Learn more about Jack Ridgway, Alumnus (Class of 2015)
Where are you living now?
Luxembourg, with plans to move to Dublin.
What did you do after you left ISL?
Attended the University of Limerick, worked in the film industry, worked in the events industry just before the pandemic, then went back to school and got a Masters degree from Smurfit Graduate Business School.
What did you study at University?
A BSc Music, Media, and Performance Technology and a MSc Digital Innovation.
What are you doing now?
I am actually taking some time off at the moment, though I continue to keep busy by helping coach the ISL swim team and helping friends renovate a house. For now I am mainly pursuing personal goals, one of which includes preparing and training for the Pacific Ocean stage of the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race.
Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how?
ISL always encouraged me to participate in academic subjects or extracurricular activities that were of genuine interest to me and I continue to explore both my established and newly discovered interests.
What advantages has studying at ISL given you?
You leave ISL such a well-rounded person and with a high level of knowledge of many topics that you can't help but be in a better starting position than others, however, you know that it can take a lot of hard work in order to achieve your goals. It definitely took me a long time to really appreciate how much further a little more effort can get you. ISL also gave me a huge advantage when it came to my teamwork, collaboration, public speaking, and presentation skills which I continue to use regularly.
What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?
You are in a building full of creative, intelligent, and unique students and staff that create a very special environment. Not many people have the chance to go to a school like ISL so do not take that for granted and take full advantage of those opportunities.
Were you involved in any clubs/activities at ISL? What did you enjoy about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
I was involved in many of the extracurriculars offered by ISL. I was swim team captain and also participated in Mérite Jeunesse, football, baseball, rugby, band, and choir. The competitive aspect of many of the activities was of course a lot of fun, but really it was about enjoying an activity with a group of people you may not normally hang out with but all enjoy doing the same thing. I always liked that participation in sports for example was always open to everyone, there weren't tryouts in the classical sense and you were either in or out, so it made for a much more interesting experience for everyone that wanted to be involved. Yes competitions were important and eventually teams had to be chosen, but that was always much later in the season so it made participation in extracurriculars a much more inclusive experience.
Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning:
You could always find help, whether it was academic or to do with college, sports related, your future, social, emotional, whatever it may be there was always a way that someone could help you out. ISL isn't just about being able to do well on exams, it's about creating an environment that allows individuals to grow.
How did your time at ISL help shape you as a person?
I spent 12 years at ISL, it had a significant influence on the person I am today. I did a lot of learning and a lot of growing up at the school, it helped create a solid foundation upon which I could continue building.
What do you think is unique about ISL?
The international setting, students, and staff makes ISL a special place that is difficult to find anywhere else.
If you could thank a teacher or staff member, who would it be?
This question really made me think about all the wonderful teachers, staff, and coaches that I had during my time at ISL. I've come to the conclusion that if I were to write one name down, I'd have to write all the names down of the people that had such a positive impact on my education. While I'm sure many of my teachers would agree that I could have worked a little harder, I would like to take this moment to say thank you to everyone involved with my time at ISL, both academically and otherwise. Thank you again, your impact has helped make me the person I am today.
Describe ISL in 5 words: