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June 2010 Issue 5

Inside NCI The magazine for friends of National College of Ireland

Legends In Your Lunchtime Insight Debates: the public sector debate

Progressions Clubs and Societies Awards & Formal Ball




Welcome Inside NCI, the fifth edition of the magazine and the first since my arrival at NCI. It’s been a steep learning curve for me, getting to know NCI, our staff, our various boards, alumni, students and getting the perspectives of industry and external bodies such as the HEA; but the level of support for NCI is very encouraging. I’ve gained a lot from absolutely everyone I’ve met and whilst we have some very big challenges ahead I am very encouraged by the goodwill and desire to help from our boards and by the commitment and engagement of our staff. The current economic climate has led to the initiation of a series of transformation programmes within public services and third - level education is no exception, with a report on the strategic review of the sector due later in June of this year. Whilst the demand for full-time enrolment in publicly funded HEIs will grow from approximately 155,000 at present to almost 190,000 students within five years and to 270,000 students by 2030, it’s clear that the sector will be asked to find ways of delivering education to learners with a minimum of additional resources. Over the coming months we’ll be reviewing our strategy for the next five years and we will need to ensure that our strategy is informed by the transformation proposed for the sector. So it will be a busy time for us as we catch our breath following institutional and programmatic reviews and of course, exam marking. One thing that won’t change is our belief that education can transform lives and that NCI can offer a distinctive learning experience. We also have new programmes to launch for September including our MSc in Management, MSc in Marketing and MSc, Higher Diploma and Certificate in Web Technologies so we’ll be working hard to ensure that all of these programmes are fully subscribed. You’ll see from this issue that we’ve also had some great events at the college with our Insight Debate Series, Legends in Your Lunchtime, Business Innovation breakfast seminars and our Change Your Life Education Fund. I also have to mention our NCI Alumni Community and encourage those of you who have registered, to encourage others you may know to sign up as well and have the opportunity to win a luxury weekend away for two. Finally, next year will be our 60th anniversary and we will be marking the occasion so watch this space…

Dr. Phillip Matthews


EDITOR’S LETTER Welcome to the 5th edition of Inside NCI, your regular round-up of news, views and events from across National College of Ireland. As with everything we do at the college we’re striving for continuous improvement here at Inside NCI. We’d love to hear your views on the publication, especially on the new features we’ve introduced (like Hatches & Matches on page 5). What’s not working for you, and what would you like to read more of?

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To help us make the next edition even better, email or write to: Emma Henderson National College of Ireland Mayor Square IFSC, Dublin 1.


Inside NCI is back in September this year, but in the meantime you can keep up with NCI news and initiatives through our website,, or by adding your name to our mailing list. Just drop us a line on inside@ to be emailed about upcoming events at the college.


You can also follow us on Twitter ( ncirl), join our group on LinkedIn or become a fan of our Facebook page.

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Special thanks as always to the contributors to this publication:


Editor: Emma Henderson Design: Gráinne McElroy

In this issue 2 3 4 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 17

2010 so far in pictures Insight Debates: the public sector debate NCI Noticeboard Change Your Life Education Fund Legends In Your Lunchtime Foundation News Alumni Interview: Margaret Dromey Clubs and Societies Awards & Formal Ball Progressions: learning that works for the financial services NCI's Business Incubation Centre Student Slice: A slice of life at NCI It's the business New faces at NCI

Editorial: Emily Barry Josephine Bleach Beatrice Cantalejo Emma Henderson Thomas Mallon Lindsey McQuaid Neal Newman Photography: Bonnie Cullen Deryck Tormey Fennell Photography June 2010 Issue 5

Inside NCI The

Ireland l College of of Nationa for friends magazine

Legends In Your Lunchtime

Cover Image John O’Shea, Founder and CEO, Goal, speaking at Legends in Your Lunchtime

Debates: Insight sector debate the public


Societies Clubs and Formal Ball Awards &




NCI: 01 4498 500

2010 so far in Pictures

NCI lecturer Elaine Maher (School of Computing) is pictured with school children from City Quay primary school in April, testing out a new range of computer games that they helped NCI students to create. Second year students from NCI’s School of Computing worked with 7-8 year old pupils of the school to develop the games.

Top selling author Sheila O’Flanagan launched a major charity book sale at NCI in May. The event was organised by five organisations from the Docklands Seniors Providers Forum (Age Action, Care Local, Friendly Call Service, Lourdes Day Care Centre and NASCADH CDP) to raise much needed funds to continue their work in the Docklands community. NCI's new teaching fellows, Rachel Doherty and Orla Lahart, receive their certificates from college President, Dr. Phillip Matthews, in February.

Pictured L-R are NCI students Mairead Butler, Fiona Briggs and Caoimhse O’Dea, at a bake sale in aid of the Tanzania Volunteer project in March. Susie Cuddy (not pictured) organised the event and a total of €550 was raised.

21-year-old Meabh Sweetman,studying the BA (Honours) in Financial Services, at the NCI Fashion Show in March. NCI student, Gary Rafferty, demonstrates his winning project to Paul Rellis, MD of Microsoft Ireland and keynote speaker, at the NCI Project Showcase. See page 14 for more on this event.


in association with

L-R: Ruairi Quinn, Jack O’Connor, Blair Horan, Karen Coleman, Mark Fielding, Pat McArdle and Austin Hughes.

