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 Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

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Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
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Realist?
Realist
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Studying Tourism and Hospitality at Third Level

Figuring out what course to apply for can be tough. LAURA JACKSON-RYAN (20) explains why she chose International Hospitality & Tourism Management at IT Tallaght.

I always had an interest in travel, that’s why I chose this course – tourism is in the name. When you’re trained in an industry like this you know you’ll always have a job. You can work anywhere in the world.

The great thing about choosing a course like International Hospitality & Tourism Management is that it is so broad. When you’re qualified you can work in any department of a hotel and you learn skills that you can use anywhere in business.

I am in third year now and as part of our course we go on an internship for five months. A lot of my friends went overseas for their work experience – places like the US, France, Spain and Belgium – but I opted to stay in Dublin and I’m working in the Talbot Hotel Stillorgan.

Not Your Typical 9-5

This is actually my first time working in the industry and, I have to say, it’s not what I expected. I thought it would be a nine-to-five routine, but it’s so different. You will never get bored in this business. No two days are the same and there is so much to do. The downside is that there are long hours, but you get to experience so much. I am working in HR at the moment, learning payroll and scheduling holidays, and over the next few months I will work in Accounts, Reservations and Conference & Banqueting.

My favourite department so far is Sales & Marketing. The hotel recently rebranded to the Talbot Hotel Stillorgan from the Stillorgan Park Hotel and it was very exciting to work on such a big campaign.

Great Experience

As part of the rebranding the hotel sponsored the Dublin Horse Show and I was brought along to the event. That was so much fun! Before I started this internship I thought I would be stuck in the office doing the filing but that’s not the case at all. You really do get great experience.

Choosing a Course

Would I recommend this course? Absolutely. If you want to travel this is the course to do. It’s not as time-consuming as some courses so you can work part-time if you need to, which helps. The best thing about this course though is that it prepares you for any area of the business. That’s the beauty of hospitality, there’s so much variety in this industry that you’re bound to find a role that you will love

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