Dublin Hurler, Cian Boland was the recipient of the 2017 DCU/GPA Scholarship to undertake a master’s at DCU. As he approaches his final semester on the MSc in Digital Marketing programme, he takes time to reflect on the experience and shares some advice for anyone thinking of undertaking a masters and applying through the GPA scholarship process.

  1.     Why did you decide to undertake the Master’s?

The reason I chose to undertake a Masters in Digital Marketing this year was that coming out of my degree in general Business Studies, I didn’t feel as if was specialised enough in the marketing field. I knew that I would need to learn more about digital marketing to set me apart from my peers in terms of getting the job that I wanted. I knew two Dublin players who had received the scholarship the previous two years for the Master’s programme through the GPA/DCU, they said it was something definitely worth considering and gave me some tips on the interview process.

  1.       What’s your favourite aspect of the programme?

My favourite aspect of the Digital Marketing programme is the practical nature of the course. There is a great blend of theory and practical elements in the course. Over the year we have been able to work with some interesting clients, helping them with AdWords campaigns, search engine optimisation, web design and digital marketing plans.

  1.       What do you hope to do once you finish up the programme?

Once I finish up with the course come August, I hope to go down the advertising route of Marketing, as it is the area which I find the most interest in. Having said that, I am not just limiting myself to this avenue, I will explore all options available down the Digital Marketing route.

  1.       As someone involved in the highest level of our national sport along with study and a job, you’re a busy man! How do you manage your commitments?

Balancing commitments between college and getting the time to train with and my club and county is something that takes practice with time management. As they are two aspects of my life that I have a great passion for I don’t mind having to sacrifice the sleep for late-night assignments and early morning gym sessions.

  1.       What’s your advice to other players who are thinking of doing a qualification in addition to work and playing commitments?

I would advise anyone thinking of applying for a Masters programme here in DCU, in addition to work and playing commitments, that they brush up on their organisational skills before embarking on a qualification here as meeting deadlines for assignments can be difficult if you aren’t organised.

  1.        The GPA’s Player Development Programme (PDP) consists of a comprehensive range of support services for county players in the areas of Career, Education, Health and Wellbeing, Life Skills. How will this be of help to you as you prepare for your career beyond DCU?

The GPA and their Player Development Programme have been a huge help to me over the last 12 months, in particular, Fran O’Reilly who I was put in touch with through the GPA. Fran was able to give me some guidance on the direction I was looking to go in career-wise, and it is ultimately what led me to study the MSc in Digital Marketing this year. The Player Development Programme run by the GPA also allowed me to take CV and Interview workshops which has helped me prepare my career beyond life in DCU. Bernadette McCulloch who is involved with running the GPA/DCU Business School Scholarship has also given me great support and guidance throughout my year as a postgraduate.

I’d like to thank both the GPA and DCU Business School for giving me the opportunity this year to further develop my digital marketing skill set and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of applying to the GPA/DCU Scholarship to do so, as it is something that you will not regret.

For more information on our scholarships, visit the link below.

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