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 Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

Read more

Elaine McGarrigle

The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.

One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.

An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.

It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.

Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.

Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.

Close

Creative?
Creative
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.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Close
Study Skills
Other
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Featured Article

logo imagelogo image

Return to List



Earn While You Learn in The Hospitality Sector

If full-time education is not for you, why not study part-time while working in the industry? MATTHEW CROWLEY HOLLAND (22) explains why the Trainee Management Development Programme (TMDP) at IT Tralee was the right option for him.  

I decided not to go to college after I finished school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I didn’t want to pay for a course and not finish it. I began working in a local restaurant in Kenmare on wash-up, and later at Sheen Falls Lodge on breakfasts and in the bar, before I landed a waiting job with John Brennan [from RTE’s At Your Service show] in Dromquinna Manor.

It was John who encouraged me to do the Trainee Management Development Programme. After just a month working as a waiter he offered to sponsor me on the course. I was hesitant at first – I’d never commit to something that I didn’t plan to finish – but the practical aspect of the programme appealed to me.

The Course

The course is three years long and runs from January to January. Once a week you have an online class, then you spend the rest of the week in the hotel putting what you have learned into practice and working on reports and assignments.

At the end of the year you go back to college for two months and do your exams. One of the best things about this course is that you can earn while you study – you don’t have to be a poor student. It’s great for people who already work in the industry and who want to get qualifications. The classes are small, there are about 20 students in each year, so we’re all very close. We’re based all over the country but we’re in contact all the time.

We all motivate each other, which is really helpful. At the moment, I split my time between Dromquinna and Park Hotel Kenmare, which is the five star hotel that John runs with his brother, Francis. I get on very well with the head chef in Dromquinna, so he has taken me under his wing and I work part-time in the kitchen there, while in Park Hotel I work in accommodation. When you do the TMDP you get experience in all departments, which is great.

So far I’ve done the bar, restaurant, kitchen and now accommodation. The bar is my favourite. It’s good craic and the people are very friendly. In your final year you spend six months working as a duty manager which gives you a good insight into general management.

The Industry

The tourism industry is a fantastic place to work, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re not a people person then there’s not much point in joining this business. But if you do like caring for people then you will love it. It brings me joy to look after people, and when you get praised for going that extra mile it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Article by: 'Get a Life in Tourism' Publication 2015