'I love UCC and sport was a great way of getting to know people'
My Story: John Power | Arts, UCC
John Power is a well-known Kilkenny hurling star, but in the past couple of years he has also donned a jersey for a Cork side.
The 23-year-old forward from Stoneyford, already the holder of two All-Ireland medals, is currently preparing for Kilkenny's All-Ireland final against Tippeary in Croke Park next months.
The former St Kieran's College pupil originally wanted to be a primary teacher, but ultimately opted for an arts degree in Dublin, studying economics and geography.
Although John got through first year successfully, the course wasn't really suiting him, and a friend put him in touch with a lecturer in University College Cork (UCC).
It led to John transferring to a similar course in UCC and he hasn't looked back. Having recently completed third year, he is now planning to do a master's in food business, also in UCC.
John's prowess on the hurling field made him an obvious choice for a UCC sports scholarship, which he was awarded in second year, and then, in third year, he was selected as one of UCC's elite Quercus scholars, a scheme that supports students of exceptional talent in academia, sport, creative and performing arts, citizenship and entrepreneurship.
Working towards completing his degree, while also performing at the highest level in hurling, was going to be a challenge but the scholarship was a big help. According to John, one major benefit was being given an academic mentor "who helped me to plan my time in college, and my GAA, on the days I would be going training".
The Kilkenny man was a welcome member of UCC's Fitzgibbon Cup teams and was proud to do so given the university's strong sporting tradition, particularly in hurling.
"I have loved my time in Cork. I transferred there not knowing many people and sports was a great way of making friends," says John.
He says that while it was the GAA that helped him to settle into college life, there is something there for everyone and he advises first years to get involved in activities outside the lecture hall.