First-class mother Anna Marie follows in daughter's footsteps
It turned out to be a family affair for a mother and daughter who became even closer after obtaining the same degree at the same university.
Mother-of-five Anna Marie Maguire graduates today with a first-class honours degree in accounting.
She decided to make a big change at the age of 42 and applied to the Ulster University to study accounting.
With her youngest child starting primary five, Anna Marie wanted to build a career and she took inspiration from her eldest daughter Cliodhna, who had started a degree in accounting at the university the previous year.
Anna Marie said: "I had been a full-time mum for years but as my children got older, and I had a little more time for myself, I realised I had to start thinking about my future.
"Having supported my daughter Cliodhna in applying to university and attending open days, I decided this was something I could do too."
Anna Marie always had a flair for numbers, achieving A grades in accounts at both GCSE and A-level, so a degree in accounting was the obvious choice.
For many mothers and daughters, studying the same course at the same university could cause a few tensions - but this wasn't the case for Anna Marie and her daughter.
"Cliodhna has been really supportive," she added.
"We weren't in the same year but it actually brought us closer together.
"We would text each other during our breaks and grab a quick coffee when we could.
"It was great to support each other and share a common interest."
Anna Marie completed her degree while working two part-time jobs and looking after her children. It was a challenging three years but it was all worth it in the end.
She added: "At school I was never seen as an academic, but I really enjoyed studying at Ulster University and found myself getting firsts in my assignments. I guess it goes to show if you are passionate about what you are studying you can really excel."
Anna Marie is now taking a well-deserved break for the summer before she starts to look for a job.
Cliodhna graduated with a 2:1 in accounting last year and is now excelling on Ulster's MSc advanced accounting programme.