Student Stories

Jennie Walshe

Progressed to: Sales Negotiator with Sherry FitzGerald McCreery Auctioneers, Kilkenny

I joined Sherry FitzGerald McCreery in 2018 as an Administrator but I immediately realised this was a career I would like to progress further in, so it was essential that I obtain my license in order to do so. I joined the apprenticeship programme in Ballsbridge College of Further Education in September 2019. Different modules studied included valuations, sales and marketing, estate agency, building construction, property management and law to name but a few.

I found this course absolutely brilliant. It combined the practical element of working in an Auctioneers office whilst learning the all of the necessary academic skills that are also required. My experience at Ballsbridge College was extremely enjoyable and beneficial. The teachers were helpful and encouraging and I was also lucky enough to make a great bunch of friends that I still keep in touch with!

I would be delighted to recommend this course to anyone looking to progress their career within the property industry.

Progressed to: Criminology, UCC

I attended Ballsbridge College of Further Education for the academic year 2020/2021 and I recently graduated with a QQI Level 5 Certificate in Community Health Services. I cannot recommend this Criminology and Social Studies Course highly enough. I had and continue to have, a keen interest in criminology and criminal law, so I found these modules thoroughly enjoyable and they met all my expectations. That said, one of my favourite modules was Media Analysis, which broadened my thinking abilities and perspectives. The lecturers were all very knowledgeable and professional and they encouraged participation from everyone in the class. The class came from varying backgrounds and sharing our stories and life experiences enriched the whole learning experience. I feel that the lecturers, the content and shared learning with class mates enabled me to achieve my best potential, and I gained confidence and competence in writing and presentation skills. The knowledge I gained from the Word Processing module is invaluable and I will use these skills throughout my career.

This course helped me to achieve my life time career ambition and I will be forever grateful and indebted to all the lecturers & staff in Ballsbridge College of Further Education. As an additional bonus I made lifelong friends with lecturers and class mates. Thank you Ballsbridge College of Further Education.

Dylan Bolger

Progressed to: Psychology, UCD

Ballsbridge college was a great stepping stone, helping me achieve the aims and aspirations of my vocational path as a psychologist. The teachers were warm and welcoming, they saw that I was willing to work hard, so in return I was given the support I needed to achieve the grades necessary for the Undergraduate BSc Psychology course in UCD. Regardless of the regulations imposed by lockdown, I still managed to form friendships with classmates and a relationship that lasts to this day, making my time at the college something I will remember for the rest of my life. So, I want to say a big thank you to the institution that helped me make my dream career path a reality. A piece of advice for future students; what you put into things is what you get out of them and there is plenty of opportunities you can get out of Ballsbridge if you put in time and effort.

Progressed to: Politics & International Relations, UCD

“I chose Ballsbridge College because is the only further education institute in the country that offers the specific course I was interested in. While I was there I received an extremely well rounded educational experience. A wide range of supports are provided to all students to ensure you get the most you can out of your education. The faculty and staff are all extremely friendly and you feel very comfortable approaching them with whatever problems that may arise. Over the course of my learning I felt like I really developed my abilities and self confidence. Ballsbridge College helped me foster skills that will be incredibly valuable as I progress in my career”

Cecilia Blandina Pembele

Progressed to: Nursing, London South Bank, UK

I applied to Ballsbridge College of FE after deciding to change my career choice after first year in college. It was a scary time deciding to change careers but it was the best decision I ever made. I made some great friends and the lecturers were supportive and friendly. Even though the majority of the course ended up being online due to COVID 19 restrictions, it was as if we were still in the class- the lecturers were there for the students. I’d definitely recommend Ballsbridge College as the support you get is second to none.

Ballsbridge was an experience that I will never forget. If te college offered a degree course, I would have gone without hesitation. I would recommend Ballsbridge college to anyone, and have been recommending Ballsbridge to everyone.

