Browse through hundreds of WIT student and graduate stories on our student stories news section or under Stories on the relevant course page
Ann-Marie Kirwan came to WIT as a mature student and is now continuing on her studies on a graduate programme. Ann-Marie wants everyone to know that it is never too late to go back and with the support measures in place at WIT they will help you get through any of the tough times
What have you been doing since completing your degree?
I have been doing some artwork and I do a lot of voluntary work at Butler Gallery in Kilkenny in the castle and I started a 2 year MFA, which is a Masters in Fine Art two year graduate course in NCAD, the National College of Art and Design.
What stands out to you about your WIT experience?
As a mature student I found it really educational. A lot of support, a lot of help and I can only say as a mature student who’s been out of school since 1983 so going back into a college environment I had no experience of it and all of the lecturers were really helpful and understanding, there was a lot of support and I really-really enjoyed it. It was fantastic I’d recommend it, not only as a mature student but for young people and even my age, really for anybody.
What words of advice do you have for new students?
I would definitely recommend it and to make the most out of it. Attend as many classes as you can and I know I might be saying this because I am a mature student and a mother but I think I would give the same advice if I was 20, trying to get to as many classes as you can, and get involved in the students union, get involved in different things that are going on. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, you might go on and do further education or an MA but just grab it with both hands and enjoy it.
How do you feel about graduating?
A little bit nervous but I’m excited. It’s lovely to see everybody because we haven’t seen each other since the end of May when we did our graduate show. We haven’t seen one another really, so it’s lovely to see everybody. It’s lovely to have the gowns and the experience.
What have you done in life prior to studying here?
I did a level 5 and a level 6 in the Ormonde College in Kilkenny and previous to that I had lived in Spain for nine years, and I also worked there. And previous to that I worked for an insurance company in Shannon Co Clare.
What advice would you give to people wanting to return as a mature student?
When I was in school even doing my leaving cert in 1983 I always loved art, always wanted to do art. I guess just for me when I left school, started working, got married and had my family, it just seemed right. My son is 20 so it seemed like the right time to go back.
Definitely do it, it’s well worth it. There’s a mature student group for the students union which is active. When you get here you kind of bond, your all in a class and you just get on and support one another. As I said, there’s good days and bad days and coming up to things like the thesis or an exhibition it’s hard but you find that people really support one another.
How did this course help you?
It’s made me want to go on and do the MFA, it’s made me read a lot more, I would have read the likes of twine stories before but now I’m interested in anything related to philosophy; I never thought I’d say something like that, Or even poetry, it’s made me more interested in literature that I wouldn’t have normally read.
Interviewed at conferring 2019 by Killian Fitzgerald