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Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.

Marie O'Donovan, Environmental Officer
Engineering & Manufacturing

Marie O'Donovan, Environmental Officer

Marie O'Donovan studied Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering in Trinity College, which is a 4 year honors degree course. She is now working as an Environmental Officer for Roadstone Provinces Ltd., working in the south of the country.  She has recently been involved in achieving company wide accreditation of the ISO 14001, an Environmental Management System.

Ask me your
first question!

What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

Deciding on what college course to do after my leaving cert was a very important step, I choose Engineering in Trinity College Dublin and I specialsed in Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering from the third year of that course.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

My guidance counsellor in school was a great help to me in finding out the information on various courses that were our there. Also other members of my family have studied engineering.

How did you go about getting your current job?

The position was advertised on the company notice board, shorthly after applying for the job I attended a first round interview and then a second round interview.

A week later I was offered the job.

Describe a typical day?

A typical day would start with travelling to a quarry & meeting with the quarry manager.

You could spend half the day outside around the quarry carrying out an inspection/audit, the second half of the day could be spent on paper work which might include analysising environmental monitoring results and checking for compliance to planning conditions imposed on the site.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

To implement the Environmental Management System & carry out internal audits at our quarries.

This would include ensuring that each location is complying with their various planning conditions and licences.

What are the main challenges?

The main challenges can be organising your day, you might not get back to that quarry for number of weeks so it is important to address all issues on that one day.

What's cool?

Working in a number of different quarry's, no day is the same.

What's not so cool?

My car is my office!

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

In my job I work with managers and supervisors who are working in production which can be hectic, and as I have worked as a supervisor in a production factory, I understand their responsibilities and what is practical for them.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

The most relelvant subjects to my college course  which I choose for my leaving certificate were physics & chemistry.

I also had honours maths which was essential along with one science subject for entry into my college course.

These three subjects have been a useful back up throughout my career so far.

I think I choose well,  the one thing I would change about my choices would be to do technical drawing.

What is your education to date?

After completing my Leaving Certificate,  I then studied Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering in Trinity College,  which is a 4 year honors degree course.

I completed the Institute of Quarrying's 'Quarry Management' course in Doncaster, this course was completed in one year as some subjects were exempt as they were covered in my engineering degree.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

In my present role as Environmental Officer the environmental section of my degree course has been a good background to start from.

Also the environmantal module of the Qaurrying course was very relevant to my job and has been a source of reference to me.

In my previous roles in CRH I have found that the knowledge of building materials from my college course was a distinct advantage as a graduate.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Organising the Concrete Society Annual Awards Ceremony as part of my duties as Honorary secretary of the Society.

More recently in my current role in achieving company wide accreditation of the ISO 14001,  an Environmental Managment System.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

Organised and hard working

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

I have worked in two CRH companies since graduating and progession opportunities are great.  Working overseas can also be an option with the company

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

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.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Interpersonal skills are very important in this job as you are interacting with quarry managers, Local Authority's & other company employees all the time.

What is your favourite music?

all types

What is your favourite film?


What is your pet hate at work?

people being late

What is your star sign?


Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

Since graduating I have completed a Company Graduate Development Program and travelled to the UK to attended exams for a Quarry Managment course.

This year I hope to complete an environmental noise monitoring course.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Work in an environmental monitoring laboratory or working in a quarry or related environment in any position.

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