Insight Debate Series The

main players in the public sector pay deal debate came together for a live public debate at NCI in April. Part of the college’s Insight Debate Series, run in partnership with the Irish Times and Newstalk 106-108 fm, these free events are designed to elevate and enliven public discussion on the major topical issues of the day. Arguing against the motion ‘This house believes that Ireland can no longer afford a bloated and inefficient public sector’ were Ruairi Quinn TD, general secretary of the Civil Public and Services Union (CPSU), Blair Horan, and SIPTU general president Jack O’Connor. Ruairi Quinn welcomed the debate and said: “The private sector is in no position to give lectures to the public sector about efficiency or prudence. Maybe we should get beyond the sterile position of private sector good, public sector bad or vice versa, and look for the benefits and efficiencies in both sectors.” Those supporting the motion included chief executive of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME), Mark Fielding; Chief Economist of KBC Bank, Austin Hughes, and economist and Irish Times columnist,

Mark Fielding commented: “I believe that a strong public sector is an important and essential component of any modern economy, but it has to be efficient, cost effective and focused on delivering value for money. However, from education to local government, years of ignoring accountability, efficiency and value for money in the public sector have led to a culture of waste and crisis management, which has led to a “statutory entitlement” attitude to taxpayers’ money, among civil servants and public sector workers”. The debate was chaired by broadcaster Karen Coleman, presenter of The Wide Angle on Newstalk 106-108 fm, and included a lively audience Q&A. After a public vote, the debate was declared a draw.

“The private sector is in no position to give lectures to the public sector about efficiency or prudence” Ruairi Quinn TD


2 minute Interview Michele Ryan

Dean of School of Community Studies

NCI Noticeboard Zooming Ahead There

Elsewhere, research projects are underway as part of the Educational Guidance Programme. Fifth and sixth class students in the local schools have devised questionnaires to ask others their views on second and third-level education. The students will be presenting their results at an exhibition on 17th June in NCI.

is great excitement in the local community around NCI at the moment. Children, schools, parents and families are all involved with various events and exhibitions organised by the Early Learning Initiative, part of NCI’s School Houses, hotels and streets were being bought and of Community Studies. sold as local children prepared for NCI’s Monopoly The Zoom Ahead with Books Project Tournament. This was a huge success, thanks to started after Easter with children parents and teachers working in partnership, both at reading books at home every night with home and in school.

1. A common misperception of me is... what you see is what you get 2. I’m good at... pondering trifles 3. I’m not-so-good at... small talk 4. The ideal night out is... cloudless 5. The last book I read was… Millennium I (followed in quick succession by II & III) 6. The last cd I listened to was… Mark Knopfler – Dire Straits have a certain resonance

a ‘book buddy’, in most cases a parent. After discussing the book, they both As one teacher noted: “For many it was an opportunity to play a game from their childhood that their child had draw their favourite illustration. never played before. There was such an atmosphere Exhibitions took place in NCI and the of fun during the sessions that the parents were very local schools on 2nd and 3rd June of enthusiastic about participating.” the wonderful artwork produced by the We’ve had great feedback, including these comments from some of the children: “I love doing the Zoom Ahead. I feel like a prince or something when me and me ma is doing it. We do be all snuggled up and comfy.” “Me and me ma have one favourite book. Its called “The Lonely Troll”. Me ma thought it was the “Billy Goats Gruff” but I caught her out! It was gas!”

Early Learning

Initiative of Ireland National College College ’s & St Patrick

Along with the Parent Child Home Programme graduation play sessions in NCI, story telling sessions in the early years setting and the Stretch to Learn Awards, there is never a dull moment. All are detailed in latest ELI newsletter, which has a theme of ‘transitions’. For a copy, contact the ELI Team on

Rebecca O’Reardon, PCHP participant

zooam ks d with boo ahe

7. The best part of my job is… the company I keep 8. It frustrates me when… money matters 9. A phrase I use far too often is... notwithstanding and nonetheless (which my colleagues tell me is shorthand for ”no”) 10. In a nutshell, my philosophy is… the proof of the pudding is in the eating


Career Boot Camp Is Back

16th - 21st August 2010

More than 1000 people attended NCI's Career Boot Camp last year, a weeklong programme

of free advisory events aimed at the unemployed, or those who feel that their job is at risk. The college is running the event again this year between 16th and 21st August to provide people with practical help in the current employment market, and give real skills and insights to cope with the new rules of the job search. Keep an eye on the NCI website for details of the events, seminars and workshops that will make up this year's programme, or email for more details.

s and M e h a tch es H a tc Congratulations to…

OpenCoffee Club Dublin

...Margaret Brennan, National Campus Network, on the birth of baby Holly on the 9th September 2009.

...Emma Fry, IT Department, who married Stephane Claude in Dublin on April 9th… and again in France on April 24th!

...Jimmy Hill, Dean of the School of Business, on the birth of his first grandson Laochra. And congratulations to Jimmy's daughter Caoimhe, too!

...Marketing’s Robert Ward and wife Joanne, on the birth of baby Vanessa on February 24th 2010.

The Dublin club is organised by Martha Rotter of Microsoft. For more information see Martha’s blog at http://www.

... Frances Sheridan, School of Computing, who got engaged to John at New Year.

