Spotlight 2017

Rebecca Murphy - Education & Training Co-ordinator at Jigsaw

10 Jul 2017
Rebecca Murphy

Rebecca Murphy is the Education and Training Co-ordinator at Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. Prior to this she worked as UCC’s Peer Assisted Student Support Co-ordinator.  She has a strong background in student politics serving as Welfare Officer in UCC Students' Union and Welfare Officer in Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Rebecca looks back on her student days and the skills she developed in college.

Course/subjects studied in UCC

For my undergrad I did Drama and Theatre Studies and English, and for my masters I studied Public Health and Health Promotion.

Best memory of University College Cork

There are so many great ones, but winning the SU Welfare election - in fact the whole experience of being involved in that election really stands out. It was such great craic, but also hugely stressful and I learned so much about myself and about working with others during that time too. I also became great friends with both my rival and the other officers that were elected so it was a win all round.

How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?

I'm currently working in mental health promotion, developing education and training programmes around supporting young people's mental health. On the face of it my undergrad degree doesn't seem to be directly related, but the skills and the confidence I gained studying has led me here - my presentation and facilitation skills, the sense of fun I bring to my work, my ability to work with people and to pull programmes and workshops together - these were all skills that I learned during my undergrad. My Masters provided the theoretical framework for a lot of the health promotion work I ended up doing after my undergrad and really honed my skills in a very practical structured way.

What is your advice to current UCC students?

Try everything - you don't realise the access you have to sports, interests, hobbies etc. you have at UCC until you're out of it. When I look back I wish I had more confidence to try more of the clubs particularly. One of the biggest lessons I've learned as I got older is that if you enjoy something it's ok to be crap at it, especially at first!

What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?

I was blessed with so many wonderful lecturers and tutors during both my undergrad and postgrad. One of my lecturers, Dr. Roisin O' Gorman, introduced me to feminist theory in my undergrad and really challenged us all to look at things from a different perspective and to look deeper at issues - an approach I still try to practice in my life to this day. I still remember her classes vividly and the discussions and debates within them, always guided by her gentle, kind, intelligent and firm hand.

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?

I was hugely involved in the UCC LGBT Society, and held a few committee positions over the years. I spent a lot of time volunteering with the Students' Union also.

Favourite UCC legend or superstition

I love that there is/was a random Peruvian mummy in UCC somewhere. Although I'm not sure we're supposed to talk about it.

Alumni and Development

Alumni agus Forbartha

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