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 Siobhan Canny from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Siobhan Canny

Midwife

Health Service Executive

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Siobhan Canny

I would advise anybody wishing to pursue a career as a Midwife to focus on having science subjects in their Leaving Certificate. The basic entrance requirements are high at the moment so a good Leaving Certificate is essential (unless applying as a mature applicant).

To be accepted onto a training course you have to do an interview where they will determine whether you are suitable for the job or not. In the interview I would advise you to relax and to be yourself, answer honestly and do not be afraid to promote yourself.

The interviewers are looking for intellegent, hard working, nice people who are genuinely interested in being with women in pregnancy and labour. They are looking for students who have a basic understanding as to what this entails.

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Naturalist?
Naturalist
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Claire O'Hara - Civil Engineer

Claire O’Hara tells Smart Futures about her work at Arup.

What does Arup do?

We design everything from hospitals to motorways. It is one of the biggest consultant engineering firms in Ireland, with about 380 engineers and planners here, but 12,000 staff globally.

Describe a typical work day?

I’m currently managing a tunnel project in Sweden. Our design team is in the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK and Dublin. A typical day might involve video conferencing, travel, teleconferences and email, as well as staying on top of technical issues.

What are your favourite parts of the job?

Every day is different and the technical challenges are never the same. You might think of engineering as technical, but communication skills are really important. The knowledge you need is in people’s heads. I love that every day is different and also that people part.

What’s most challenging?

The most difficult is probably the nicest part too: working with so many people. Somebody always has the answer for a technical issue, but it is about finding that person. Why did you choose civil engineering in NUI Galway? I’d wanted to be a civil engineer from age 13. But when I was 18 I wasn’t 100% sure. I chose non-denominated engineering for first year, which gives you a flavour of all types of engineering. By April I knew civil engineering was for me.

Which parts of the course did you enjoy most?

I liked the numerical analysis and geotechnical engineering. Concrete is man-made and there is a formula behind it; working with soil and rock is more unpredictable. I did two years research on it in NUIG after my degree. What was your first job after university? I was a graduate engineer in Arup’s geotechnical team. After 18 months I went to work in our Australian office in the oil and gas industry. The work was really exciting.

Who most influenced your career path?

I really liked maths, physics and sciences. My cousins were in engineering and their jobs seemed to match what I liked. My parents helped me a lot in deciphering what I wanted as a career. What advice would you give students considering civil engineering? Study honours maths and applied maths for the Leaving Cert. It will make life easier in college.

Why did you do an MBA in the UCD Michael Smurfit Business School?

I was always interested in business and economics. I wanted to learn more so opted for an MBA. What do you do in your free time? I run, play Gaelic football and sweat it out at bikram yoga.

Article by: Smart Futures