Alumni

Arts & Humanities

Arts and Culture


Barbara Dawson: Museum Director

Barbara is the first female Director of Dublin's Hugh Lane Gallery and is one of the most significant figures in the Irish art world in recent decades.

Studied: BA History of Art (1979)
Quote: "I have great recollections of the History of Art Department. It was a privilege to be taught by these great scholars.”


David O’Mahony: Cinema Programmer

David works as Head of Programming at the IFI and holds an MA in Journalism from Griffith College.

Studied: BA English & Classics (1999), MA Journalism
Quote: "The skills and experience gained while studying English at UCD has underpinned my job, and helped in my efforts to communicate the IFI’s programme of cultural cinema events to our members"


Lisa Carroll: Writer / Content Designer

London-based Lisa works as a writer and content designer at the British Council.

Studied: BA English (2012)
Quote: “At UCD Dramsoc I was able to see my writing come to life.”


Neil Jordan: Film Maker / Writer

Neil Jordan is an acclaimed novelist and filmmaker. His work includes the Academy Award winning The Crying Game, The Butcher Boy and Michael Collins.

Studied: BA English & History (1972)
Quote: "Great lecturers, great encounters with the most arcane subjects"


Oriole Cullen: Costume Curator

Oriole joined the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in 2006 as the Curator of Fashion and Textiles.

Studied: BA Art History & English (1997), MA in the History of Dress
Quote: “It all started for me at UCD, at a wonderful seminar on dating paintings through costumes.”


Sarah Costigan: Museum Director

Sarah joined the Little Museum of Dublin in 2012, initially as the Director of Development and is now Deputy Director.

Studied: BA English & Drama (2011), MA Cultural Policy & Arts Management
Quote: “UCD’s brilliant mix of academic and social experiences taught me the value of creative storytelling”

Business and Innovation


Aoifa Smyth: Influencer Manager

Inspired by her time as Fashion Editor at UCD’s College Tribune, Aoifa now works for eight&four, a creative media agency in London.

Studied: BA English & Irish Folkore (2011), MA Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism
Quote: "I found my tribe with the College Tribune."


Conor MacAndrew: Innovation Designer

Conor works at The Dock, Accenture's Global Centre for Innovation where he helps clients solve their biggest strategic challenges.

Studied: BA History & Politics (2011), MSc European & Public Affairs
Quote: “I learnt two essential skills for a career in innovation: creativity and adaptability.”


Dalton Philips: CEO

Before joining DAA as CEO, Dalton worked for Walmart. He is on the board of ACI Europe.

Studied: BA Geography & Classics (1990), MBA
Quote: "Put your head down, work hard and suck the absolute marrow out of your course.”


Fiona Mullan: HR Director

Fiona is VP HR for Facebook outside the US. Previously she was based in Asia, running HR for Microsoft.

Studied: BA History & Politics (1990) > MSc Political Economy
Quote: “Do something that you love, because you’ll bring that into everything you do.”


Gillian Fitzpatrick: CCO

Gillian is CCO at Maximum Media, responsible for Joe.ie and Her.ie. Her first taste of media hails from UCD’s University Observer.

Studied: BA English & Greek & Roman Civ (2006), MA in Journalism
Quote: “My BA degree gave me a clear professional advantage.”


Sarah Gordon: Executive Assistant

After graduating, Sarah worked as a Collections Analyst at Accenture and now works as Executive Assistant to the Managing Director of Lidl Ireland.

Studied: BA German & Linguistics (2016)
Quote: “My languages degree and fluency in German helped me get my first real job at Accenture.”

Government and Public Sector


Adrian Bradley: Quality Manager

Adrian worked initially as a Speech & Language Therapist before joining the HSE.

Studied: BA Linguistics & English (2008), MPhil Speech & Language Processing, MSc Speech & Language Therapy
Quote: “The strong communication skills I developed at UCD still benefit me to this day.”


Amy Gargan: Policy Assistant

Amy works in IDA Ireland. Her interest in public policy was sparked while taking electives on humanitarian action.

Studied: BA English & History (2017), Master of Public Policy
Quote: “History taught me to understand why things happen, English showed me that everything has a deeper meaning.”


Hazel Chu: Green Party Councillor

Hazel worked as Marketing Consultant at Bórd Bia and as Head of Communications at Diageo. She is now a Dublin City Councillor and the National Coordinator and Spokesperson for Enterprise for the Green Party.

Studied: BA History & Politics 2002, Legal Diploma, MBA
Quote: “My degree has given me the ability to think outside the box.”


Jim Maher: Web Editor

Jim works in Brussels at the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Communications.

Studied: BA Irish & German (2011), MA Irish
Quote: “UCD truly is Ireland’s global university. Wherever in the world your degree takes you, your memories will never leave.”


John McGuinness: Teacher

John teaches History and Politics for Leaving Certificate, at a new school in Greystones.

Studied: BA History & Politics (2014), Professional Masters in Education
Quote: “Above all participate in UCD life. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.”


Paul Rouse: History Lecturer

Paul is a lecturer in the UCD School of History. He has a weekly column in the Irish Examiner. Previously he worked on RTÉ’s Primetime.

Studied: BA History & French (1990), MA History, PhD
Quote: 'Coming to UCD changed my life and enabled me to pursue careers in journalism and academia.”