...IT’s John Rushe and his wife Mairead on the birth of baby Tom on 14th December last year. ...Sinead Harte, Finance, who got engaged to Daniel in April. ... Gemma Lynch, Student Services, who got married to John in January. ...Aine Casey, Finance, who had baby Nicole, on 31st May 2010.

More than 50 people attended the recent meetings of OpenCoffee Club Dublin that were hosted by NCI on May 6th and June 3rd. OpenCoffee Clubs are held in over 73 cities around the world and are intended to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and investors to network, make contacts and talk about their work. The events were also a great opportunity to highlight the work of the National e-Learning Laboratory at NCI, along with the college’s Business Incubation Centre and great new range of courses in Web Technologies.

...Emily Barry, Marketing, who adopted four ‘urban chickens’: Sarah, Shellzer, Bernie and Tyrannosaurus Chickenbone (known as Tyra).

An Post Direct Mail Awards The shortlist was recently announced for the 2010 An Post Direct Mail Awards… and we’re on it! National College of Ireland has been shortlisted for a direct mail campaign to Guidance Counsellors. The purpose of the campaign was to announce, in a memorable and thoughtprovoking manner, that NCI now accepts Foundation Level Maths as part of our minimum entry requirements and to highlight the support the college provides in this area. Details of the competition can be seen at www.anpostdmawards. com.


Win a chance to change your life with Metro Herald, Ireland AM and National College of Ireland.


year, National College of Ireland and Metro Herald launched the Change Your Life Education Fund, offering an amazing opportunity for anyone wishing to improve, enhance or enrich their life through education. An amazing prize package was up for grabs, with an educational fund worth €20,000 and €15,000 in other supports, like personal mentoring, computer equipment and a personal style package worth €1,000. With the help of Ireland AM, broadcast live each morning on TV3, Metro Herald and NCI can now offer this fantastic competition for the second year running. Victoria O’Brien, Executive Producer of Ireland AM on TV3, said: “Ireland AM is delighted to get involved and to help the Change Your Life Education Fund grow and develop for its second year. In the current economic climate this prize is more valuable than ever. As well as the generous education fund, the winner will receive all the tools and support they need to update their professional image and present themselves in the best possible light. We look forward to hearing your inspiring, real-life stories and to sharing these on the show as the competition progresses.” NCI President Phillip Matthews added: “National College of Ireland’s part-time courses help many students to reach their full potential. We know that education changes lives and – just as we do with all our students - we will provide the winner of this contest with every support possible to help them change theirs.” The competition also marks the launch of NCI’s new range of part-time courses in business, computing and community studies, including the exciting new Masters programmes in Web Technologies, Management and Marketing. Metro Herald Editor, Chris Cowley, said:“We were thrilled with the response to the competition last year and by the standard of entries we received. Each one was a powerful real-life story that outlined how education could change that individual’s life for the better. This is a fantastic opportunity for somebody to win a life-changing prize.”

How to Enter

Ireland AM presenters: the popular programme has teamed up with NCI and Metro Herald this year.

Prizes: There is a fantastic prize package on offer, which includes: • An education fund worth €20,000 • Training needs analysis & skills sessions, worth €5,000 • Mentoring throughout the programme , worth €5,000 • Two sessions with a top executive coach, worth €2,000 • Personal Style Package, worth €1,000 • Laptop and software, worth €1,000 • €500 Book Allowance • Personal fitness assessment & gym membership, worth €500

To enter, all you need to do is answer one simple question: why do you want to change your life, and how could education help? Simply visit the competition page on the NCI website,, to download an application form and the contest terms and conditions. If you cannot access the site, contact Emma Henderson at the college, on 01 4498652 or to receive a copy by post or e-mail. All applications must be in English or Irish, and must be submitted no later than 5pm on Friday, July 23rd.


Student Spotlight 22-year-old Stephanie Dredge was a finalist in the competition and a recipient of the Change Your Life Scholarship. She talked to us about the competition, the scholarship and what returning to education has meant to her.

Why did you want to change your life through education?

I went to college straight after my Leaving Cert and it just wasn’t for me. The course was very demanding and I didn’t settle into it. I left at Christmas and started work in Bank of Ireland, where I got a better idea of what suited me and what my strengths and aptitudes are. I realised that ideally I want to stay with the bank and move out of branch banking into HR, and to do that I would need a relevant qualification.

What inspired you to enter the Change Your Life Education Fund?

I read Metro Herald every day on my way into work, and I saw they were launching the competition with National College of Ireland. I thought it sounded brilliant but I didn’t think I had a chance so I didn’t even think about entering at the time. But as time went on and the competition progressed I kept reading about it, and it got me thinking more and more about going back to college. When it was coming up to the closing date I decided to just go for it and told myself I had as good a chance as anyone else.

How did you find the application process?

What difference has the scholarship made to your life?

What course did you decide to do, and why?

What advice would you offer to people considering entering the competition this year?

I wrote my entry over the course of a weekend. I just sat in front of the computer and wrote and wrote. Because I was writing my own story I found it easy to write honestly and openly. I didn’t show it to anyone before I sent it in, and even though people have asked I still won’t let anyone read it because it’s so personal. When I found out I’d been shortlisted I was so shocked that I just screamed. I was invited to an interview and although I was nervous the judges were all lovely and really relaxed me.