Kai Oh

Progressed to: BA Community and Youth Development Social Sciences, TUD

As part of this course I studied really interesting modules such as, Community Development, Social Analysis and Group Work Theory and Practice. The modules are assessed through a mix of continuous assessment, as well as exams. During my time in Ballsbridge College, I have met a lot of students from different backgrounds- both local and international students. The teachers in Ballsbridge College are very passionate and helpful. They take good care of their students and new students will find it easy to settle in to the course. The college has a very welcoming atmosphere and an extensive supporting network when it comes to student’s wellbeing. They also provided me with a lot of advice during my higher education application process. My family and I will never forget the joy, when on completion of the Community Development course, I was accepted by TU Dublin, Blanchardstown! I would highly recommend Ballsbridge College for someone who is interested in returning to study, like me.

Dylan Saunders

Progressed to: BA Psychology, NCI

I have always had a deep interest in the human mind and how we as humans act and behave. I really didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for the course, but from the very first day I walked through the doors I knew I was in the right place to learn and also make lifelong friends! It was obvious from the beginning that the staff main priority are the students. They went out of their way on a daily basis not only to make sure we were comfortable with the course material, but also to make sure we all felt, happy and secure. All of the teachers I had the pleasure of sitting in front of, are in my opinion experts in their field! The passion they have for the subject and for our education comes out in every class and at no stage did I feel stressed out. This was due to the constant support by all the teachers. I also wanted to get involved more within the college. So, once I was on the Student Council, I put myself forward as candidate for College President and I was elected! Along with all the other fantastic individuals in the Council we managed to do some great things. I would also encourage any students in the following years to get involved in the Council. It is a great experience. There are also so many other activities in the college, there are classes after college where you can study another language, sports teams, the Erasmus programme also so you will be kept busy. If you are looking for a place where you can study a subject you have a love and passion for, in an upbeat and positive atmosphere, then I would highly recommend Ballsbridge College. You will be supported there every day and pushed to do your best.

Ibitola Daniel

Progressed to: BSc. Social Sciences, UCD

When I left school, I knew I wanted to study something concerning liberal arts but couldn’t quite figure out in what direction I wanted to go in terms of my third level studies. This course was the only one I could find that had I direct link to what I was interested in studying in university. Modules like Global Development, Applied Economics and Political Studies were modules that I couldn’t find in other courses, or other places simply didn’t offer. The tutors at Ballsbridge were very knowledgeable and made the content comprehensible and intelligible. I always found them approachable and cordial. In the library there were many resources for International Aid and Development that helped me with my assignments. The way the modules are graded allowed me to build the ability to work independently and critically and decisively think for myself. During my year in Ballsbridge College, we covered everything thing from the colonisation of Africa in Global Development to International Trade in Applied Economics and different political ideologies in the Political Studies module. I’m really glad I made the decision to study the International Aid and Development course at a Ballsbridge College as it made me certain that I wanted to progress onto third level education and further my understanding in this area. It has provided me with a great foundation and strong background in Liberal Arts so I am now entering UCD) with confidence as I begin my degree in Social Sciences.

Siobhán Loughrey

Progressed to: Stirling University studying Sociology and Criminology.

In Ballsbridge College I studied Criminology and Social Studies. Completing this course was how I got my place in University of Stirling. Early in the year I got a conditional offer for the course which gave me specific grades to achieve. Career guidance was available while I was applying to help with my application, and my teachers were always willing to have a chat or go over something I wasn’t sure on.

I believe the work experience that I took part in was an incredible experience and added to my personal development. I was a part of the college Erasmus programme to Amsterdam with a number of other students. During my time on the Erasmus programme I developed skills and made friends with students from other classes in the college.

The course was a great help to me in achieving my goal and the teachers were always helpful to me. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Ballsbridge College to anyone.

Progressed to: Human Resource Management, NCI

I attended Ballsbridge College of Further Education as a mature student. I was a bar man in Australia but lost my job so I decided to come home and upskill. After careful thought and on the recommendation of my cousin, I picked the Human Resource and Management course in Ballsbridge College.

Due to Covid restrictions I though, doing a course would be difficult, but from the start I felt very welcomed and the introduction and transition into the course was seamless. I was very nervous as I had not been a student for 10 years, since my Leaving Cert but the classes where online were very engaging and all the teachers did a great job to make everyone feel included. I would like to take the opportunity to thank my teachers in Ballsbridge College who both went out of their way to make the class fun but also professional and never hesitated to answer any questions asked.

