Timothy McGuirk '11

Timothy McGuirk '11


Describe your path since graduating from Portsmouth Abbey School.

After leaving Cory’s Lane in 2011, I began my undergraduate studies in the College of Communication at Boston University. Through the guidance of great mentors, I discovered a passion for public relations. These professors helped me secure my first professional experience working at local radio stations, a large software firm, and community organizations. Each role gave me valuable experience and shaped my career development. Beyond my studies, I continued to referee ice hockey and earned the opportunity to officiate at the division one level. 

In 2015, I accepted my first full-time job after graduation. A growing staffing firm in Boston hired me to improve their communication with 500 national employees and their external partners. After two years there, I joined the development and public affairs teams at the Archdiocese of Boston. This dream position allowed me to work in a mission driven environment, embrace new professional challenges and strengthen the Church’s service to the community at large.

Portsmouth Abbey set me on a path well prepared for the challenges of the professional world. 

How did your experience at Portsmouth Abbey School help you become the person & professional you are today?

The extraordinary people at the Abbey, including my peers, members of the faculty and the monastic community, created a safe environment for me to learn, make mistakes and come of age. 

One example of how the community spurred personal growth in my life: As a Third Former at Portsmouth, I struggled to write well. My papers did not measure up to those of my peers' and it frustrated me. During sophomore year, after a pattern of mediocre results, my humanities teachers made a concerted effort to encourage me to make progress. They taught me to write simply and directly. They welcomed me during the conference period to talk through assignments. They reviewed drafts and challenged me to never settle in my work.

To those teachers, my advisor, the late, great Dom Ambrose Wolverton, OSB, and every member of Abbey community, I cannot express my gratitude enough. My work at the Archdiocese today depends on the interpersonal, communicative and creative skills they cultivated in me at Portsmouth Abbey.

What is the best advice you could give to a current student?

Visit the tabernacle in the Abbey Church whenever you feel burdened in your life at boarding school. Robert Cardinal Sarah, an African Cardinal stationed in the Vatican, says in his new book, “Sacred silence, laden with the adored presence, opens the way to mystical silence, full of loving intimacy.” If you ever need to feel loved in the thick of exams, on the heels of a difficult Tuck Dance or whatever weighs on you I encourage you to take five minutes of your day (lunch or conference periods worked best for me) and allow God to enter your heart in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.