I want to move into HR within Bank of Ireland so I knew I wanted to do the BA in Human Resource Management. I really enjoy working in the bank and HR interests me because I like working with people and I’m interested in topics like employment law.

If you told me a year ago that I’d be studying part-time and coming to the end of my first year in college, I wouldn’t have believed you. The scholarship has made all the difference to my life. I really enjoy college and have loved meeting everyone else on my course. The whole experience of entering the competition has also been great and winning the scholarship has given me a real confidence boost.

I’ve advised all my friends and would advise anyone to just enter. Sit down, write your entry and be honest. It’s an amazing opportunity so don’t let it pass you by. Don’t think that you won’t have a chance or that you can’t do it, because you never know. Just do it!

We`re All in this Together - Exploring Special Educational Needs.


‘Parents in Education’ students from the Dun Laoghaire area (Ballybrack) have turned their end of year project into a book, written by parents for other parents, to help understand the challenges of living with children with special educational needs. This subject is close to the heart of several members of the group, as some of their children fall into this group, of special educational disadvantage. The book, looks at six different areas of educational disabilities including: Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Autism, ADHD, Physical Disability and Down Syndrome. It was officially launched on April 26th last by Mary Hanafin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport. The NCI Parents in Education course aims to increase the involvement of parents in their children`s education. The course is organised through the School of Community Studies, and supported locally by the Home School Community Liason Co-ordinators. Funding has been assisted by a number of local area partnerships.

Back R ow (lef t Veron ica Ka to right): Su ne san Bu Geogh ckley, egan (N , Samantha Ka CI Fac Front ilitator ne, Anne Row (L eft to R ) Sally R igh ed Gilroy, mond, Patr t): Rose Kav icia Bo anagh Christ y , ine Ro chford lan, Eileen , Suza nne Kid d.


in association with


O’Shea, founder & CEO of humanitarian aid agency GOAL, was the latest legend to bare his soul at National College of Ireland. The famously outspoken charity campaigner chatted live to Ger Gilroy, Sports Editor with Newstalk 106-108 fm, in front of a packed lecture theatre in May, as part of Legends In Your Lunchtime. This free public leadership series is brought to you by NCI, Metro Herald and Newstalk 106-108 fm. John opened up about his work, his sports reporter background and the need for an internationally sanctioned agency to be formed, to stand up for the world’s poor. The event also afforded attendees the opportunity to make a donation to GOAL Ireland and a total of €1,029.31 was raised to support its humanitarian work. On March 23rd Mary Davis was in the spotlight, talking to Newstalk’s


Eamon Keane, host of 'Lunchtime', about her work to develop the Special Olympics across 58 countries in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. One of Ireland's most visionary social entrepreneurs, Mary is probably best known for her achievements as CEO of the Special Olympics World Games in Dublin in 2003 - the first time the event had been held outside of the United States. Irish multi-millionaire Ben Dunne also formed part of the current series, talking live to Newstalk’s Business Editor Conor Brophy in front of a 300-strong audience. Keep an eye on the NCI website for details of upcoming events and if you missed out, you can listen to the podcasts on the Newstalk website, here: podcasts You can also find short video clips on the NCI YouTube channel, www.

Top L-R: Eamon Keane, Mary Davis and Ross Mc Donagh, Reporter with Metro Herald. Above: Ben Dunne with NCI students in February.

National College of Ireland


In Profile

Access | Success | Citizenship is a college-wide campaign that will raise €25 million for scholarships, endowed teaching positions and new initiatives over a ten year period. The campaign has already raised €1.5 million during the ‘quiet phase’ that began in November 2008. The NCI Foundation is pleased to recognise the remarkable generosity of NCI supporters in 2009/2010: • • • • • • • • • •

Ace European Markets AIB Capital Markets Atlantic Philanthropies Axis Citi Foundation C&C DCC Friends First Gill & Macmillan Maurice & Adelaide Healy

Gary Joyce • • • • • • • • •

Invesco Investec Maeve Binchy Nora Owen O2 Pioneer Investments Royal SunAlliance State Street Foundation Transamerica

Access to higher education has been at the heart of

NCI’s mission since 1951. Regardless of income or postcode, past academic achievements or age, NCI remains at the forefront of making higher education accessible in Ireland. A belief in the value of higher education led Dermot O’Dwyer to provide a gift to establish a Gill and MacMillan scholarship fund for NCI students from the D12 area of Dublin. We are pleased to announce three NCI students won the award: Alan Davis, Raymond Short and Dominic Nolan. Congratulations!!


over 5000 employees worldwide, Investec is a highly successful specialist bank in Ireland. Brideen Downes, NCI graduate and head of HR has a key role in the company’s Business Responsibility agenda. “Our aim is to be a positive influence in the communities we serve through entrepreneurship and education. It was a natural fit with National College of Ireland to support the Progressions initiative and help up to 300 unemployed people get back into the workforce.” Investec has recently provided a €30,000 gift to the NCI Foundation for Progressions over the next three years. “We are absolutely delighted that Investec has joined us. These are challenging times for financial services but Michael Cullen’s leadership, and Investec’s investment demonstrates the powerful impact corporate philanthropy plays in Irish society today,” states Neal Newman, NCI Foundation Director.