Although it was a quick year I made some good friends and completed the course with flying colours and could not have done this without all the work the staff of Ballsbridge did behind the scenes. I am sure they worked tirelessly to facilitate and make the course stress free as possible for the students in what was the peak of a difficult time for the country.

Progressed to: Commerce, NUIG

I had a really good experience in Ballsbridge College. I studied on the Business Studies course and learned a lot of new skills and ideas which have really helped since starting on my degree course in Commerce in NUIG. All the tutors in Ballsbridge College are very approachable and helped me whenever I had any difficulties. I would recommend this course and College to anyone who is interested in Business and progressing to third level.

Progressed to: International Business, TU Dublin

Deciding to do a PLC in Ballsbridge College has benefited me in many ways. The course I studied was Digital Marketing and because I worked hard and got good results, I am now completing a Level 8 Degree in International Business in TU Dublin. The skills that my PLC taught me have really helped! I feel like I have a head start in some of my modules, especially Marketing and Accounting and thanks to my time in Ballsbridge College my computer skills have greatly improved. I also learned skills that will help in me in College, such as how to reference properly, how to use Excel and PowerPoint and how to interpret feedback on assessments. I firmly believe that I am finding my first year in College a lot easier thanks to my time in Ballsbridge College. I would highly recommend students who are unsure about their academic future to research the wide range of PLCs that are available.

Breda Conophy

Progressed to: BA HRM, NCI

“The Advanced Business course at Ballsbridge College is both practical and theory based. The broad range of topics covered helped me to decide what to specialise in. I learnt a lot of good, relevant information

which has assisted me in achieving my ultimate goal of getting into BA Hons Human Resource Management at The National College of Ireland. The tutors are extremely knowledgeable, supportive and helpful. I would highly recommend Ballsbridge College as a Post Leaving Cert College that embraces a mixture of cultures and provides the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve your goals.

Progressed to: BSc. Event Management, TUD

I had an amazing year in Ballsbridge College. The staff and teachers are brilliant! They supported and encouraged each student to reach their full potential and helped me achieve results I didn’t think were possible. I gained valuable experience, met new people and had fun, all while studying and learning. The Level 5 Event Management course helped me to find a passion in something that I could pursue as a career. I studied Event Production and Marketing and learned the important role the media play in this industry! The teachers helped greatly by sharing resources and their experiences from their own careers. I gained the basic knowledge to further my studies in Event Management and I am now studying for a Level 8 degree, in Event Management in TU Dublin. In conclusion, I would say, Ballsbridge College has an amazing community spirit, both within the college and within the local area.

Progressed to: Marketing, TUD

I found my course in Ballsbridge Collegeto be a very interesting and innovative course. It gave me confidence going into college as I have a good base of knowledge for some of the modules I’m studying at the moment. I learnt to become familiar with doing assignment and learnt very important skill for college such as bibliography, styles and report writing. Compared to other students in my year, I really think doing this course has given me an advantage as I feel I have had a head start and feel much more comfortable in the transition to college. The course has relative subjects such as Digital Marketing, Marketing and Consumer Psychology and these have given me a great insight into the world of marketing and what to expect. I felt very encouraged to be creative and come up with my own ideas which created a very enthusiastic and fun environment for me to learn all about the marketing world and this is why I enjoyed my time at Ballsbridge College.

Progressed to: Game Development, Dundalk IT

I really enjoyed studying Multimedia & Web Design in this college and although we weren’t in the College for a long period of time before we went into Lockdown, I still felt engaged during the lectures and practicals online. The teachers were all very considerate and helpful whenever it came to me not fully understanding what I needed to do. I also got immense support from all teachers when needed. Not only from this course did I achieve my Level 5 but I gained new skills from the modules on the course, such as Web Authoring, Multimedia Authoring, Computer Illustrated Graphics and Design.

