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 Louise Mc Donald from Defence Forces to give some advice for people considering this job:

Louise Mc Donald

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Defence Forces

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Louise Mc Donald
I would advise them to get themselves physically fit and to maintain it. I would also say that a sense of humour is very important and the ability to laugh at themselves. They should have self discipline and be prepared to accept imposed discipline. Punctuality is very important as is respect for others. If they had sporting interests that would be a help.
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Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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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