Director of Genesis and NCI Foundation Board Member What was your first job? Secretary in an advertising agency, I set the photocopier on fire on my first day. Who would be your three all time dinner guests be? Bill Clinton Jesus Countess Markievicz What would you do with three wishes? 1. Provide brilliant free health care to everyone in Ireland from the cradle to the grave. 2. Have around me, people that I love and live a long and happy life. 3. Live in the present moment more. Where would you travel if money was no obstacle? Bhutan the last closed Buddhist kingdom in the world; I’ve wanted to go there for a long time. I think it to be a very interesting, unspoilt and challenging place to visit. If you were Taoiseach for a day, what would you do? Try to find an enjoyable and interesting way for citizens in Ireland to engage in making this a great country. What does the NCI mean to you? The first Women’s Studies course in Ireland was held in NCI, I did that course when I had just had my first baby and I was very young. So the NCI to me is a catalyst for the best possible personal change. For me, that course changed my life. As a member of the NCI foundation board, what do you hope to achieve? Success would be forming relationships with corporates, philanthropic organisations and trusts who would believe that the NCI can actually make a difference in the lives of people and therefore a difference to the country. I see my job as a board member as carrying that story and also exemplifying it myself. These kinds of people can help us in lots of ways, they are influencers, opinion leaders and we need that goodwill and that intellectual support. What makes NCI special? The NCI has the highest possible standards without airs and graces. The NCI is clear about helping people to learn for the lives and the work that they want.


Alumni Interview: Margaret Dromey Margaret Dromey is the Chief Executive Officer of Treoir, the National Federation of Services for Unmarried Parents and Their Children. She is also a member of the Adoption Board and the NCI Alumni Leadership Council. Margaret holds a BA in Human Resource Management from the National College of Ireland. What encouraged you to enroll on the BA in Human Resources Management? I was working in a small non-governmental organisation which was expanding and developing. In a small body one does not have the luxury of engaging specialists in all areas. I felt the need to up-skill, particularly in recruitment, and had an interest in organisational behaviour. The curriculum for the BA in HRM interested me. The fact that distance learning was possible was also quite attractive. Do you have any abiding memories of the college and the course? The fact that many of the lecturers were working in the industry meant they were aware of the practical realities of business life. In addition, the interaction with other students who had considerable experience in Human Resources was hugely beneficial to me.

Can you tell us about some of the projects you are currently involved in? As well as overseeing the provision of a national specialist information service for unmarried parents and professionals I am involved in promoting children’s rights in relation to both parents through information campaigns, workshops etc. In addition, I am actively involved in promoting legislative change to give rights to unmarried fathers in relation to their children and rights to cohabitants in relation to each other. What makes the National College of Ireland different?

Accessibility, flexibility and a sense that education is a right for all our citizens. What are the main objectives of the NCI Alumni Leadership Council?

The Council provides leadership and direction in relation to Alumni affairs. It aims to develop a community of former pupils to support and promote college and to support each other both socially and from a business point of view. What role can education play to overcome these recessionary times?

Up-skilling in all levels of society will benefit the economy overall. In relation to lone parents, policy changes in income support are being planned which will require lone parents to actively seek work when their youngest child reaches thirteen years. It is important that parents up-skill at this time in order to avail of well paid employment when the economy improves, which it inevitably will. What do you most like doing when you’re not working?

I have a passion for hill-walking. I feel blessed to live in a beautiful country and this is reinforced every time I return from abroad. Who have been your biggest influences, both personally and professionally?

Tell us about your professional journey. I worked in various library and information centres in both the statutory and commercial sectors and took Information Studies in UCD. I found my niche though when I was employed as information officer in a non-governmental organization promoting policy change. I am currently the CEO of the organisation.

Numerous public figures have influenced me but having the support of excellent work colleagues and Board members has been hugely important. I believe engaging good people is the key to success. My family and friends are brilliant and my strong work ethic comes from my mother who was widowed with four young children from age 5 to three weeks and she managed to develop a very successful business.

What would you regard as your finest achievement to date? I believe building Treoir to be the national specialist services for parents who are not married to each other is an achievement. The organization was to the forefront in the campaign to abolish illegitimacy, and actively involved in the promotion of a longitudinal study of children, which is now, the Growing Up in Ireland Study – a major national study of children, funded by the Government.

If you could start again, what would you do differently?


Probably would not do much differently but would have had more belief in myself. Something that made you smile recently.

Learning that my niece, not my nephew, was awarded Munster rugby player of the year. Sign that the times are changing!

NCI Alumnus Wins €1000

Register and Win!

The lucky winner


of the ‘Register and Win’ €1000 cash prize is NCI alumnus Tristan Keane. Originally from Finglas, Tristan completed a BA in Accounting and Human Resource Management in 2009. Nora Owen, Chair of the NCI Alumni Leadership Council, was delighted to award the cheque to Tristan.

of the NCI Alumni Online Community are eligible to win a luxury weekend away in the Galway Bay Hotel or the Hodson Bay Hotel. Register now or update your contact details by June 30th, 2010 so we can mail you the prize if you win. The winner will be selected at random so…don't miss your chance!

Join the NCI Alumni Association at

Clubs and Societies Awards & Formal Ball

180 students and staff members put on their gladrags to attend NCI’s Annual Clubs and Societies Awards and Formal Ball, which took place this year on Thursday 25th March in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry. This year’s ceremony was a star studded affair, with special guest Packie Bonner, former football goalkeeper for the Republic of Ireland, and a performance by the successful Irish funk rock band, Republic of Loose. The annual awards officially recognise the achievements of the various clubs and societies at NCI, and acknowledge the talent, commitment and determination of individual students and teams. The awards are one of the most prestigious and eagerly anticipated events in the student calendar and are immediately followed by a black tie formal ball.

clubs & socs Awards



• Sports Day Winner: ‘Gee 4’ • GAA Player of the Year Damien Kellegher, Corner Back • Peer Mentor of the Year Aideen Blake, 2nd Year BA in Management of Technology in Business • Best Athlete Andrew Shore, Hurling Club • Fresher of the Year Robert Stewart, Basketball Club: 1st Year BA Hons in Accounting & HRM

Niamh Maguire, Justin Fraser and Emma Duffy all in their final year of the BA (Hons) in Human Resource Management at NCI

• Best New or Improved Society Peer Mentor Society Saoirse Ni Fhloinn and Niamh Fitzpatrick, both in their second year of NCI’s BA Honours in Accounting & Human Resource Management

•Best New or Improved Club Basketball Club •Club Person of the Year Colum O’Kane, Men’s Soccer Club President •Society Individual of the Year Dinara Potokova, Dance Society President •Club Event of the Year Men’s Soccer Club, All Ireland Competition •Society Event of the Year Peer Mentor and Reachout Society, Old School Movie Night

Packie Bonner, former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper and special guest at the event

•Society of the Year Reachout Society •Club of the Year Men's Soccer Club •President’s Award Winner Aidan Baird, NCI Hurling Club

Shane Doyle, NCI Students' Union Clubs and Societies Officer, with student Caroline Corrigan

NCI students Chris Anako and Aoife Clancy


Progressions National

College of Ireland’s School of Community Studies is now recruiting for the next intake of its unique Progressions programme, a free course for the unemployed that offers the chance to gain a recognised qualification, and take part in a work placement with a leading financial services company. State Street Foundation, Ace Europe, Citi, Axis, CPL, Invesco, Pioneer Investments and Transamerica Reinsurance have all given generous support to this innovative programme. Progressions has been specially designed to provide pathways to employment for disadvantaged young people or others who want to access new employment opportunities in the sector. The programme aims to create meaningful job opportunities that will, in turn, help fill critical roles in the financial services industry and spur economic development. The programme has been a great success with excellent feedback from all involved. Crucially, a number of participants have successfully found employment in the financial services sector on completion of the course.

Georgeta Salion at work in Investec on Harcourt Street, Dublin.

“The course was great for me. All NCI staff were so friendly and helpful. Now that I have found employment through the course I look back and can say it was hard but worth the effort.” Georgeta Salion

Previously unemployed for eight years, Tatiana Trusova, 55, now works in fund administration for State Street Bank. She said: ‘Being on the Progressions programme was such a positive experience for me. The course gave me a real confidence boost and taught me not to be afraid of trying new things. I didn’t expect to get such a fantastic opportunity at my age.’ 32-year-old Georgeta Salion found work with Investec on completion of the programme. She commented: “The course was great for me. All NCI staff were so friendly and helpful. Now that I have found employment through the course I look back and can say it was hard but worth the effort.” David O’Connor worked in the retail sector for 12 years before joining the Progressions programme after he was made unemployed. On completion of the programme he also secured employment with State Street International. David said: ‘I really enjoyed my work placement while on the Progressions programme. It was great to get back in the workplace after being unemployed and gave me the opportunity to refresh my business skills and knowledge.’ The course covers communication skills in the workplace, business administration skills, specific skills in either funds administration or retail banking and work experience within the financial services industry. Graduates of the Progressions programme are awarded a FETAC major award at level 5, in Financial Services. Applications are now being accepted for the next Progressions class which will commence on August 16th. For further details please visit or contact Dan Hodgkin in the School of Community Studies, on 01-4498626.


‘A Community of Peers’ The

Business Incubation Centre at NCI is home to 14 innovative start-up companies working in the areas of innovation in business, finance and technology. Central to the college’s commitment to developing stronger links between academia and industry – vital to the growth of Ireland’s knowledge based economy, and our future competitiveness – the Business Incubation Centre has been designed around the concept of building a ‘community of peers’. Resident businesses benefit from shared knowledge, resources, equipment and the support of their fellow entrepreneurs, state agencies and the academic community. Recent events include coffee mornings, student workshops and the Innovation in Business series hosted by the college. Here’s a brief overview of the companies in the Centre; for more, check out or contact Bertie Kelly, Centre Manager, on

Altitude Fund Solutions are a software developer and consultancy provider to the fund management industry. Barracuda FX is a provider of financial markets software solutions. Calom Technologies develops consumer side solutions for watching TV and Video on Demand. Channel Content provides learning and communications solutions that utilize web and mobile delivery. ClipSure is a provider of broadcast compliance services and production tools to the UK and European Broadcast industry. Get It Keep It offer clients the opportunity to securely link all service provider accounts to their own accounts through one central location. IGive offer a relationship management support service to non-profit, religious and charitable organisations. Ikon Semiconductor is a fabless semiconductor company focused on developing innovative,and efficient solutions for the LED lighting industry. InnerWorkings is a software management company. Lucey Technology offer online support services to professional firms which are accessible via an internet portal. Openplain offer an online service that helps organisations improve employee productivity. Staff Balance helps organisations to determine their optimum staffing levels by building a model of how staff spend their time and at what cost. Storyful combines digital media and global journalism to deliver high quality online news.

