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Jack McGovern, Garda Trainee
Security, Defence & Law Enforcement

Jack McGovern, Garda Trainee

Jack McGovern studied Social Science at UCD throughout which he learned about restorative justice and the origin of policing giving him a good foundation for joining An Garda Síochána. Upon graduating from Templemore Garda College Jack aspires to become a detective in his future career.

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first question!

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

When I was sitting my Leaving Cert, I was unsure whether to study Commerce or Social Science. My ultimate goal was to become a member of An Garda Síochána.

Therefore, I chose to study Social Science in UCD because it had a criminology pathway. Whilst there, I learnt about restorative justice and the origin of policing as we know it today.

Throughout college I worked in my local youth club and refereed schoolboy soccer. Both of these positions made me realise that i really enjoyed working with and helping the community.

Two years ago, I became a member of the Garda Reserve, this is the main reason why I chose to become a fully fledged member. I was stationed in Dublin City Centre where I learned the basics of policing and how to communicate with a broad range of people.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

To be honest, I decided that I wanted to be a Garda when I was 4 years old. As a child, I was always fascinated with police cars.

As I progressed through my teens, I realised that being in the Guards would be a very fulfilling job as you go out each day to try and help the people around you who rely on you in a time of need.

How did you go about getting your current job?

I applied online. I had to pass a series of online exams testing my reasoning and decision making.

The biggest hurdle is an interview in which I needed to display 5 competencies;

  • resiliance
  • interpersional skills
  • commitment to a role
  • serving the public
  • problem solving 
  • personal effectiveness

Describe a typical day?

I arrive at college at 8am. I change into my uniform and ensure I look neat and professional. We have a shave each day and ensure our hair is tight.

In the morning we have classes based on Law, human rights, traffic policing, Irish etc. In the afternoon we may have physical training such as PE, self defence, OC Spray training etc.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Our main tasks include working in teams to learn and present our findings to our instructors. We are responsible for ensuring that we understand all the different aspects of the law and human rights.

What are the main challenges?

My main challenge is learning the different sections of the law. It is also challenging to present group presentations in tight time frames.

What's cool?

I really enjoy working with my classmates on a daily basis. I am also playing with the college rugby team which is brilliant experience as we've been able to play many different colleges in the Munster region.

What's not so cool?

I must be in college Monday through Friday 9am - 5pm. I miss the lie-ins I used to have back when I was in UCD!

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

I think that I bring leadership and team working skills to my class. I also think that I am quite a good communicator as I've worked as a soccer referee, a maths tutor and also worked in a summer camp in the states for two summers.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

I took business, accounting and economics as I was preparing for a Plan B i.e. working in the private sector or becoming a secondary school teacher.

What is your education to date?

I have a Bachelor of Social Science from UCD. 

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Criminology and Social Studies.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

- Walking through the gates of the Garda college and fulfilling a life long ambition

- Representing the college on CrimeCall

- Winning the International Police Assosiation soccer tournament

- Playing for the college rugby team

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

Positive outlook on life,  mindfulness and teamwork leadership skills. 

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to make a real and positive influence in my community. I would love to take part in community policing and then possibly move on to a detective role.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

While I am in training, I am living in Templemore during the week and travel back to Dublin on the weekends. The lifestyle in college is great as you are always surrounded by friends and there is plenty of sports teams etc.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Get a degree in any area that you are interested in. It doesn't have to be directly related to sociology or Law. Apply to become a member of the Garda Reserve Gather life experience by travelling before you join.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

  • Helpfulness
  • Empathy
  • Proactiveness

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

I would like to progress through the ranks throughout my career. I may consider doing a Masters in Criminology which would definitely aid me in my career.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Anything community related; youth clubs, refereeing, volunteering, coaching etc.

What is your current job title?

Garda Trainee

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