After I finished at Ballsbridge College, I got accepted to Dundalk Institute of Technology and I am currently doing a Level 8 course in Computing in Game Development. When I first joined Ballsbridge, I did not know what I wanted to do after or what type of course I would choose if I went to a university. However, when I continued to get more involved in Web Design & Multimedia the idea of coding stuck out to me, and it was my favourite part of it all! It made me realise that this is what I want to do after I finish in Ballsbridge College. So, I thank Ballsbridge College for helping me figure out what I want to do in the future. Overall, I had a great experience here and I can honestly say that I don’t regret picking here to further my education.

Progressed to: BA Communications, DCU

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left school. In 2019 I registered for the Web Design and Multimedia in Ballsbridge College. The course taught me a lot! I studied Computer Illustrated Graphics, Multimedia Project Development, Design and Web Authoring. I have met so many amazing people along the way. I was even lucky enough to spend two weeks on work placement in Amsterdam which was fully funded by Erasmus +. I was a member of the Ballsbridge College Student Council which allowed me to meet other students and learn about how a college is run from a different perspective. I developed so many new skills and have gained so much confidence. Thanks to my successful l year in Ballsbridge College, I have been offered a place in Communication Studies in DCU, which is a Level 8-degree course! Thank you to everyone in Ballsbridge College of Further Education who made this possible.

Progressed to: TEFL teacher and German language interpreter

My time in Ballsbridge College studying on the TEFL course was extremely positive. All of the teachers were very supportive. I was a little nervous of the IT elements of the course but again I received great support and guidance from the teachers. I had previously had a negative experience of education but I found Ballsbridge College warm and welcoming and as such I have decided to return to study Italian in the College’s Night School, while also working as a TEFL teacher and German language interpreter.

Caoimhe Walsh

Progressed to: Event Management, TU Dublin

After taking a year out of college I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with myself. Living close by, a friend mentioned Ballsbridge College as an option and told me to look into it.

I came across the Event Management course while flicking through the brochure and in my interview with the Principal, he pointed out to me that I was actually eligible for the advanced Event Management course due to my past work experience.

Ballsbridge College is the perfect college to start in. I was definitely not the most academic student in school, so I was unsure as to how I would get on in college. The lecturers are extremely supportive and very helpful when you are struggling with any assignments or modules. There is a constant support group either from the students in your class or from the teachers and porters in the college.

I am now an Event Management student in The School of Hospitality and Management in TU Dublin. I went directly into year 2 from Ballsbridge College through the advanced entry route for PLC students coming from Level 6 courses.

I would definitely recommend everyone to apply to Ballsbridge College for their first step in third level education. The mixture of continuous assessment and exams has me more than prepared to continue my studies in TU Dublin.

Progressed to: BLaw, UCD

“I thoroughly enjoyed my year in Ballsbridge College which was largely down to the atmosphere within the college. Each teacher was so helpful in making me feel comfortable as well as working so hard to help me with my academic studies. They did so much to develop and encourage my skills in a variety of areas some of which I had never come across before. I was lucky enough to develop many new friendships that will certainly outlast my year of study in Ballsbridge.

To top it all off, after a year of hard work, I was accepted into UCD to study Law which was my first choice. I was over the moon. I know I would not have achieved this if it wasn’t for all the help given to me by my various teachers. I couldn’t thank my teachers enough who consistently helped me and kept me positive towards attaining my goal”.

Progressed to: Event Management in TU Dublin

In the months leading up to the Leaving Certificate I feared I wouldn’t get the points to progress into a degree in Event Management. So, I knew I had to put a contingency plan together. With the help of my Guidance Counsellor, I came across Ballsbridge College and applied for the Event Management course.

The modules studied in Ballsbridge College provided me with a practical and academic way of learning the Event Industry. The skills and knowledge learned whilst studying at Ballsbridge College were key factors for me going on to work on numerous festivals such as Metropolis, Forbidden Fruit & Electric Picnic.. The staff in Ballsbridge College provided me with the support and guidance throughout the year and were very supportive.

