Former Clongowes pupil returns to school to speak to current crop

Leader Reporter


Leader Reporter


Former Clongowes pupil returns to school to speak to current crop

William Sargent (centre) with Martin Wallace, (left) Deputy Head, Paul McCormack, (right) Director of Studies and students at Clongowes College on September 6.

Last Thursday, September 6, one of Clongowes Wood College’s most illustrious past pupils visited the school and made a presentation to current pupils.

William Sargent left Clongowes in 1973 and is the founder and CEO of the visual effects giant, Framestore which has worked with clients ranging from big Hollywood studios to major brands such as Coca-Cola, Volkswagen and Nokia.

It was responsible for the visual effects that can be enjoyed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Dark Knight, War Horse, the James Bond hit Quantum of Solace, Blade Runner 2049 and Avatar.

Mr Sargent met with the 2nd and 5th year groups in the school to talk about creativity and teamwork and how failure can be your best friend.

On his return to his alma mater, William took a walk down memory lane sharing the happy memories of his time at the Clane school; before taking his young audience on a tour through a big screen multi-media presentation of some of his best known and most innovative work.

He used an example from his days in Clongowes to illustrate the value of team work and hard work when he spoke of a rugby team of ‘mediocre guys’ that swept all before them for almost three years.

Collaboration he insisted, was key, saying that “while not everyone is a star, everyone can be part of a star team”.

Emphasising that making money is not a good reason to start a business, William encouraged his young audience to follow their dreams — and to be prepared to take risks.

He noted the importance of failure in the quest for success, saying that it creates resilience and is a valuable learning experience.

He closed his presentation by referencing his own early days and saying that it is important to have a vision, and that it is okay to spend time finding it.

Mr Sargent has advised the EU, and Tony Blair and is a Non-Executive Director at the British Treasury.

A humble Irish man, he had qualms about accepting a knighthood from the Queen Elizabeth II in 2008 for his governmental endeavours.

He told the students that he only uses the title on business cards in America.