Although having an extremely successful career Andrea was looking for more meaning in life which lead her down the route of the spirituality programme at WIT
Andrea Hayes is from Dublin and has previously studied in DIT. Andrea came to WIT to complete the Ma in Spirituality at WIT.
Prior to studying this programme I:
I felt I had all the personal qualities required for the demanding and rigorous academic journey despite not having the entry requirements required. I believed myself to be a passionate, reflexive and experienced researcher as proven in my professional career in TV and Radio Production, having presented and executively produced numerous TV and Radio Series for many years. My ability to write was evidenced in a successful career as a best-selling author of four books. However, despite studying in DIT many years ago, I failed to complete my degree, instead opting to take up employment in post-production in Windmill Lane studios, which started my TV production career over 25 years ago.
Returning to college was daunting and applying through the recognition of prior learning (RPL) application process took some time. This process is used to evaluate skills and knowledge gained through life outside of formal education and training, for the purpose of recognising life achievements against a given set of standards or learning outcomes. I owe much to Dr Michael O’Sullivan, Programme Leader of the MA in Applied Spirituality, who helped me enormously along this arduous process. Fortunately my RPL application was successful and I accepted a place on the course.
My motivation for doing the Applied Spirituality programme was:
Despite a very successful career, I had a longing for more meaning in my life, I felt something was missing. Luckily by incorporating my work and studies as a Spiritual Companion and my genuine interest in spirituality lead me to the master’s programme of Applied Spirituality offered at WIT. Instantly, I was excited by the nature of the course. The strong emphasis on a variety of disciplines including anthropology, psychology, sociology, science, philosophy and the arts are employed to explore the authentic spiritual dimension of human experience, and the reciprocal interconnection between the interior self and the earth community. Students get to apply theoretical phenomena into real-life projects. For instance, my dissertation explored the spirituality of National Parks as sacred places of worship in a post-modern context.
The Applied Spirituality programme has impacted my career in the following way:
My own transformation during the Master’s Program was grounded in the spiritual understanding that authenticity is an insurmountable force in our everyday lives. Embracing this authentic desire to pursue further graduate studies in the field of eco-spirituality has lead me to apply for a PhD research programme at WIT. I look forward to being part of the WIT community for a few more years.
My advice for adult learners considering this programme at the moment is:
Don’t delay and start your WIT journey today - Your future self will thank you for it. Despite the unfolding of Covid-19 during my year of study I have to say my experience was one of growth and evolution. This transformation is due to a number of factors. I am grateful for the educational sustenance provided by Dr Michael O’Sullivan and Bernadette Flanagan, associate Professor of Spirituality. I wish to also acknowledge the wonderful team of erudite lecturers, their teachings will be stay with me forever. So too will the friendship of my fellow spiritual learners. The strength of my experience is due to all these people who supported my research and kindly nurtured me with encouragement and wisdom.
Why I would recommend studying in Waterford/WIT:
I was impressed with the MA in Applied Spirituality at WIT, a research-led institution committed to innovative spiritual research in association with SPIRE. I believe this MA to be world class and would have no hesitation in recommending it.