Peter Boylan – ‘My Qualification Has Opened Doors to Allow Me to Work as a Tour Guide’
Travel & Tourism
Peter Boylan is a dairy farmer and Export Sales Manager from Waterford with more free time available as he recently wound down his workload, giving him the opportunity to gain his Tour Guide qualification at Portobello Institute.
Farming to becoming a tour guide may seem like a jump, but Peter wanted to take on something completely different, inspired by a conversation with a stranger years earlier.
Between work and family commitments he thought that becoming a tour guide would remain a dream, but now he has made it a reality with a brand new role as an independent tour guide and driver.
“I am a dairy farmer with 160 cows in Co. Waterford and I also work as an Export Sales Manager for a farm machinery manufacturer in Co. Clare.
“Last year I took on a partner in the dairy farm business which has allowed me to step away from the daily management and I now spend less than 20% of my time on the farm. I’m still doing some work in export sales but not as much as in previous years.
“I wanted to do something completely different and freshen up my life. A chance meeting with someone on a plane a few years ago who was returning to the US from a holiday in Ireland sowed a seed in my mind that I would like to take people on tours around our beautiful country at some time in the future.
“For many years I have felt that being a tour guide was something I’d like to do but both business and family commitments meant it was a dream that would probably never be realised. But a change in my business, when I decided to take on a partner coupled with kids growing up and making their own way in the world, meant that this was something I could finally explore,” he said.
Now, Peter has gained his Tour Guide qualification and is fulfilling his dream of working as an independent tour guide and driver. This is a new and exciting career change that allows him to follow his passion and fulfil his potential in new ways.
“I am now an independent driver/guide. I work as a guide and driver/guide for a Destination Management Company and a couple of travel companies.
“My qualification has opened doors with companies to allow me to work as a tour guide. But it’s the work we did with Jim Dempsey in the course that prepared me for the work.
“During a day in my life as a driver/guide, I collect my guests at their hotel in the morning on a bus and then I will drive them to different sites on their itinerary.
“Along the way, I will talk to them about what they are seeing, history as well as many aspects of life in Ireland. When we arrive at an attraction I will accompany the guests and do the tour for them. I will then book lunch for them and continue the tour finally bringing them to their hotel in the evening,” he said.
Peter says the blended course delivery made it possible for him to achieve and there was great camaraderie between his classmates who are still in contact long after finishing the course.
“When I decided to become a qualified tour guide, I looked at a few different colleges but I needed a course that would fit around other commitments in my life. I was afraid of starting something that I just wouldn’t be able to finish but the blended learning that Portobello Institute provided was something I knew I could commit to.
“I really enjoyed my time as a student at Portobello Institute, the class were a really nice bunch and even though the course has ended we’re all still in contact and share the details of our progression within the industry. I really looked forward to our classes every Tuesday and Wednesday night and when it was over it left a bit of a void in my life. It was all very enjoyable.
“The best thing was the lecturer, Jim Dempsey, he was excellent. He made the course so interesting and kept taking us out of our comfort zone, so we were always on our toes. Even though the course is over he still makes himself available for any questions or advice as we make our way into the industry,” he said.
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