Big business comes to Galway schools

Tomas Heneghan, Archbishop McHale College, with students and Ria O’Meara AIB at Enterprise Challenge GMIT.

Tomas Heneghan, Archbishop McHale College, with students and Ria O’Meara AIB at Enterprise Challenge GMIT.

GMIT made the future look a lot brighter for almost 100 students from secondary schools in Galway, when they visited the Third Level Institute recently. The students were taking part in the Junior Achievement Ireland Enterprise Challenge project, supported by the GMIT Access office, under The Dormant Accounts (Educational Disadvantage ) Fund for the development of access services in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

Enterprise Challenge is a year long intensive programme, which involves business volunteers from local Galway companies such as Hewlett Packard, APC by Schneider Electric, Boston Scientific and AIB, advising students of the advantages of staying in school and building firm links for them with third level education and supportive local businesses.

During the GMIT visit the students completed three workshops and with the assistance of the volunteers, they explored employment opportunities centred around a selection of GMIT courses. An extensive tour was given by students of GMIT, where the visitors got to see first hand the college itself and its numerous facilities.

Michael Hannon, Registrar of GMIT and Deirdre O’Connor, Access Officer GMIT spoke to the students about the importance of education, the array of courses available in the college and what student life is like in GMIT .

“The Access Office is delighted to work with Junior Achievement Ireland on this fantastic programme. It has never been more important, given the current economic climate, for young people to focus on their futures and to make the most of the educational opportunities available in Ireland and particularly GMIT. This programme aims to increase aspirations and to provide the participants with the opportunity to begin planning for their future, and to provide them with information on some of the possibilities that education offers. During their day in GMIT, I personally witnessed this in action, and hope the students enjoyed the experience as much as I did.” Deirdre O’Connor, Access Officer, GMIT

Teachers and students from Colaiste Iognaid, Galway Community College, Presentation Secondary School and Archbishop McHale College, Tuam were delighted with this informative day in GMIT and the Enterprise Challenge programme itself.

“The students really enjoyed the trip to GMIT today. The tour was very informative and they can now see that getting a place in college is attainable for them. They also enjoyed the workshops, which has got them thinking of the careers that they would like to have when they leave school and the Enterprise Challenge project focuses them to aim for a course that can help them achieve that,” said Cathy Reapy, Galway Community College

As a follow on from the visit to GMIT, students will participate in an intensive day trip to local companies to gain an understanding of what services the company provides, careers available and get a snapshot of working life from current employees. The Enterprise Challenge project ends in May when the students visit an Outdoor Education Centre, learning the importance of teamwork and overcoming personal challenges.

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