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I studied Tourism at NWRC and my job now is to tell people how brilliant our city is

07 September 2023
Man with a beard smiling. He is sitting in an office in front of a computer

I have a real strong connection with NWRC – it’s like a second home to me. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

Ciaran Devine
Foundation Degree in Travel and Tourism student

NWRC student Ciaran Devine is a ‘people’ person.

So when he started working at Visit Derry as a Visitor Information ambassador it was the perfect opportunity to return to education and study the Foundation degree in Travel and Tourism Management.

Ciaran previously served his time for almost 20 years in the motor trade before making the dramatic decision to change careers.

He explained: “I then received my calling one day when I saw an advertisement in a local paper seeking people who wanted a change in their career to come and work in Domiciliary Care.

“Working in domiciliary care I knew that looking after and helping others was something I really enjoyed. It gave me a real sense of pride and I relished it. This gave me a whole new perspective on my future career aspirations.

“Unfortunately the hours were very minimal and with no guarantee of a consistent salary I had to seek alternative employment. However, subsequently this led me to taking a casual part-time summer job with our local tourist information centre where I still currently work to this day at Visit Derry as one of the Visitor Information Ambassadors.”

It was this move to Visit Derry that was the catalyst for Ciaran’s decision to return to education at NWRC – a decision he said was one of the best decisions he ever made.

He said: “I then decided I wanted to go back and train in this industry. I had previously left school in 1997 with only my GCSEs.”

After completing the Access Adult Learning Diploma in Combined Studies at NWRC – Ciaran decided to study the Level 5 Foundation Degree in Travel and Tourism Management.

He said: “I was passionate about tourism and went to the NWRC open day and enrolled on the Foundation Degree.

“I think it helped that time I was an older student – I meant business and I had a real drive to learn. It was not at all intimidating going back – staff at the college are great – lecturers, library, admissions are all so supportive. My tutor Jill Flanagan was especially supportive.

“It was during Covid-19 and we had to adjust to online learning quickly, but our lecturers and teachers were amazing and helped us get adjusted with everything.

“I loved studying tourism - there are so many facets to it. Hospitality and Tourism go hand in hand – and there’s so much to learn in terms of events, media, and business.”

During his time at NWRC he also picked up the award at the graduation ceremony for having ‘The Best Workplace Project’

Ciaran said: “I am in a job I love – I buzz in my work and my job is to tell people all about how brilliant our city is

“I love my city and its history – and I like working as an ambassador for this area.”

Recently Ciaran returned to the college where he won the Alumni prize for a new business venture.

He said: “I have a real strong connection with NWRC – it’s like a second home to me. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

“It is a fantastic thing to be able to study locally.”

To apply for a course at NWRC go to

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