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FEATURES  11

February 09 2015

Jules Macken YEAR OF GRADUATION: 2002 & 2003 COURSE AT NUI GALWAY: B.Comm

& ­Spanish, Higher Diploma in Marketing Practices CURRENT OCCUPATION: Global ­Communication Manager Heineken

What is your fondest memory of NUI Galway? Printable ones? I loved living in Corrib Village in first year. I was with a lot of the international students, who come with such a different perspective on college life and they really widened my experience (beyond just the bar and the GPO – not that there is anything wrong with either and I spent a good deal of my time in both just to be sure). Erasmus was a gift and something I would recommend everyone to take part in if given the chance. Oh, and I met my partner there – you know, happy ever after…

Has NUI Galway changed since you were here? Well, it’s at least twice the size. St. Anthony’s is unrecognisable – not least for having good heating – and I would need a map/guide to navigate it.

How did attending NUI Galway develop you as a person? Most of my school friends went to college in Dublin, so I became more independent in Galway. But I also feel that in a city where 25% of the population is students, there is a very different vibe. There was always a laid back aspect to life in NUIG and I think I have retained throughout my life.

Did you partake in any societies, sports clubs or volunteering at NUI Galway? I had great notions of joining all of them. In the end, I stuck to what I knew and played hockey. I really considered the rowing club, but the lycra was just not for me.

IN PROFILE: Ronan Walsh, President of JCI Galway WHAT IS JCI?

JCI Galway is a part of Junior Chamber International, a world wide not-for-profit organisation of 18 to 40 year olds; people who are engaged and committed to creating impact in their communities. JCI also offers the platform to develop your perosnal leadership skills, become a better public speaker, and get involved in event and project management and so much more. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH JCI?

I was an entrant is some of the projects they ran in 2012 and 2013 and saw the good work JCI does in the community. The more I learned about the work JCI does the more I wanted to be a part of it and I became a member towards the end of 2013.

AS THE PRESIDENT OF JCI, WHAT ARE YOUR DUTIES?

All JCI office positions are for one year, so you have one year to lead. As local President I oversee the running of the local organisation. With the help of my council we oversee all the projects, membership recruitment and management of the local organisation. As President I also sit on the National Executive Council of JCI Ireland and attend all national and some international events. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GETTING INVOLVED WITH JCI?

JCI is a learn-by-doing organisation; the more you put into it the more you get out of it. JCI is unique as it offers opportunities across four main areas; Personal Development (through training sessions, project management); Community Involvment (via community projects); Business opportunities (through networking opportunities and business projects); and International Opportunities (European and world conferences). HOW COULD I GET INVOLVED WITH JCI?

Anyone aged 18-40 can become a members of JCI. We meet once a month on the second Tuesday of each month at 8pm in the Harbour Hotel. These are free events and there will be a guest speaker offering training on a particular topic. We encourage people to come along to these open meeting to find out more about JCI. For more on JCI Galway, visit www.jcigalway.org.

We did form A.S.S.: The Alternative Spanish Society, we found ourselves far more fluent as the night went on.

What was the college newspaper like when you were in NUI Galway? Did you write for it? I have no idea – I may not always have been the most high-brow student.

Do you ever miss NUI Galway? I do, every time I drive by it. I loved it; I loved the craic, the people and the easy-going nature of life in NUIG.

Any juicy stories of your time here? Beer required to answer that one.

so I know about these things. Explore, be curious, enjoy.

What advice would you give to current NUI Galway students?

If you could go back and do it all again, what would you do differently?

Without trying to be hideously patronising: don’t be afraid, do something you love – if you haven’t found it yet don’t worry, but keep looking. Work-life balance is important – I work for a beer brand,

Well I’d buy better rain gear for a start. But I also think I would have liked to get more involved. We were a small class of eight people, which was great for cohesion and a sense of belonging, but was also a little isolating.

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