In September 2017 I started in DIT (now named TU Dublin) and I was well prepared for the demands of an undergraduate course from studying at Ballsbridge College. Skills learned whilst in Ballsbridge College such as report writing were a huge advantage and are essential in my day to day activities. I would highly recommend Ballsbridge College for anyone that is interested in the Event Industry.

Progressed to: Applied Psychology, IADT

My experience at Ballsbridge college has had a long lasting impact on my life. Ballsbridge has given me new friends who I remain in strong contact with to this day, and teachers, who provided the most incredible amount of knowledge, support, character and companionship. Ballsbridge College has done an amazing job equipping me with the knowledge and skills to pursue my life ahead of me, both in my new course, and has done an amazing job preparing me and my classmates with the skills needed to take on the real world

Now in IADT studying Applied Psychology, I have begun to understand and appreciate just what an amazing standard of education that Ballsbridge College delivers to its students.

The members of staff were incredibly well selected, I honestly don’t think that there ever could have been any better candidates to fill the job requirement. They were all incredibly efficient at their jobs and incredibly skilled in their fields.

Ballsbridge was an experience that I will never forget. If te college offered a degree course, I would have gone without hesitation. I would recommend Ballsbridge college to anyone, and have been recommending Ballsbridge to everyone.

Progressed to: International Relations, DCU

The year I spent in Ballsbridge College was unplanned but a great surprise. I chose to study International Aid and Development because it offered a broad range of topics. Thanks to my time in Ballsbridge I now attend DCU and study International Relations. My course in Ballsbridge has allowed me to hit the ground running in DCU and has given me a broader knowledge bases to work with. The course opened my eyes many different cultures and to many career opportunities. The classes were the perfect stepping stone from school to college and gave me a better understanding as to what university would ask of me. The teachers and class tutors where always happy to help with any problems and their guidance through the year helped me decide what colleges to apply for.

Progressed to: International Relations, DCU

As a mature student I made the decision to return to education to explore an interest in Humanities. I did some research and discovered the International Aid and Development Course at Ballsbridge College of Further Education. This course was an ideal opportunity to explore my areas of interest in human rights and equality issues. The level of support and guidance I received from the course tutors and academic staff during the year influenced my decision to continue and pursue a degree in International Relations at DCU.

As a first year student, DCU offers many challenges! During my time at Ballsbridge College I gained invaluable experience, developed academic skills and confidence essential to progress to third level education. The course tutors were supportive and encouraging throughout the year. The course offered a diverse range of modules, so you can explore a specific area of interest. The personal assessments and tutorials throughout the academic year were helpful. I would highly recommend the course.

Progressed to: Health and Society, DCU.

We really enjoyed studying Health Sector Studies at Ballsbridge College and were prepared well for university. There are also a wide range of 3rd level courses which students can apply for after completion of this course such as General Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Intellectual Disability Nursing, Children’s Nursing, Midwifery, Health and Society, Social Studies, Social Care and Psychology.

The course provides a good balance between practical modules like Care Skills and more theory based modules like Anatomy and Physiology. The modules and assessments that we did as part of this course were a great foundation and prepared us for our current studies as we gained a lot of experience doing assignments, group work, presentations and formal exams. At the end of the Health Sector Studies course, students are qualified to work as Healthcare Assistants and I (John) am currently working part-time as a Healthcare Assistant to the blind

The highlight of our year in Ballsbridge College was being chosen to represent the College in its annual exchange with ROC Van Amsterdam. Over the course of two weeks we participated in work experience. This trip was an amazing educational and cultural experience and we made some friends for life. We highly recommend Ballsbridge students to apply to take part in this exchange.

Progressed to: Games Development (QQI Level 6)

“I loved my time at Ballsbridge College. I benefited from the course both professionally and personally. I am very proud of the results that I achieved. I believe that I could not have done it without the amazing support of the teachers at College. They were very reassuring and helpful whenever I struggled to understand something on the course. I learnt a lot of skills that will definitely benefit me in the future. I am very thankful for this invaluable experience and I would add that if you are looking for an inspiring place to continue your education I strongly recommend attending Ballsbridge College. Thank you for the wonderful support!”

