Joe Hegarty grew up in Galway city, and following his early education he joined the family hotel business in the city. A short time later he was appointed to teach at the Vocational Hotel School in Athenry, where he worked for four years. Then he left for Wolverhampton Polytechnic, where he lectured for some years. He was involved in developing courses there, and from that background he was offered a position as Head of School of Catering Management in Cathal Brugha Street in 1972. He discusses the fact that in 1978 he was one of the first group from the VEC to study for a Master’s degree at Trinity. He recalls his travels abroad, and the valuable work experience he gained as a result. He also discusses his contribution and input into the Quality Assurance Handbook, which became an important tool to achieve recognition of the fact that the colleges were unified. He details the steps in his career until his retirement in 2005.