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 Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Elva Bannon

Mechatronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Elva Bannon

I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.

There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.

General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.

An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.

Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.

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The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Dorothy Creaven - Electronic Engineer

Dorothy Creaven talks to Smart Futures about running her own tech company.

What’s a typical day like?

Often I’m creating business leads, looking at partnering with companies or working on strategy for Element Wave. I am on my email all day. I use Twitter to keep an eye on what’s going on, especially around the mobile space, and I read tech blogs. Then there are meetings via Skype or WebEx or travelling to meet customers in Europe.

Why did you choose electronic engineering in NUI Galway?

I was good at maths, physics and science-based subjects, so it seemed like a good choice. The course ranged from hardware design to software programming to micro-electronics. It gave me plenty of options afterwards.

Tell me about your first job?

My first job was as a software developer in Cuan Studios, a recording studio and software house in Spiddal, Co Galway. I was developing plug-ins for ProTools (a digital audio workstation), creating different sound effects for music and audio files. You could actually hear what you were trying to do with the algorithms that you were running the audio through.

What does Element Wave do?

We help brands to encourage people to come back to their mobile apps more often. Many companies invest significantly in mobile app development but, often, a lot of people are not using them. We came up with a way to encourage people to come back to these apps and created a way for companies to communicate with these app users. It combines a user analytics system and mobile push notifications platform. It is a little piece of code that fits into any mobile app.

Who are your customers?

In Ireland, our customers include the GAA and RTÉ. Our target industries are entertainment, sport and media, and we are also in the gaming space. A lot of our customers are from the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden.

What do you most enjoy about your present role?

I love that it is so varied. Myself and James Harkin, Element Wave’s co-founder, are the main drivers of where the company is going. It is great to be in control of your own future. The sky is the limit.

Were there subjects in school that proved useful?

I would say definitely higher level maths and also physics. Maths gives you a good base for crunching numbers and physics is important for understanding how things work.

What do you do in your free time?

I love to travel. I also go running and do yoga most mornings.

Article by: Smart Futures