THERE are few editors who would entertain a college graduate armed with a thesis on slasher films and a headful of notions. But that's exactly what Tony McCullagh, group editor of the Dublin People, did with me over a decade ago.
I had just finished up a course that qualified me for little besides waxing lyrical about Irish cinema or discussing Descartes. Oh, and I could type.
Yet I had an ambition to write; to be a journalist. I'm not sure anyone believed I could break into the industry without having studied the trade or have had at least a few articles published, but the Dublin People Group took a chance and for that I will always be grateful.
I've been working for The Sunday Times for nine years now and I'm a news reporter who is proud of my beginnings with Northside People and Southside People.
It was through these publications that I learned how to report; how to investigate a story; how to be able to stand over every word I write; and how to remain objective. These are skills that still apply today.
The training I had in Northside People set me up as the journalist I am today and I am proud to count my old colleagues as friends. Not only is this newspaper group at the forefront of breaking local stories and keeping the capital informed, but it is a team effort - a place where journalists, production and advertising pull together to create a product that is a valuable community service.
Here's to another 25 years.
• Siobhan Maguire is a journalist with The Sunday Times.