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 Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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Elaine McGarrigle

The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.

One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.

An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.

It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.

Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.

Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.

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Junior Cycle - 2nd Year

By 2nd year, your child will have picked their Junior Certificate Subjects from any options that may have been available. English, Irish & Maths are currently offered at three levels – higher, ordinary & foundation.

Most other subjects are offered at Higher or Ordinary level.

At this stage students continue to develop a broad awareness of general career options. Some questions that might help with subject choice at Junior Cycle level

  • Does your child enjoy this subject? Find it interesting & engaging?
  • What level of competency is indicated at this subject? Indicators are exam & project results, school reports and teacher feedback, entrance exams, aptitude tests
  • What careers are associated with the subject? All subjects at Junior Cert will include some level of employability skills – including Working with Others, Communication skills, Working with New Technologies & Managing Time
  • Is the subject a specific entry requirement into any general career area or college course? E.g. All third Level Engineering courses have specific Maths entry requirements. Many require Maths at the Higher level. If your child has expressed an interest in a specific career that requires Maths for instance, you can help by being supportive and encouraging, monitoring their progress and keeping dialogue open about the examination level that’s most appropriate for them. Keep informed about all the options available to them. If Higher Level Maths is not right for them at Junior Cycle, there are always other routes into their chosen career. 
  • If your child is wondering about subject levels for Junior Cert, you will find information on college courses with specific subject requirements at http://www.qualifax.ie

There are also plenty of subject and career specific websites: You will find lots more information and links throughout this site (CareersPortal.ie) but here are just a few:

Engineering  
Maths  
Physics  
Nursing

 

Tourism & Hospitality  

There are often a number of alternative paths to a chosen career. More later.

How can I help?

Keep the communication channels open and stay up to date with school events and programmes. If possible attend schools information sessions on options at Senior Cycle, Transition Year Programmes, Subject Options & Choices, talks, seminars and workshops for parents.

Establish and/or maintain contact with the school Guidance Counsellor and the school by attending parent teacher meetings and information sessions and by keeping an eye on all correspondence and communication from the school. Get to know the key websites for quality information. Avoid taking on the burden of too much information.


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