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 Maria O'Neill from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

Maria O'Neill

Civil Engineer


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Maria O'Neill

If you like working with others, and like problem solving then its definitely worth considering. Do you ever look at a bridge/skyscraper etc. and wonder how they did that? Or better still, are you looking at the way the road at home is laid out and thinking if they had of done something differently it would have been better.

Engineering is not a career people think about and say its helping people, but in many ways it is rewarding and just as much about helping people. Engineers design things used everyday that help people get to work, provide clean water, provide sewerage systems, care for the environment....


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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Enterprise Ireland investing in the future of fintech.

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Enterprise Ireland investing in the future of fintech.

Monday, June 11, 2018 

Enterprise Ireland investing in the future of fintech.

Enterprise Ireland this morning (11 June) revealed a new €750,000 Competitive Start Fund focused on fintech and deep tech start-up companies.

The fund will support ventures in areas ranging from fintech to proptech, artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, the internet of things, blockchain, and cloud.

The fund was announced at an Enterprise Ireland Future of Fintech event in Dublin this morning.

Fintech sector is a national priority

“With Ireland being the fourth-largest exporter of financial services in the world, developing and supporting the fintech sector is a national priority,” said Ireland’s Minister of State for Financial Services Michael D’Arcy, TD.

“As the home to one of the most important financial services centres in the EU and one of the world’s largest concentrations of technology companies, Ireland combines the technical and financial expertise that global fintech buyers seek.

“The new Competitive Start Fund is a key action of the Department of Finance’s IFS2020 Action Plan for 2018 and will provide a new funding stream, critical for early-stage start-up funding for fintech and deep tech companies.”

The purpose of the fund is to enable start-ups to reach key technical and commercial milestones.

Enterprise Ireland was one of the largest investors by deal count in fintech start-ups last year, according to fintech head Enda McDonnell, with the State body investing in 23 firms last year alone.

“In 2016, Enterprise Ireland fintech companies generated €1bn in revenue. The launch of Enterprise Ireland’s new Competitive Start Fund for fintech and deep tech companies paves the way for the next wave of companies emerging from what is a very dynamic start-up sector in Ireland,” McDonnell said.

Applications for the new Competitive Start Fund will open on 19 June and will close on 3 July. For further information on the fund, head over to the website.

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