Friday 22nd January 2021

...with Mr Liam O'Halleron

News from Alumni

How long has it been since you left Archbishop Beck?

I left Archbishop Beck in 2007 after being there from year 7 up through Sixth form.

What is the thing you remember about being a student at the College?

In my early years of the school, I was involved in the running team, this opened up an opportunity to join both the Liverpool harriers and also the Liverpool Pembroke and Sefton Harriers. My two big passions were Sport and Science, especially Physics and Biology. Unfortunately I missed up to 1.5 years of study in total due to health reasons at Archbishop Beck after my sporting days. This left a great gap in my passions as I was no longer able to run competitively. I will never forget the support I received from the college community. This helped me greatly on my road to recovery. It was during this period I discovered my love for music. I joined the then developing concert band as one of the original members.

You mentioned that you were part of performing arts at Archbishop Beck can you expand on this?

I can never forget my time in the music department, it was where I met many friends, travelled to different countries and performed many, many concerts in prestigious locations. I started my days in the concert band playing the trombone when the band was just in its infancy. Upon leaving the college the band had developed into a great force! Our commitment, work ethic and comradery enabled us to win multiple competitions. I gained substantial skills from being in the concert band which has benefited me into my adult life.

What have you been doing since leaving Archbishop Beck?

My passion for science took me to do a Master degree in Physics from Liverpool University and another Master degree in Astrophysics from Liverpool John Moores University. During the summer breaks I would go to Brazil to teach English students. In total I have spent over one year living in Brazil. It was the experience of a lifetime, I learned a new language and broadened my horizons. It was there where I met my wife.

After my university studies I went to work as a Geophysicist, I started off working in Edinburgh which took me on various exciting field excursions to where I currently work in central London.

What advice would you give to a young person who wants to do the same kind of work you do?

My passion was always in science, from a very early age I knew that it was what I wanted to do. Archbishop Beck greatly helped me in developing my curiosity and my drive to become a scientist, even after missing so much of my schooling due to health reasons. From my studies I gained an understanding of the world that many do not appreciate. I learned of the very large things such as how the universe works to the very small things such as how atoms and molecules interact.

My advice for anyone would be: If you have an interest, not necessarily in science, but in anything at all. Strive for your goals, no matter what obstacles present themselves, no matter what your peers think or confident that you have no limitations in your abilities and your future is ahead of you!

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. Charles Swindol


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