Progressed to: Bachelor of Business Studies (Hons), DCU

When I completed my Leaving Cert, I had no idea what direction I wanted to go in life or what career path I wanted to pursue. I found myself researching multiple courses, I finally settled on Digital Marketing in Ballsbridge College. This was one of the best decisions I have made in life yet. From the day I entered Ballsbridge College a huge feeling of confidence was instilled within me by all the teachers. The teachers are truly second to none, they consistently do everything in their power to encourage and assist you to perform the best you possibly can during your time here.

My goal was to gain entry into Bachelor of Business Studies in Dublin City University and I succeeded in this. I proudly attribute my achievement to all of my teachers in Ballsbridge College. The support, dedication, and motivation displayed by each and every tutor in Ballsbridge College is remarkable.

I can safely say that the knowledge and skills that I gained during my time here have been vital to my success in the first year of my university degree.

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” —Alfred Mercier

Progressed to: Community and Youth Development, TU Dublin

Before applying to Ballsbridge College I had no idea what interested me enough to make me want to learn more and eventually, what kind of job I wanted to do. While doing Community Development I realised that what I wanted to do was work in the community and with people trying to help however I could. The modules that we studied during the course were so interesting and helped me learn how to see things from different perspectives.

I made some really good friends while in Ballsbridge College and as a class we got on really well, even helping each other through the assignments that were given in each module.

Because of the help and support that I got while studying in Ballsbridge College I discovered the path I wanted to go down to study and I would recommend that anybody who isn’t sure of what they want to do or be does a QQI course in Ballsbridge because I truly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of everyone in Ballsbridge College.

Progressed to: TEFL Teacher

Having graduated from UCD in 2013, I was unsure of the most effective way to incorporate my B.A. into my career.

A cursory Google search led me to the TEFL course in Ballsbridge College and I phoned the college for more information. I discussed the matter with Mr. Dan Bradley, the Principal of Ballsbridge College of Further Education, who addressed all my questions and concerns.

I enjoyed my time at Ballsbridge College of Further Education. I found the TEFL course informative and interesting. I feel it has equipped me to address the practical challenges of a new career head on. I found that, not only my tutors, but all staff in the college were completely focused on assisting me at every phase of my course. I had unlimited support with finding books and teaching resources, assistance with photocopying for lesson plans and, probably most helpful of all, a calming glass of water and some welcome reassurance just before a teaching practice !

Since qualifying I have worked consistently for a large private Language School and have found both the theoretical and practical elements of my TEFL course to be invaluable.

I am happy to recommend any student to attend Ballsbridge College of Further Education due to the dedication and kindness of the staff. I wish all future students the happy memories and good friends I have made there.

Nikita Doyle

Progressed to: Property Economics, TU Dublin

I always had an interest in the property sector and hoped to find a course that was property related. During my research of various colleges, I came across the Auctioneering, Estate Agency & Valuation course in Ballsbridge College and I was immediately drawn to it. The course gripped me from the very beginning right and right to the end of my college year. It was thoroughly enjoyable, captivating, but challenging at times also.

The course consisted of 9 modules, many of which I had not studied before. Each one was very intriguing and different in their own way. I found the continuous assessments throughout the year very helpful. The course also consisted of two weeks work experience in the property sector. I found this extremely beneficial, as it allowed me to gain experience in the industry, which I hope to pursue a career in the future.

My experience at Ballsbridge College has been nothing but enjoyable and extremely beneficial. The college has had a very positive impact on my life. I am so grateful to the lecturers at the college for their guidance and tuition during my time at the college. The lectures not only helped me to achieve my dream course by pushing me to achieve the best grades, they taught me skills which I will use throughout my future studies and career. They made me feel I had the potential to progress and achieve what I wanted. I am now currently in DIT (now TU Dublin), studying level 8 “Property Economics”. Ballsbridge has given me a huge advantage, by preparing me for my current course in DIT (now TU Dublin).

I would highly recommended Ballsbridge College to everyone. From each lecturer’s dedication to the pleasant environment it has so many options for everyone. It is because of the lecturers at Ballsbridge College that I have got to where I am today and I am so grateful.