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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.


The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, or story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.
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Eoin Groome Personal Trainer

Eoin Groome graduated from The Fitness Institute with an ITEC Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing and an ITEC Level 3 Certificate In Personal Training and now works as a Personal trainer at CMB Gym.

From Fitness Institute to Fitness Industry

My journey started in early 2015, I had just been recently let go from a job in the construction industry which I had worked in for 7 years, I was working down in Athlone and really didn’t enjoy the job that I was doing anymore. I could feel a change was coming in my life and I was subsequently told I was being put on a week’s notice along with a few others.

At that stage I decided I couldn’t even do another week on a site and packed my stuff and drove back up to Dublin. I honestly felt so free on my drive home and as soon as I got home I said to my family I’d never do that job again. I don’t mean to bash on the construction industry, when I got into it I was young and it was a wage. I travelled with my trade, got to meet some friends for life through it, it also gave me a good work ethic but when I look deep within myself it was not who I was.

The environment, the way things were run from higher up in some companies and the scare tactics used had people afraid of losing their jobs constantly. Personal training was an area that I felt I could mix work with passion, which I felt was the most important aspect of my next move career move. I met owner of The Fitness Institute, Ronnie, in a café in Skerries. This impressed me as he was taking the time out to come and meet me in person about the course. I could clearly see he had a vision and his main priority was to produce personal trainers of a high standard with a worldwide accredited certification and within weeks I had started the course.

What was it like studying with us?

From day one we were around a friendly team, I can remember the first time I met course director Stephen he walked into the room with a big smile and came straight over to me chatting away as if we knew each other for ten years. I chose to study on the day time course and the first things I noticed were that the classroom was really interactive and there was a great modern gym facility upstairs with a very friendly and welcoming team in it.
When we started on the course content the first week or two was like “wow that’s a lot of information”, especially when it came to Anatomy & Physiology which were both in depth but fascinating at the same time. The tutors Fergal and Sarah were great and they reassured us that we would be well prepared come test time as long as you put the effort in and paid attention in class.
I really enjoyed the nutrition aspect of the course as I knew it would be a vital aspect when it comes to clients in the gym, Eamon the nutrition teacher had a great overall understanding of nutrition and was able to link it very well with personal training being a qualified PT himself.

I thought that this was vital as he knows first-hand what it’s like on the gym floor and how clients react to nutrition plans. The resistance training was great as I, like a lot of people taking the course, enjoy going to the gym. The resistance tutors John and Noel will take you to a whole new level when it comes to programming and training. This part of the course gave you a sense of how to structure programs, how to talk clients through different exercises, which is surprisingly challenging at the start, and also to perform an exercise with good technique. It was great being able to get out of the classroom and into the gym. We were put through some tough classes as the philosophy was every PT should know what they are putting the clients through when pushing their boundaries. Rebecca gave us some valuable knowledge on how to deal with clients professionally. There was really no stone left unturned and I felt we were well prepared for not only the exams, but working in the industry itself.

What subject did you enjoy the most?

Funny enough it was Anatomy and Physiology, definitely the harder subjects but it was great to get an understanding on how this amazing machine the human body works. A lot of people know so much about objective things in this world but very little about their own human body and how it works, and as the famous quote goes “Know Thy Self”.

What do you love about working in the fitness industry?

I love waking up whether it be a Monday or Friday and enjoying going to work, nothing can beat that. The gym is an inspiring place to be. People of all walks of life are coming in, some with goals to be in the best physical condition they have ever been in and others wanting to become happier & healthier human beings. Watching people progress from sometimes not being able to do a body weight squat, to having the confidence to get under a bar packed with weight and squat it. To be a client in a gym takes confidence courage and determination. Sometimes that’s not there at the start but to be a personal trainer and to help clients acquire gain these important traits is a great feeling.

What is life like after the Fitness Institute?

I am currently working in the CMB gym in Dublin City Centre, I have also set up a fitness and wellbeing page on Facebook called ‘Not Another PT page’. I try to bring my followers interesting and natural ways they can improve their health while also posting videos of my clients performing exercises. I have great clients of all ages and it’s amazing the bond you create with them. I have gone to a seminar since finishing my course and plan to attend more as this industry has an unbounded amount of knowledge in it. We were advised by the tutors to always expand our knowledge and never stand still.

What sets you apart from other trainers in the industry?

When it comes to clients I understand most people just want their body to look better and that’s it. The first priority is to deliver that and you’ll keep your client happy initially. But the nature of the mind is to always want more, so sooner or later new goals are created and again the approach needs to change. I am not after the quick fix with clients, I want something sustainable.

Article by: The Fitness Institute