During a time of economic hardship for Ireland, Brian Kelly, a Dublin-born 22-year-old and a graduate of University of Limerick, has been given the opportunity to further his finance studies at Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT.
The Rev. John M. Conlisk Irish Scholarship has been awarded each year for the past 20 years to an MBA or MS in finance candidate from Ireland. Established by a group of Irish Americans and Fairfield trustee Kevin M. Conlisk, ’66, the scholarship was named for his late brother and former priest Rev. John M. Conlisk of the Archdiocese of Bridgeport. When the Irish economy was first struggling almost 20 years ago, before the Celtic Tiger, the group believed that the scholarship could help an Irish student make crucial business contacts.
This year, full tuition, room and board, and medical insurance expenses have been covered for the next 18 months while Kelly completes his graduate degree at Fairfield’s Dolan School of Business. The scholarship amounts to about $50,000.
Kelly is taking full advantage of the opportunity. He has his eye set on mastering the Bloomberg Terminals and becoming Bloomberg-certified. “I think it will set me apart,” he says. Kelly is taking two courses in the Business Education Simulation and Trading Classroom at Fairfield. He also plans on a finance internship in the area and is considering taking courses that will allow him to become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
He hopes to one day be working in New York City, yet at the moment Kelly has found a home at Fairfield. “Everyone is so warm and friendly at Fairfield,” he says. “They hear the Irish accent and start talking. So many people are Irish. It’s great.”