Sean the Cantabrigian - Clongowes Wood College

Posted: 6th April 2017

Sean McMahon (OC’16) meets our budding undergraduates

Sean McMahon is currently home from the University of Cambridge for his Easter Break. Having now completed two of his three semesters of First Year he was more than happy to come back and share his experiences of college life so far. Sean is studying Science in Gonville and Caius, one of the oldest and largest colleges of the University of Cambridge. Founded in 1348, the College combines the best of Cambridge tradition with 21st century teaching and research.

Sean, the recipient of an Alberto Hurtado Bursary in Clongowes, was quick to point out that life in Cambridge is not much different to that of boarding in Clongowes. As he is living on campus, has meals in the college dining hall and classes on Saturdays, he felt that Clongowes prepared him well for life at university. (What he was not quite prepared for though was his younger brother, Ryan, currently in Syntax, sitting in the front row; that, he felt, was more daunting then talking to a room full of Poetry students).

Sean certainly brought home to the boys the need for thorough research, planning and preparation as they come the end of 5th year and start to make their plans for life after Clongowes. He was very well received by the boys as he recounted writing up his personal statement with erstwhile Career Guidance Counsellor, Mr John Conway and how he would not submit it until it was of a Cambridge standard. Sean was no less entertaining as he described the mock interview process he went through with Mr Stephen O’Hara, he recalled the Cambridge Interview ‘was a walk in the park in comparison. Yes – Clongowes prepared him well for the University of Cambridge.

The boys had plenty of questions for Sean (What is the rugby like? Does he have time for a social life? What is his work load like?). It was really great to see them respond to his warm, friendly and engaging manner over the course of the evening. Sean very kindly offered to stay in touch with any of the boys who feel that the UK may be a route they would like to pursue. He also took many questions from the less vocal boys as they left to go back to evening study.

A big thank you has to go out to Sean’s parents, Deborah and Paul McMahon, for very kindly helping to organise this event and for getting Sean down to Clongowes on a busy Monday evening. While Sean is home for the Easter, studying 8- 9 hours a day to stay on top of his course work we wish him all the very best for his forthcoming end of year exams.

Ms Maria Shaw, Career Guidance Counsellor

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