Next Up: Dream Job

Getting to know Fionn Cullinane
Masters in Sports Science

Fionn Cullinane

What brought you to study at UC?

My aspiration is to work in High Performance Sport. That role requires postgrad study so this Masters degree made perfect sense. I chose UC because I knew I’d be able to make great connections in the industry.

Speaking of connections, tell us about your Crusaders internship!

As part of my Masters I got to intern as a strength conditioning coach with the Crusaders. I helped the players with their training and conditioning. It's been an outstanding opportunity. I've been blown away by the organisation and the people. They’re really accepting and down-to-earth. Gaining confidence with professional athletes is key to a sports science career. You can't be too starstruck!

How do you go about achieving work/life balance as a mature student?

Between the internship, working and studying the weeks can get pretty long. My course coordinators have been really understanding and flexible. They allow me to take time when I need to and then catch up. It's part and parcel of being a postgrad student.

What doors have opened for you here?

I’ve landed my dream role! I’m heading up to Waikato to become assistant sprint coach for the New Zealand Track Cycling Team. It's my dream job and it wasn't publicly advertised. I got it through the connections I've made here at UC. The biggest benefit of doing my Masters here has been the visibility. You get in front of the right people and I’ve been able to back it up with the right skills.

Sounds like you’ve had an amazing year!

It's been intense and full on, but it hasn't been in vain. To have done a course that has led directly to my ideal role has been incredible. If it wasn't for this Masters I'd still be where I was last year. It’s not so much a ladder as a fast moving escalator. If you can hold on, you can get ahead really fast!

Any advice for others?

Find the role you aspire to and then look at what they need. From there you can break it back into a series of steps. It's a lot like coaching. Plan it and then do it. I'm really glad I enrolled. The outcomes have been absolutely amazing.