• Jessie Murphy - NUIM BBS Equine Business Student

    My name is Jessie Murphy.  I am a second-year student studying the BBS Equine Business degree at Maynooth University.  From a very young age I have had a huge passion for horses. I was lucky enough to own my own ponies and competed into my late teens.  I grew up in an area that has a rich thoroughbred breeding and racing heritage with many top class racehorse Trainers based nearby.   Over time my interest moved from sport horses to racehorses.  I rode out at weekends and school holidays. In my final year in school, business and economics were two subjects that I particularly enjoyed. I realised that I needed to find a course that would allow me to pursue my interest in horse racing but also contain a business element.  The BBS Equine Business allows me to combine my passion for horse racing with a comprehensive business degree.

    The first year of the degree offered me a valuable foundation in equine business, covering topics such as Accounting and Economics, along with an introduction to the structure of the equine industry in Ireland and Internationally. In the second year of my studies I have gained a more detailed insight into the functions of a business, including Marketing, Brand Management and Human Resource Management, as well as equine modules including Equine Leisure and Tourism and Stud Farm Management.  After second year there is an opportunity to take a one-year work placement or studying in either the University of Arizona on the Racetrack Industry programme or at the University of Kentucky.  Opportunities such as these can enhance your CV with valuable experience and increase your career options.  The final year includes Equine Business Financial Management and Racecourse & Equine Event Management alongside the other business modules.

    There are plenty of networking opportunities throughout the course.  We have a guest speaker’s series, which gives an insight into the industry and its needs and concerns. Graduates of the programme return to share their experiences and provide useful advice. Many are working in governing bodies and industry bodies within the thoroughbred and sport horse sectors, while others have been accepted on the prestigious Godolphin Flying Start programme and the Irish National Stud programme.

    This degree has allowed me to gain valuable work experience within the Industry. I have secured part-time employment at Willie Mullins’ racing yard. I ride out and occasionally help out in the office, which gives me a greater understanding of the business aspect of such a successful operation.   I also work at Leopardstown Racecourse on race days. I liaise with the winning owners and help out with race day preparations. This is a fantastic opportunity to get first-hand experience working with professionals at one of the finest racecourses in the country. 

    I would recommend this programme whether your interest lies in breeding, racing or equestrianism- this programme looks at business management of the equine industry in its entirety. If you are considering a career within the equine industry this degree is for you.  So far this degree has opened many doors for me in my career progression and I am excited to continue my studies wherever it may take me. 

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