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Duke McCaffrey on Ronan's Journey: Sponsoring the American Dream 

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3 November 2023

3 min read

Ronan Patterson, a committed team player on and off the field, a grounded realist and a versatile sportsman, earns Duke McCaffrey’s enthusiastic support as he prepares to join the US team in 2024. In the meantime, the US DMC team stands firmly behind his college and football journey. Ronan’s story is one of inspiration and professionalism, here’s a little more about it.

In an industry where risk is something to be avoided, Ronan has tackled a move from Ireland to America, following his passions on the sports field and in the office.

Ronan's journey has taken him from quantity surveying and rugby in Ireland to chasing American dreams and academic excellence in the United States. Next year, he will find himself as a key member of Duke McCaffrey's American team, embodying the company's motto of "challenging the status quo."

Ronan's story begins with a love for sports, specifically rugby and Gaelic football. He pursued these passions at the highest levels available in Ireland, even playing provincial rugby for Ulster. However, his dreams extended beyond the Irish shores. With aspirations to follow in his brother’s steps to move to America, Ronan decided to explore opportunities across the Atlantic.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Ronan's journey is how he leveraged his sports background to secure an opportunity to study in the United States. He contacted coaches and colleges, tirelessly working towards his goal of getting a scholarship. His determination paid off, and in June, he made the transatlantic leap to a college in New Jersey.

Ronan's academic path took a turn towards Geographical Information Systems (GIS), a highly technical field that complements his undergraduate background in Quantity Surveying. The synergy between GIS and construction is clear, and he finds the subject matter both intriguing and applicable to his existing knowledge.

Ronan believes that his GIS skills help him understand and manage risk—a vital aspect of both the construction industry and American football. The parallels between these two seemingly distinct fields reveal Ronan's ability to see connections and opportunities where others might not.

Ronan's dedication to American football highlights his commitment to teamwork and goal achievement. He's part of a team that practices six days a week, a testament to the intensity and rewards of the sport. The lessons learned on the football field, including teamwork, performing under pressure, and developing people skills, resonate strongly with his construction industry work.

Ronan also takes pride in being a mentor to younger undergrads in his football team.

“Sport can be so fulfilling, but we all know it won't last forever. Planning for the future is absolutely vital. As one of the older members of the team, it’s really rewarding being able to help the others and encouraging them to look beyond the game.”

With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Ronan is a vocal advocate for mental health within the construction industry. He recognises that stress affects individuals at every level of the business and passionately works to end the stigma surrounding mental health. Much like in American football, the construction industry thrives when everyone is united, understanding, and supportive.

Ronan frequently speaks on his own mental health journey, and shares his voice to podcasts, including The One DMC, where Ronan’s guest spot can be found on YouTube, and is well worth a listen.

Reflecting on his journey, Ronan acknowledges that he didn't always know what he wanted to do in life, a sentiment many teenagers share. His love for math led him to quantity surveying—a role that combines his love for mathematics, meeting people, and planning, offering a fulfilling blend of everything he enjoys.

Joining Duke McCaffrey in the United States feels like a home away from home for Ronan. With the company's offices in Dublin, he feels a strong connection and a warm welcome from his colleagues. Working in America for an Irish company aligns perfectly with his aspirations, allowing him to explore different industries and continuously learn.

In the end, Ronan's story shows that sometimes, with some due diligence, determination, and adaptability, risks are worth taking. From the rugby fields of Ireland to American football, Ronan's journey embodies the spirit of pursuing your passions and pushing boundaries, a sentiment that perfectly aligns with Duke McCaffrey's mission to challenge the status quo.