The Next Step Programme

The Next Step is a series of talks by OC’s given to current Clongowes students in the Higher Line (5th & 6th Year). The speakers generally are between 5 to 15 years out of the school and working in vast range of professions with a variety of significant life experiences. The concept of the program was to help deliver applicable knowledge to current students to help aid them in making future decisions mainly regarding third level education, professional examinations, career paths, travel and entrepreneurship. This advice can be hugely beneficial as it is delivered from individual with first hand experience in the areas of discussion, most relevant as they sat in the same chair as the students only a few years previous.

The speakers range from people operating in Tech, medicine, accountancy, social media, start-ups, entrepreneurship, law and so on. However, what has proven to maybe more intriguing is the path in which the induvial took to get there. Below are a few shot bios of former speakers:-

Michael Mcloughlin (OC’08)

Now working as an Agency Account Manager at Google, Michael delivered a great talk about his career change due to his unhappiness in his role as an accountant working in consulting, taking a chance that paid off. He also spoke about his experiences on the Gap year and playing rugby post school.

Rob Lipsett (OC’11)

To a huge crowd, Rob spoke about continued academic failures and an eventually dropping out of college. He then went onto pursuing his passions in the world of fitness and social media, he has had great success and runs multiple businesses as well as being one of the most popular fitness based ‘YouTubers’ in the world.

Mark Maxwell (OC’10)

Mark gave a fantastic talk about his unique life experiences; he entered into the Gap Year program in Australia after finishing in the school. During the year abroad, he unfortunately suffered a heart attack that he was lucky to have survived. Marks positive attitude and work ethic have brought him back to Sydney a few years later where he has worked in a large investment bank and for Google. He also has a podcast and blog which he regularly posts on.


Tom Kelly (OC’11) set the program up in November 2015 and since then we have seen in excess of ten OC’s deliver talks to students. There is a list of OC’s who have committed to deliver talks during this academic year 2017/18 which we hope the students will find to be extremely useful as they make many important decisions regarding their futures over the coming years. We also hope that it will help connect current students with the Clongowes Union.