Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Damien Mason from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Damien Mason

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Damien Mason

If you are really interested in people and have good interpersonal skills, you will find this job very rewarding.

Like a lot of jobs, you will not be using all the theoretical knowledge you gained in University or College, but you will develop significant management potential and the environment is stimulating and rewarding.

As an engineer, you will probably spend about 50% of your time in the office, and the other 50% out in the plant.

You should also expect that you may be asked if you are willing to travel abroad. This would be very attractive to most people, and a definite means to gain great experience, but it may not suit everyone.

You should ideally be a balanced person, someone with a good deal of technical knowledge, but also a good ability to deal with people.

Responsibility and challenges will be given to you from day one, and if you can handle the pressure, you will gain more and more responsibilities, ultimately leading you to gain invaluable experience, and undoubtedly onto a successful management position.

With the global nature of ICL's parent company CRH, this could be yours in Ireland or one of many countries worldwide.

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Realist?
Realist 
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Adult Learner

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Postgraduate Education - (5)


Postgraduate education (Ed Zone 5) is a growing sector in Ireland, and includes the highest levels of academic achievement available. Courses here available in a number of formats, and span different time committments.

Completing a course of graduate study is a challenging and exciting experience, which confers skills, experience and a sense of achievement valued by employers and students. People study for graduate degrees for a variety of reasons:

  • studying your degree subject in greater depth
  • enhancing your job prospects in your chosen career
  • retraining in a different area
  • taking a postgraduate qualification as the next step in your career, for example in law, or education.

For the above reasons the graduate degree experience enhances a person's personal development and experience. It also provides a range of skills and expertise in a subject area that is transferable across a broad range of careers and life settings.

Employers, commenting in a recent university survey on those who have completed graduate degree courses and worked for them made the following declarations:

  • I tend to think of PhD students as more worldly wise and would expect to be getting additional maturity when we recruit them.
  • I would welcome more applications from PhD students. I think the organisation needs their qualities.
  • The fact that someone has done research can show enthusiasm, dedication and focus. Additional maturity can bring with it a better work ethic and more organisational loyalty.
  • We see PhD students as having a wider range of skills to offer - analytical and numeracy amongst others.
  • Postgraduate students have analytical skills, find new solutions to problems and are open to new ideas, these are very important skills.

Very often people undertake post-graduate courses to specialise in an area or to change their career. These courses are at Levels 9 and 10 on the NFQ framework.

You can search for these through Postgradireland.com

Also, it is worth investigating individual college/university websites for detailed descriptions of the postgraduate course, application procedures and the closing dates for application.

We also recommend you visit Graduate Careers Fairs, especially those aimed specifically at postgraduate study.

For more information on post-graduate study: click here.

  Hint: Irish Tax Institute
My enrolment on the AITI Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) course with the Irish Tax Institute and the successful completion of my Part 1 exams was a key factor to securing my training contract with Grant Thornton.
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