• Michelle Daly - NUIM BBS Equine Business Graduate

    My interest in horses started as a kid but pursuing a career in the equine industry was never really an option when I left school. I don’t come from an equestrian family and, to be honest, I don’t think I even realised the breadth and scope of the industry as a whole. 

    I spent six years working in the insurance industry and while I enjoyed my job, I had no real interest in the content of my work and the further my career progressed, the bigger this issue became. In 2010 I took a career break and applied to Maynooth University for their Equine Business course with the hope of combining my business experience with something I loved and I’ve never looked back. 

    The Equine Business course at Maynooth University is unique in its content and focus. The three year course is designed to set students up for a business career within the equine industry and is strongly supported from both the racing and sport side of the industry. A range of top industry figures lend their guidance which in turn opens doors and gives the students access to a wide range of businesses in Ireland and beyond. 

    The course itself is a standard third level business degree with additional, equine specific, modules to incorporate relevant learning of industry specific topics and areas. This includes everything from bloodstock insurance, breeding and yard management, to media, PR and event management. There are different variations of the degree course which adds to its appeal. For example, the course director, Niamh O’Sullivan, has set up an international study option, in conjunction with the University of Arizona, which allows students an optional additional year studying at the Race Track Industry Program in America.

    Another huge benefit of the course is the work placement aspect which provides students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience across a wide range of roles and build up relevant work experience alongside their studies. Throughout my three years at Maynooth I worked in The Irish Field, Juddmonte Farms, and Weatherbys Ireland. This proved invaluable when I finished my degree as I’d a clear idea of what role was best suited to me and what career path to take. 

    I cannot recommend the Equine Business Degree highly enough, and not just for school leavers but also for anyone looking to change career direction as I did. The support given by the course director, the college itself and the other students is second to none. Since graduating I’ve gone on to work for Newtown Stud, BBA Ireland, and I am now racing secretary at AJ Martin Racing. The course at Maynooth gave me the knowledge, experience, and confidence to pursue this career path and I would urge anyone looking at studying within the equine spectrum to touch base with one of the past students from Maynooth or the college itself. 


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