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Marcus Casey - Geography and History

Marcus Casey BA Geography & History '14

What are your best memories of UCD?

Having gone to boarding school, the freedom in college was very refreshing. The UCD Ball and the old student bar were highlights that come to mind. With so many different lectures, I ended up meeting lots of new people which was great – you certainly branch out from school.

I’m a firm believer that college is about much more than just gaining your degree. UCD have so much to offer outside of lectures and you should immerse yourself in as much as possible. 

UCD can be a daunting place when you first arrive with so many people and so many buildings. However, you find your feet pretty quickly! 

What first sparked your interest in Geography?

I've studied geography from primary school to secondary school and then into college, so it was something I did for probably 16+ years. 

What enhanced my interest in geography at university level was the choice that exists. You'd be forgiven to think geography is only about how the planet works, but this couldn't be further from the truth.

I studied topics such as US Foreign Policy, Globalisation and Political Geography - subjects that I find incredibly interesting. 

If physical geography is your thing then great, but mine was human geography and that wide spectrum was what attracted me.  

What career path have you taken since graduating?

Currently I work as the Digital Communications Officer at the Six Nations and The British & Irish Lions. 

I finished my last exam in UCD at 6pm on a Saturday, and started an internship on the Monday morning with the Federation of Irish Sport - not ideal timing but it was certainly worth it. 

I was there for 9 months and that really set me up moving forward. I got my first full-time job with Gymnastics Ireland as the Marketing & Events Officer, setting up and running 20+ national and international events in Ireland. 

In January 2016 I moved to my current role and have covered three Championships and the 2017 Lions Tour to New Zealand so far. 

How has your degree helped you along the way?

One of the main areas that my degree has helped me along the way is the ability to write. 

I did a double major in Geography and History and the amount of writing that is naturally involved helped me so much in the work that I do. I wouldn't have been a strong writer prior to college, but you get a really good level of writing skill under your belt, which is more important than you would think in the working world, and is something I use every single day in my job.

I also really like knowing why things are the way they are, and the fact that geography is so ingrained in everyday life gives you a good understanding of the world. It answers a lot of questions!!!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Fundamentally being such a rugby nerd and working for two of the biggest rugby properties in the world is really exciting. 

It’s fantastic to be involved in an industry like digital which is changing every day and presents so many exciting opportunities moving forward.

Bringing these two areas together is great, but it's also the experiences I've been lucky to have had that make the often late and long hours worth it.

In June 2017 I travelled to New Zealand as part of the Lions management team, which is not only a career highlight but also a personal one. Being a small part of an elite sports team and living and working in camp is incredible and something I won't forget anytime soon. The atmosphere and buzz when the team wins is like nothing I've experienced before, and to be there on the pitch when everyone is celebrating is pretty special. I've gotten such an inside view of how elite sports teams work as part of my job and that's really fun! 

What is your proudest achievement to date?

I’m actually a rugby referee in my spare time - something my friends are very quick to give me grief about!!!

I made the IRFU National Panel in May 2017, having started refereeing in 2012 when I was at UCD. 

I've actually just joined UCD Rugby Club as a member, and they have been very good to me in terms of helping with my training.

Making the National Panel was always my goal, and it's nice to have achieved it. The plan is to stay on it now and continue to develop and see where that takes me. 

What advice would you offer current students considering a similar career path?

You can't ever talk to enough people!

Think about what you want to do, and go and meet people in that area who've seen it all and done it all before. I'd encourage people to begin this process during college and don't wait until you've left.  It's incredible what a 10 minute chat can uncover, and the more you do it, the more you learn.

Securing my current job was in part, down to talking to the right person at the right time. Of course you need to hone in on your skills in your area of work, but talking is free and very much worth the time.

Experience is also very important - you need it to get a job in many cases, but it can be hard to get at times. The best thing I did since leaving UCD was take that unpaid internship. What you learn and who you meet is worth more than a full-time salary! 

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