Brendan Corrigan studied a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism and Media Communications with Griffith College, graduating in 2006.
Brendan currently works for DDB Worldwide in Colombia and Semana Magazine as a copywriter and podcast host.
Why did you choose to study at Griffith?
“I always loved (and still love!) radio, so after doing a BA in History, Sociology & Politics at NUI Galway, I decided to do something more specific and follow a passion, hence my signing up to the Journalism and Media Communications course! I can't say exactly why I chose Griffith, but I certainly didn’t regret it - I found it very useful. A couple of months in, thanks to befriending a fellow student on the course, I was helping out on Today FM’s award-winning Premiership (now Premier League!) Live show and later I did some stringer work at Croke Park for the station. A few months after taking my final exams, I was working full-time as a broadcast journalist with Shannonside Northern Sound. They were certainly exciting, interesting times!”
Brendan was keen to highlight the influential teaching staff at Griffith College and wanted to highlight the industry-specific insights he received whilst studying at Griffith College.
“In terms of teachers, Donn McClean, who gave us a fortnightly sports journalism class, was very influential. As an actual working journalist, his insights and advice were very pertinent. I also really enjoyed our radio classes with Sean Egan, and I found Ronan Brady to be an interesting character.”
How did studying Journalism & Media inspire your career?
“That’s a difficult one to answer! All things considered, what I’m doing now, and perhaps more appropriately where I’m doing it, Colombia, has been down to me really. We all live and die by our own decisions. People can give you advice and all that, but we, as individuals, are the ones who must make the final decision. The path I’ve gone down has been due to my desire to live something different from the ‘Western’ norm, even though right now I’m living quite the Western life in many ways!”
What have your greatest achievement and biggest challenge been to date?
“I’m not sure if I’m at the stage to be talking about ‘greatest achievements’, but I’m proud of getting my podcast, The Colombia Cast, in association with the country’s leading current affairs magazine Semana, off the ground in late December 2018. It remains a labour of love but it’s something I will always have to my name and I’m having fun doing it. Outside of that, what was a big personal challenge, or at least a big moment, was my decision to go travelling the world solo back in late 2008. I’d always considered myself a bit of a home bird, yet I swallowed that lump in my throat and headed for South America, with Brazil being the first destination. It has been life-changing for the very fact that Colombia has been my base now for eight years. Had somebody told me this would be the case ten years ago, I would have said they were mad!”
What can you tell us about your future plans?
While there are many aspects of my life in Colombia that I like, it would seem that to make a living out of broadcast journalism here, from an English-language perspective that is, is next to impossible. So, to get back on the ‘radio horse’ so to put it, I may have to go to a country that’s more anglophone. I’m working on it, but, having said that, Colombia does have a strange hold over me!”
Finally, we asked Brendan some quick-fire questions.
Best piece of advice you've received:
“Well, I’ve read it, from Winston Churchill I believe, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Eddie O’Sullivan also reportedly once said “You’re only as good as you negotiate.” There’s plenty of truth to that. I have to keep on reminding myself not to sell myself short!”
Advice for recent graduates:
“Add as many strings as you can to your bow! Versatility is key in this constantly changing world we live in.”
Starting out as a student again what would you have done differently?
"Perhaps networked a little more, but on the whole, I don’t think I’d change an awful lot."
How would you describe Griffith College in three words?