Law and Advocacy


Alex Ryan: Solicitor

After graduating, Alex continued his studies at King’s Inns, Dublin, where he qualified as a Solicitor.

Studied: BA History & Greek & Roman Civilisation (2011), Diploma in Legal Studies
Quote: “Studying Greek & Roman Civilisation was a major highlight for me at UCD.”


Emily O’Reilly: European Ombudsman

After an award-winning career in journalism, Emily became Ireland’s first female Ombudsman in 2003 and was elected European Ombudsman in 2013.

Studied: BA French & Spanish (1979)
Quote: “You simply never know where a humanities degree can lead you.”


John McMenamin: Supreme Court Judge

John was called to the bar in 1975 after studying at King’s Inns. He was appointed a High Court judge in 2004, and to the Supreme Court in 2012.

Studied: BA (Hons.) History (1973)
Quote: “Studying History taught me the value of context. In History, as in Law, context is everything.”


Lewis Quigley: NGO Information Officer

Lewis has worked with the UN, Oxfam, Plan International and now Concern Worldwide in a variety of advocacy and information roles.

Studied: BA History & Politics 2014, MSc. Development Practice
Quote: “The opportunity to debate and question prevailing narratives is invaluable.”


Pádraig Oliver: Programme Officer

Pádraig works as a UN energy and climate finance specialist.

Studied: BA History & Politics (2003), MSc Environmental Technology
Quote: “My BA helped me to be creative, to learn how to connect the dots and see unique perspectives.”


Zoë Forde: Communications Co-ordinator

Zoë’s experience in societies and the Students’ Union, inspired her career in advocacy. She has worked for Sea Change and currently in Communications at HIQA.

Studied: BA English & History 2013, HDip Social Policy
Quote: “My degree gave me the confidence to pursue what I'm passionate about.”

Marketing and Communications


Aifric Connolly: PR Manager

Aifric has a background in Digital Marketing and worked at a variety of Social Media agencies before joining Lidl.

Studied: BA English & French 2015
Quote: “When I’m writing press releases or statements I use the exact skills I developed when I was studying.”


Conor Friel : Brand Ambassador

Conor works as a Brand Ambassador for Jameson in Argentina.

Studied: BA French & Spanish (2016), MSc Advertising
Quote: “Having a second and third language is always an amazing asset and has helped me secure my dream job!"


Jack Walsh: Advertising Copywriter

Since specialising in Copywriting, Jack has worked at Publicis and TBWA. Currently he works at The Public House.

Studied: BA English Literature (2014), MSc Advertising
Quote: “UCD showed me the importance of creativity in everyday life. Boring doesn’t sell!”


Jonny Davis : Marketing Specialist

Jonny is co-founder of creative brand experience agency, Honey+Buzz. Previously, Jonny worked on global brands in the marketing industry in Dublin and New York.

Studied: BA History & Economics (2003), MSc Marketing & Entrepreneurship
Quote: “I developed creatively, gained fresh perspectives and made lifelong friends whilst studying at UCD.”


Laura Costello: Senior Strategist

Laura worked in a variety of PR and marketing roles before Joining Thinkhouse, the youth marketing agency.

Studied: BA English & Philosophy (2013), MPhil in Popular Literature
Quote: "Studying human existence through Philosophy and literature at UCD is one of the most rewarding things I ever did.”


Michael O’Keeffe: CEO

Michael is CEO of Teneo Ireland, a global specialist in corporate communications, brand strategy, marketing and sponsorship.

Studied: BA History & Politics (1998), MA European Studies
Quote: “My education in UCD encouraged me to be deeply inquisitive and to seek new ways to solve problems.”

Media and Journalism


Amy O’Brien: Programme Researcher

Amy is a TV researcher for The Tonight Show at Virgin Media. She started her broadcast career at UCD’s radio station, Belfield FM.

Studied: BA History & Politics (2015), MA Broadcast Production
Quote: “My degree has been an essential foundation to my understanding of everything in the political world.”


Fintan O’Toole: Columnist / Writer

Fintan is one of Ireland’s most renowned journalists and influential public intellectuals, who writes across a broad range of topics including politics, history, culture and the arts.

Studied: BA English & Philosophy (1978)
Quote: “The teachers that I encountered here are still models for my thinking.”


Grace Barrett: TV Producer / Writer

Grace is a writer and filmmaker for the UN in New York. Her projects include Boko Haram, Women in Peacekeeping and Climate Change.

Studied: BA English & Philosophy (2004), MA English Literature
Quote: “UCD for me was the perfect combination of studying what I loved and forming lifelong bonds."


Jack Lahart : Community Editor

Before joining The Economist Jack worked as a Parliamentary Researcher for Seanad Éireann.

Studied: BA History & Politics (2013) > MSc International Relations
Quote: “At UCD I gained an ability to deconstruct global trends and understand the world around me.”


Seán Hayes: Assistant Editor

While at UCD, Seán edited the student magazine OTwo. He worked for New Island Books and Lilliput Press before becoming an Assistant Editor at Gill Publishing.

Studied: BA English Literature 2017
Quote: “My time at UCD is something positive that I will treasure for years to come.”


Siún ni Dhuinn: Digital Co-ordinator

Siún works as the Digital Coordinator for Irish language content in RTÉ.

Studied: BA Gaeilge & English (2006), MA Scríobh & Cumarsáid na Gaeilge
Quote: “The critical skills I developed during my studies at UCD have continually served me in my career.”

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