Tramore and several trophies in school football with De La Salle College.
What words of advice do you have for new students?
Don’t stress out if your results at the beginning of college aren’t what you were hoping to achieve, ensure to follow up with lecturers what it is you need to do to make the rest of those marks. I was initially hitting an average grade that I felt should’ve been higher, but it’s important not to fall into a victim mindset. The lecturers want to give you the marks so put the time and effort in to improve your work and you’ll see results. This is what I did and I am currently reaching my goal grade and was nominated for student of the year 2020 for my course.
What have been the highlights of your college experience?
The friends I’ve made in college have been some of the best I’ve ever had, the craic of nights out and helping each other along with assignments and studying have all been great highlights of my time in college. College has also given me interest in areas I never knew I had previously, gave me a chance to live in a foreign country for a few months and hosted events like the Sports Ball that brought great memories.
How did Erasmus add to your college experience?
My Erasmus experience gave me a chance to embrace a different culture and work in Spain at one of the highest rated Sports Resorts in the whole of Europe. La Manga Club got me to work with high profile teams and athletes and experience what needs to be done at the very highest level. This was an incredible experience that I won’t forget any time soon.