Current Senior Lecturer at Ulster University and previous VP Clubs & Societies (1985 – 1986)
Over the next few weeks we are going to be sharing with you our UUSU Student Officer Success Stories. We have watched many officers move on to successful careers and beautiful lives after their time as UUSU Student Officers (Sabbaticals if you’re going way back). So we wanted to take a look back and share these with you.
Name: Shane McCullough
Role at UUSU: VP Clubs & Societies 1985 – 1986
Current job title: Senior Lecturer in Coaching & Sports Development at Ulster University
We asked Shane some questions to catch up on life after UUSU...
What is your current job role or greatest career achievement?
"I am a senior lecturer at Ulster university, having been appointed to a post in the School Of Sport in 2003. After leaving the university in 1986 I was a PE teacher for 10 years before going to work for the Irish Football Association in 1995. I then moved to Sport NI funded post based Belfast City Council in 1999 working as a project manager for a regional sports partnership. All of these posts give me an insight into a wide range of sports settings which has been extremely helpful in my lecturing role. I have also coached football extensively, including managing the Northern Ireland senior international women's team, the under 16 international boys team and the university football team. Highlights for the latter role included a two week trip to China with a squad comprised of players from the three campuses of the university where we played in front of a crowd of almost 20,000, as well as winning two Collingwood cups with the Jordanstown squad."
Did you enjoy your time at UUSU?
"I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a student union officer. I had always been very active in student sport and so the opportunity to spend a year as Clubs And Societies Officer was very appealing. I was able to continue representing the university in sport and more importantly, I took on a role that gave me a level of responsibility about I would never have been given how do I entered the workplace in any other sphere outside the university. I chaired committees, managed large budgets, managed staff and worked across a range of settings. I also travelled extensively in the role, with one of the highlights being a two-week trip to Czechoslovakia to attend a world student sports camp. I worked with several sports clubs and societies and got to meet many people from a range of backgrounds and I felt the work we did was always really appreciated by the student body as the Students Union was so proactive in providing support and guidance."
Do you think your experience as a Student Officer gave you any skills, opportunities or connections that helped you achieve success in your career?
"The role I took on was multifaceted and this helped me develop skills such as people management, networking, problem solving, negotiation and budgeting. These stood me in good stead when I went on to work for the Irish Football Association and Belfast City Council, as whilst these were bigger organisations all of the skills I had gained working in the Students Union were applicable in these settings. I'm confident that having the clubs and societies role on my CV was a factor in getting these positions in the first place."
Did your experience at UUSU impact you personally? For example, did you gain confidence or soft skills or meet any friends / colleagues that impacted you?
"I met and worked with many really good people during my time as a sabbatical officer, several of whom I would still be in contact with today. These were the first real working relationships I had as a full-time employee and it taught me the importance of nurturing good relationships with work colleagues in order to both enjoy work and be successful in it."
Lastly, what was your favourite thing about being a student officer or your best memory of UUSU?
"It is a very long time ago so specific memories are not as clear as they once were, but I can definitely say that the whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable and is something I would recommend to anyone thinking of putting themselves forward. The whole environment was supportive, fun and challenging under the end of it there was a real sense of achievement."
A massive thank you to Shane for taking the time to answer our questions and give as insight into their career and time at UUSU!
Do you want to kick start your career with UUSU? Our Leadership Elections are currently open! Nominate yourself today.