Pictured at a recent Innovation in Business seminar at NCI are (L-R): Mark Little, Storyful; Jon Mulligan, Openplain; David Bunworth, Bord Gais, and Ciaran McGowan, Staff Balance. Little, Mulligan and McGowan all head up companies in the Business Incubation Centre at NCI.

Webstrong specialises in the development of web applications for business as well as building and releasing niche web based products.

Mark Little, Founder and CEO, Storyful.


Student Slice A Slice of Life at NCI...


Hike4 H


NCI S taff

The charity Haven was already active in Haiti: founded in 2008 to build homes in rural areas, since the earthquake they have been working to provide emergency relief to those most affected by the disaster. and S tude

In April, to support Haven and to help the people of Haiti rebuild their lives and communities, NCI staff and students organised a sponsored ‘Hike for Haiti’, a 10km walk to the Bull Island Bridge and back.

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g out for Bu ll Isla nd

Thanks to the efforts of the walkers and the generosity of the friends, families and colleagues who sponsored them, a grand total of €3,426.00 was raised.

Computer Clubhouse

Students from the School of Computing at NCI are pictured with members of the Computer Clubhouse at a project showcase in April. The School of Computing introduced a student volunteer programme with the Clubhouse, a state-of-theart multimedia technology centre for underserved young people (8-18 year olds) in the heart of the Liberties. The Clubhouse provides a creative and safe after-school learning environment for young people and seeks to help close the digital divide for a community that may not have the same kind of access to technology available elsewhere. NCI students have been volunteering at the Clubhouse once a week, working in groups to help young people develop their computer skills in a participatory, experiential and hands-on way.


Project Showcase For the second year running, Paul Rellis, MD of Microsoft Ireland, was the keynote speaker at NCI's School of Computing Project Showcase. Fourth year students gave demonstrations of their final year projects from 8.00am to 10.00am to an audience of fellow students, IT professionals and potential employers, who were impressed with the high calibre and broad range of development work.


An estimated 3 million people have been affected by the earthquake in Haiti in January, which at 7.3 on the Richter scale was the largest ever to hit the area.

Model students raise €1,920 for Living Links Glitz, glamour, gladrags and a good cause… there was something for everyone at the NCI fashion show on 12th March. Organised by the college’s Fashion Society, the event was in aid of Living Links, set up in 2002 to provide practical help, information and support to persons bereaved by suicide. While it had a serious message, the show was also seriously fun: showcasing the latest styles from the highstreet and packed with music, entertainment, a raffle and the now traditional performance from the NCI Dance Society. The Fashion Society raised a grand total of €1,920 for Living Links; see for more.


ue pr ese


n to L iving



Mayowa Soyingbe elected SU President

20-year-old Mayowa Soyingbe has been elected the new President of the Students’ Union at National College of Ireland. Mayowa, a former pupil of St. Columba’s in Rathfarnam, is studying human resource management at NCI and looking forward to putting her own stamp on the union. She takes over from outgoing SU president Robbie Carson.

l. mpaign trai tre) on the ca Mayowa (cen

Student Visit to O2 Ireland In April five NCI students who are registered for support with the college’s Disability Office were invited to visit O2 Ireland’s head office, just across the river on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. The students were accompanied by the Disability Officer, Gemma Lynch and the Learning Support Officer, Mike Goldrick. The aim of the visit was to highlight access within the workplace and to demonstrate the assistive technology available to support an individual with disability in their daily work. Sinead Smith, O2 Corporate Social Responsibility Executive and Fiona Meehan, O2 Corporate Affairs Executive, met the group, who represented a range of disabilities including blind/vision impaired, deaf/hearing impaired and physical disability. The five students are studying Business, Computing and Accounting at NCI and for many it was their first time entering a business environment. The students were however, familiar with O2 Ireland as CEO Danuta Gray participated in the Legends in Your Lunchtime series at NCI in 2009.

‘The group really came away with a strong sense of how proactive O2 are in the area of disability support and of their ability to lend their expertise (often in a voluntary capacity) to members of their local community’ said Gemma Lynch, NCI Disability Officer. The visit arose from O2 Ireland’s sponsorship of NCI’s Student Support Officer role, which encompasses the Disability Support Service. O2’s support enables NCI to provide academic and personal support, on an intensive one-to-one basis to students with disabilities. Embracing diversity has always been at the heart of O2’s business, as highlighted by its involvement with the Ability Awards since their inception in 2005. The O2 Ability Awards acknowledge and reward businesses for best practice in the inclusion of people with disabilities, both as employees and as customers. L-R Gemma Lynch, Disability Officer and Mike Goldrick, Learning Support Tutor, NCI


Historically, despite requiring a very distinct skill set, there has been little educational support for this critical role. Six years ago, the Business Analysts Association of Ireland remedied that. They defined the role of the business analyst, designed a course to specifically support that position and together with National College of Ireland, developed a suitable qualification. The level 8, HETAC accredited Certificate in Business Analysis is a management course offering academic accreditation for business analysts and those who play a leading role in improving business performance, either in their own company or in a consultancy role to others. It covers areas including change management, business systems analysis, consultancy and communications and work based learning. Phil Chambers, Head of the Business Analysis Association of Ireland


Dominic Martin attended the first running of the course and at that time worked in Accbank in Operational Risk Management and Projects. He said: “As a mature student I could not speak highly enough for the course. It provides a context for change both at a personal and organisational level, and then goes on to provide practical techniques for analysing, planning and successfully implementing change. In particular, I really enjoyed the case studies and the sharing of experience with other participants who all came from different industry backgrounds and roles – business analysts, managers, team leaders and project based staff.”

