#WOW AT SOUTH WEST COLLEGE, WE LOVE TO SHOWCASE OUR TALENTED STAFF AND WHAT THEY GET UP TO AT AND AWAY FROM WORK. AS WE CONTINUE TO TEACH AND WORK REMOTELY, WE’RE DOING THIS BY ASKING THEM FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR ROLES AT SWC AND THERE PASSIONS AWAY FROM WORK. NEXT UP, IS NIALL MARLOW.
Tell us a bit about your role within South West College?
My role as Student Engagement Officer for Health and Wellbeing requires me to provide students with opportunities to look after and maintain their own health and wellbeing. This is achieved through the organisation of workshops, awareness raising campaigns and linking with local organisations to support students.
How long have you worked at the college? What has been a highlight of your time here?
I started in SWC back in April of 2017 so I have almost hit the 4 year mark which has flown by if I am being honest. As for highlight of my time here, I feel that the ongoing promotion/support for our student’s mental health and wellbeing is a constant highlight. I am also very proud to have been part of the management team for our SWC Omagh Men’s Gaelic Football team who won the All-Ireland HE Championship in January 2020. The 2021 competition was cancelled due to covid so we have held the title for an extra year too!
What is your favourite thing about SWC/your job?
In terms of my favourite thing about SWC, it has to be the people, both students and staff. I am lucky that I get to be across all our sites and I have made some great friends throughout the college during my time here. The student engagement team is a great team to be part of and you can always count on them for support. As for my job, working with students is something I really enjoy. I come from a background in youth work so to be able to continue working with young people, albeit in a different setting than I was used to, is great.
How have you found the transition to working remotely?
My experience of working remotely has been mixed. During the first lockdown last year I found it difficult to adjust. However, once I got myself a proper workspace set up within the house it made things a lot easier as I had a space that I could go to for my work and more importantly a room I could walk away from at the end of the day and leave work behind to spend time with my family. I have also found that this time has provided us with an opportunity to try out some new things online that definitely work and can definitely be integrated into our work even once we return to campus.
What do you miss most about being on campus?
The face to face interaction with students and colleagues has definitely been missed.
What passions do you have away from work?
Obviously spending time with my family is very important to me and lockdown has allowed me to do more of this. In terms of hobbies, I am heavily involved in my local Gaelic football club. I have played for the club as long as I can remember and I often refer to my teammates as my other family. It will be great to get back out and represent my club once again once it is safe to do so. I’m also a huge Chelsea fan which can often result in somewhat of a rollercoaster of emotions!
If you could host three famous people (living or dead) at a dinner party, who would they be and why?
Sorry to disappoint but this list is going to be terrible to non-sporting fans. Didier Drogba would be first. He's one of my favourite ever Chelsea players and he gave Chelsea fans a night we will never forget when he secured our only ever Champions League win. During his career he and his National teammates also played their part in preventing a civil war within the Ivory Coast. He has continued to be influential in his home country and set up a foundation that provides both educational and medical support to the people of Africa. Alongside him I'd have Peter Crouch, which might sound a tad random, but I'm a massive fan of ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’ and he we would definitely bring good value to the dinner table. Finally I'll say Tyson Fury - a man who has said many controversial things I wouldn’t agree with. However, over the past few years he has overcome serious issues with his mental and physical health to return right to the top of the boxing world. I think it would be great to hear about his road to recovery and beyond.
What are you currently watching or reading?
I am more of a TV guy than books and I am currently watching Vikings. Not for everyone I know but I think it’s pretty good.
Tell us something we don't know about you.
When on holiday in Turkey a number of years ago, I inadvertently convinced the local people that I played for Chelsea. They all thought I was a celebrity. My wife looked over to see them all surrounding me and didn't have a clue what was going on!
Where is the first place you're going after lockdown?
A family weekend away would be great. Near or far I don’t mind.