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 Rachel Berry from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Rachel Berry

Pharmacist

Health Service Executive

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Rachel Berry
Consider your options carefully. It is likely that you are expecting top grades in your Leaving Certificate if you are considering pharmacy as a career so there will be plenty of doors open to you. Make sure you do plenty of work experience in different areas of pharmacy and if it is healthcare you are interested in then consider getting some work experience in medicine etc. I know quite a few people who have completed a pharmacy degree only to realise they actually want to do medicine!
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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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Maeve Tobin - Osteoarchaeologist

Maeve Tobin talks to SmartFutures about her career, a career which gives her the opportunity to work with her ancestors!

What is your job title?

I am project officer, osteoarchaeologist at Irish Archaeological Consultancy.

What does an osteoarchaeologist do?

If human remains are found and authorities decide they are historic, an osteoarchaeologist will be involved in any excavation and recording of the remains. They then analyse the remains to try to discover who these individuals were – their sex and age – and how they lived and died.

What is the best thing about your job?

You work directly with people from the past. You are looking at the remains of your ancestors and people who inhabited the country thousands of years ago. What interesting projects are you working on? We recently excavated 16 skeletons at Swords Castle. They seem to predate the castle, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were 1,000 years old. They are full skeletons, very well preserved, so we would hope to get a lot of information from them.

What would be a typical day?

It depends. Now I am working on the Swords skeletons; I will analyse the remains and write a report. Another week I might go into the archives of the National Museum; look at records in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; conduct site inspections; or do research and write a report.

Why did you choose archaeology in University College Cork (UCC)?

When I was in arts in UCC I thought I’d focus on psychology, but archaeology took my interest after first year. It stemmed from a general interest in history. Then I went on to do a master’s in osteoarchaeology.

Have you any advice about archaeology courses?

Look at the universities’ websites for archaeology; they all have a slightly different focus. UCC has a practical, hands-on excavation-oriented degree; Trinity would be more looking at the Greek and Roman world. Sligo IT takes a scientific approach with lots of lab work. UCD would be similar to UCC.

What advice would you give to students interested in becoming archaeologists?

Get out on site. There are a lot of community archaeology schemes across the country, real archaeological excavations, and they are always looking for volunteers for a week or two.

What Leaving Cert subjects turned out to be especially helpful?

Obviously history, as it is always great to have a general background. I found geography to be really helpful as well and biology.

In your spare time what do you like to do?

I am into craft works, so sewing and crochet and all that malarkey.

Article by: Smart Futures