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Biggest career guidance gathering, StudentLife Summit bound for Limerick 

Emma Duggan, Finn Looney and Leon Kieran from St Annes Community College Killaloe pictured with Catherine Duffy, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Northern Trust at the launch of the StudentLife summit at Northern Trust operations at City East Plaza, Limerick. Picture Sean Curtin True Media.


Biggest career guidance gathering, StudentLife Summit in Limerick on November 17th 




Having industry role models engage directly with school students can be game-changing for young people as they approach critical career decisions, the launch of StudentLife Summit sponsored by Northern Trust, has heard.

The Summit, which takes place at the University of Limerick Concert Hall on November 17th and is in association with the Bank of Ireland, Regeneron and the Defence Forces, will be the most innovative career guidance event of the year, attracting over 1,000 students to the Limerick venue.

The event will see students meet and explore career options with employers, business leaders and innovators as well attend a range of inspirational talks from captains of industry. 

Held today at Northern Trust’s operations at City East Plaza, Limerick, the launch was a taste of what’s ahead for students next month as leading industry players, led by Catherine Duffy, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Northern Trust and Niall O’Leary, VP Regeneron gathered with event founder and CEO Rita Kelly, and Helen Raftery, CEO Junior Achievement Ireland and others, including students, to outline details of the StudentLife Summit.  Also in attendance was StudentLife Summit MC, RTE’s Alan Short and renowned musician Liam O’Connor, who will also perform at the major gathering at UL next month. 

StudentLife Summit

Stuart Woods, Bank of Ireland, Event founder and CEO Rita Kelly, Catherine Duffy, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Northern Trust and and Niall O’Leary, VP Regeneron at the launch of the summit at Northern Trust’s operations at City East Plaza, Limerick. Picture Sean Curtin True Media.

Addressing the launch, General Manager Northern Trust Limerick Catherine Duffy said: “We are delighted to support this event as we recognise the role that companies like Northern Trust can play in helping young people to see what opportunities are out there for them.  The event is geared for Transition, 5th and 6th-year students for whom career choice is very much foremost in their minds and we have an obligation as employers to help them make that choice.  The StudentLife Summit is an excellent vehicle for that.”

Also speaking at today’s event, Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland, an organisation which recruited trained and equipped 3,000 volunteers to engage with 65,000 students last year, said that events like the StudentLife Summit and other education-industry interfacing activities are essential for helping young students make the right choices.  “Our programmes delivered by business volunteers are all about bridging the gap between education and employment and that’s exactly what StudentLife Summit will do.  Industry representatives are more likely to be listened to by students precisely because they are not their parents or their teachers.  It might just be a single comment made by an industry volunteer that strikes a chord with a student but it could literally change their lives. Research shows that when caring adults are involved in education, students do better in school and life, adults become empowered, and schools and communities grow stronger.  Strong, focussed industry-education engagement is one mechanism by which opportunities can be maximised and challenges addressed,” she said.

Said Michelle Noone Head of Search at the Public Appointments Service, one of the Summit partners and which will also be present at the event:  “We are delighted to attend the StudentLife Summit in Limerick this year and to have an opportunity to showcase careers in the public sector.  We seek students at all levels who are interested in making a difference to the lives of the citizens we serve.  The Public Appointments Service recruits for the 17 Government Departments, the Health Service Executive, the Local Authorities, An Garda Siochana and a myriad of public sector bodies.  With over 400,000 employees in the public sector in Ireland, we have a huge variety of opportunities.  Those opportunities range from summer work for school students, roles at entry level for school leavers right up to opportunities for Level 8 graduates.  We have a huge demand within the public sector for a variety of experience, qualifications and perspectives gave the range of organisations we represent.”

Assisted by Clive Byrne Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputies (NAPD), the StudentLife Summit will give Transition, 5th and 6th year students the opportunity to explore a host of career choices and engage with a wide number of career sectors including Banking, Aviation, Medicine, Construction, Tourism & Hospitality, Entertainment Technology and The Arts among others. Students can visit exhibitors where they can engage with potential future employers, colleges, workshops and the creative arts and explore new apprenticeship models.

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with leading employers, including Northern Trust; Head of Disney in Ireland and Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Trish Long, who will make available the latest Disney movie for showing on the day; the Public Appointments Service, Bank of Ireland, Regeneron, the Defence Forces, The Ireland U.S. Council, Deloitte, Roadbridge, Parc Aviation & TOC Equity, the National Maternity Hospital, the Abbey Theatre, Dell, Pramerica, KBC, UBER and WP Engine while UL and will also be present for students to talk too about potential courses and degrees.

Said Founder and CEO of StudentLife Summit Rita Kelly: “The day itself will be a fantastic opportunity for students to explore career options but we will take it well beyond the event itself as we are creating a multimedia package that will be available to 84,000 students and will summarise the opportunities that are there for them, including many they may never have considered.”

Clive Byrne, Director, National Association of Principals and Deputies also endorsed the upcoming Summit, saying:  “Opportunities for Transition Year students to explore career options is always valuable. Face to face interaction and the ability to ask questions from Exhibitors will have a strong influence on their choices and I highly recommend attendance at the StudentLife Summit.”

Admission to the Student Life Summit is €10 and Teachers can register their classes at

For more on Student life in Limerick click here


Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.