Not to be confused with the IT systems analyst, the role of the business analyst is to identify business needs and objectives and develop solutions to ensure these objectives are met.

While a qualification may not always be a requirement for working in this field, Chambers makes the point that a qualified business analyst has a distinct competitive advantage.

It’s the


is often confusion about the role of the business analyst but it is a role that’s becoming ever more critical, as companies are forced to reconsider their business models to survive these tough economic times.

According to Phil Chambers, head of the Business Analysts Association of Ireland, there is a particularly pressing need for these skills during a recession. “In an environment where people are stressed, overworked, worried about their jobs and under pressure to deliver more with less”, he said, “it can be difficult to focus on the big picture. Yet this is exactly the time for companies to take a step back and redefine where they are going and how they are going to get there.” According to Chambers, businesses that do this and do it well are positioned to take full advantage of the opportunities that will arise when the economy does bounce back. “This is where the business analyst comes in”, he continues. “In this type of climate, they are uniquely equipped to objectively analyse the needs of an organisation, identify potential problems and propose solutions.”

“The course gave practical examples and a range of industry wide tools that could be used in real life situations.” Averil Madill


Averil Madill, who works in Group Change Management with Bank of Ireland, agrees. She completed the course in February this year and said: “It would be remiss of any company to assume their business analysts do not need formal training. The course gave practical examples and a range of industry wide tools that could be used in real life situations. They were taught in a way that allowed us to come back to our business and transfer the skill set to other colleagues.” Colm Reid completed the course in 2008 and started working as a business analyst with Realex Payments about a month later. He said: “The course helped me develop these skills and was also helpful in terms of writing accurate and complete requirement documents. There were a lot of methodologies and techniques discussed and practical usage of them was a central part of the course. I would recommend the course to anyone who has an interest in having a career as a business analyst.” The Certificate in Business Analysis will be available from September in two locations: the UCC Western Gateway Building in Cork, and the NCI Campus in the Dublin Docklands. For more information on this programme and the role of the business analyst see An Open Evening will be held in Cork on June 22nd from 5.30 - 7.30pm in the Imperial Hotel, South Mall. Information on this course will also be available at all Dublin Open Evenings throughout the Summer - see for a full list of dates.

New Faces at NCI Nicola Morey Employee Development Manager, HR

Joining NCI from: PricewaterhouseCoopers Position held: Learning and Development & HR Consultant What excites you most about your role? The opportunities I will have to facilitate other people's development in a positive way. Describe yourself in 3 words: Positive, loyal, and energetic. How do you spend your free time? Way too much of my free time is spent training with the 3DTriathlon club - either swimming, cycling, or running and then trying to put all three together during the Triathlon season. Besides triathlon, I also enjoy Pilates and I'm planning to sign up for some musical theatre lessons in the Autumn.

Marianne Doyle International Student Relations Manager Joining NCI from: Fulbright: The Ireland- United States Commission for Educational Exchange Position held: Communications & Information Officer What excites you most about your role? Promoting NCI to international markets is an exciting challenge. I look forward to meeting our future students, allaying their worries about living outside their own country, helping them prepare for their new adventure and settle into life at NCI. Describe yourself in 3 words: Enthusiastic, adventurous, creative. How do you spend your free time? Socialising, travelling around Ireland and further afield, swimming, learning languages (currently it's Irish - what a wonderfully complex language!) and reading travel literature.

Orla Heslin Exams Officer, Student Services Joining NCI from: Depfa Bank Plc

Position held: PA to MD

What excites you most about your role? The new challenges l have met working in a different department within NCI (having worked for the School of Business before Depfa), and the successful completion of three exam sessions since l commenced in my role. Describe yourself in 3 words: Determined, loyal and impatient. How do you spend your free time? Cooking, meeting friends, chilling!

Lindsey McQuaid Office and Research Co-ordinator, Foundation Office Joining NCI from: Diageo Ireland

Position held: Team Leader in the Customer Contact Centre

What excites you most about your role? Working with others on a program that actually, in real terms, helps people realise their educational goals. The idea that the more effort I put into my work, directly translates to more people being able to access third-level education is something that really excites & motivates me. Describe yourself in 3 words: “Walked the Sahara.” I didn’t really, but if you’d given me four words, I’d have told you “walked in the Sahara”, which is true. How do you spend your free time? Going out with friends, reading, walking.

Sinead Harte Accounts Assistant, Finance Joining NCI from: McCormick MacNaughton Ltd Position held: Accounts Assistant What excites you most about your role? The new challenges the role brings, improving processes and the opportunity for staff members to get involved in community initiatives. Describe yourself in 3 words: Dedicated, enthusiastic, optimistic! How do you spend your free time? Walking my dogs, cooking, shopping!

Contact details for all NCI Staff are available from

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Inside NCI - Issue 5  

Magazine for Friends of National College of Ireland

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