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 Marie O'Donovan from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Marie O'Donovan

Environmental Officer

CRH plc

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Marie O'Donovan

You should possibly consider studying environmental science or environmental engineering in third level.

You would also need to consider if you would like do quite a bit of driving during your day and to be able to oragnise your own work plans as both these things are important.


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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New DCU Strategic Plan to 2022 launched today

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New DCU Strategic Plan to 2022 launched today

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

New DCU Strategic Plan to 2022 launched today

Minister for Education & Skills, Mr Richard Bruton TD has today launched Dublin City University’s new Strategic Plan. Entitled 'Talent, Discovery & Transformation', the plan sets out a vision for the university which will see a strong focus on creativity, sustainability and the integration of technology across all aspects of teaching, learning, research, and social and innovation.

This five-year plan will allow the university to:

  • Chart a new course in creativity, marrying the university’s strong tradition in technology and innovation with new strengths in the creative arts and humanities.
  • Shape a student experience unique to DCU, introducing global experiences and innovations in teaching and learning which will equip graduates to better respond to a rapidly changing world of work.
  • Drive major research initiatives to address the most pressing problems facing the world and society today - conflict resolution, challenges in healthcare, sustainability - by leveraging DCU’s well-established strengths in Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Internet of Things and Lab-on-a-Chip technologies.
  • Create a 21st Century Digital Campus which provides the infrastructure and learning to allow our students to flourish both on-campus and in an increasingly technological world.
  • Place sustainability, both environmental and financial, at the core of the university.

Launching DCU’s Strategic Plan, Minister Bruton said, “I am pleased to launch the DCU Strategic Plan for the period 2017 - 2022. The plan builds on the very significant strengths and existing reputation of DCU with a view to enhancing performance across a wide range of areas with the emphasis squarely on Talent, Discovery and Transformation. With new campuses, a new Faculty of Education, an expanded disciplinary profile and significant growth in student numbers, DCU is in a strong position to reinforce its reputation as a university of major significance both in Ireland and internationally.”

Fundamental changes in the last 5 years have seen DCU become the fastest growing university in the country; expand its footprint to include 3 educational campuses, innovation and entrepreneurship campuses and an upgraded sports campus; create a new faculty (DCU Institute of Education); and offer a greatly expanded discipline profile to students.

Speaking at the launch, President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith said “The essence of Talent, Discovery and Transformation is to outline how DCU will play a globally significant role in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by a world in an era of unprecedented change. Through our focus on a unique DCU learning experience, we will develop graduates who are resilient and accomplished, open and self-aware, innovative and adaptable. We will foster a culture of creativity, in particular, promoting the exploration of possibilities arising at the intersections of the creative arts and technological innovation. Our prioritisation of sustainability as a key theme reflects our commitment to address a critical, global challenge. In short, our ambition is to be purposefully different by consistently pursuing excellence.”

The university has identified ambitious targets for itself across six key themes:


  • Engagement with neighbouring communities to open up DCU’s spaces and cultural assets to create a North Dublin Cultural Quarter. • Establishment of the DCU Institute of Creativity focussed on scholarship, outreach and education in the area of creativity. • Development of a Maker Space in DCU Alpha, the university’s innovation campus and the hosting of Ireland’s first STEAM Hackathon with Intel. • Creation of a new Student Innovation Hub. • An Arts & Culture Strategy to support performance and creative arts across all campuses.


  • To provide a transformative and multi-faceted student learning experience which prepares graduates for the demands of 21st life, work and society.
  • Curriculum reform to include digital learning enhancements and the introduction of modules such as Philosophy/Ethics, Design, Coding, Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
  • A Global Experience & Global Citizenship Plan for students which is, for example, already allowing BA students to convert their 3-year programme into a 4-year with a year of study abroad.
  • Introduction of ‘DCU Healthy’ initiative to support the physical and mental welfare of students and staff alike.
  • Renewal of DCU’s Graduate Attributes initiative and integration with DCU’s Reflect online learning portfolio.
  • A Student Transitions Programme to address the full cycle of the student journey, and improve student retention rates.
  • A Human Capital Plan focussing on strategic recruitment linked to research priorities and reflecting the opportunities presented by Brexit.


  • Establishment of a Brexit Institute to explore the impact of Brexit on government, business and society.
  • Creation of a new education, research and innovation institute in conjunction with the GAA to advance Gaelic Games nationally and worldwide.
  • Conduct a Research Prioritisation Process to identify priority areas which advance DCU’s research impact.
  • Development of a Human Capital Plan for Research to attract and support emerging research leaders.


  • Develop a carbon-neutral campus and reduce the university’s ecological footprint metrics.
  • A DCU Sustainability plan to deliver a healthier and more sustainable university. • Integrate sustainability principles, literacy and awareness into curriculum.
  • Develop and implement a multi-campus transport strategy including an inter-campus electric shuttle bus.
  • A 10-year multi-campus development masterplan to accommodate student growth projections for the region into the future.
  • An Income Generation Plan to address the gap between exchequer funding and the resources necessary to realise our ambitions as a consistently excellent institution.


  • Implement DCU’s Digital Campus Vision to establish an integrated, digitally connected university through an advanced network of connected infrastructure and digital platforms.
  • Integration of technology (Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics etc) across all degree programmes.
  • Build research capacity across a broad range of advanced technology disciplines, including data analytics (Insight, Smart Stadium), advanced manufacturing (I-Form) and biopharmaceutical production (Fraunhofer Project Centre).


  • Address global issues through our research and outreach programmes - Age Friendly University, DCU Water Institute.
  • To develop a range of activities under our designation as Ireland’s first University of Sanctuary.
  • Widen our Access programme to embrace all areas of educational disadvantage including mature, second-chance and life-long learners.
  • Champion social, cultural and economic growth in the Dublin City, Fingal and Eastern Corridor regions.
  • Establish an on-campus Global Village to promote and celebrate multi-ethnic diversity (120 nationalities currently represented at DCU).
  • Establishment of an Adult Learning Centre.