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 Liam McCaul from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:

Liam McCaul

R&D Engineer

Sustainable Energy Authority

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Liam McCaul
Do your best to find out the most you can about your specific engineering category, whether it be Electronics, Mechanical, Civil etc. Approach companies to try and get experience whilst you are at college, that way you have a running start on how to use the most up to date packages and instruments that companies have, and that then gets you the work experience when you finish college.
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Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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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