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 Tomas Flanagan from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:

Tomas Flanagan

Occupational Therapist

St. Michael's House

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Tomas Flanagan

I would advise anyone interested in Occupational Therapy to read up on the profession or else try to meet a qualified Occupational Therapist and talk to them about their work.

The internet can be a great resource in getting information. Also information from the universities might indicate if this is a course that is suited to you. A lot of the course work relies on you being a self-directed learner. This makes the course different to other more mainstream/academic courses as the onus is on the student to complete a lot of work independently.

As this is a caring profession an interest in working with people is a must. You also need to be a good communicator as you will be working closely with clients, families and other staff on an ongoing basis.

Organisational skills are essential to enable you to manage a caseload.

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Administrative?
Administrative
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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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