First Further Education College students selected to be part of Washington Ireland Programme

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Belfast Metropolitan College

30th Jun 2021

The two Belfast Met students will join over 100 other young leaders that have been selected from the island of Ireland and will have the opportunity to meet with global leaders in business, diplomacy and politics in Dublin and Belfast. Each student had to apply for the WIP through their website and undergo an interview process.

Bryan Patten, Executive Director of the Washington Ireland Program, said: “The 2021 programme will see students connect with global leaders in business, diplomacy and politics both virtually and in Dublin and Belfast. Despite being unable to travel to the United States, this year’s Class can still work for leading global companies on a remote basis, gaining invaluable experience for their future careers. The diverse group also will work on developing policy proposals to tackle pressing issues facing Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Brian added: “We will have some of our brightest young minds thinking about how we address division and build social cohesion, how we create employment for young people after the pandemic and how we become a global leader in climate issues.”

This year marks the largest every class of the WIP which normally involves just 30 third-level students per year. Although this year’s class will not travel state-side, it will engage in a hybrid programme of work placements with prestigious international companies, learn from WIP’s renowned leadership development curriculum before graduating in September.”

20 year old student Kelly Walsh from Carrickfergus, confirmed: “The Washington Ireland Programme has finally given me a platform for my voice to be heard, it’s an amazing opportunity to expand my networks and meet new people, and together I believe we can truly invoke change throughout our communities for the better.”

“I had the opportunity to work alongside an amazing group of people from America which was a personal highlight, and without the support and encouragement from my college tutors I would never have been able to achieve this. I have been placed with WIP’s sustainability cohort. I’ve always known that I wanted to go in the financial direction with my career; either start a business or charity that researches and supports rare disabilities.”

“During the project I will be working alongside the world bank, researching sustainable finance and I then hope to go on to study a Higher Education course at Belfast Met”.

More information about the WIP at Belfast Met, contact the International Office,