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 Hugh Heraghty from Bord Iascaigh Mhara to give some advice for people considering this job:

Hugh Heraghty

Fish Farm Manager

Bord Iascaigh Mhara

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Hugh Heraghty
You need to be hard working, enjoy the outdoor life regardless of the weather and must be willing to work as part of a team at all times.
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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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CAO Change of Mind

CAO Change of Mind Facility from CAO on Vimeo.


Make your CAO course choice changes before 1st July


CAO Change of Mind

The CAO Change of Mind facility is free and it literally allows you to do just that - to change your mind about the CAO courses you have applied for. 

You can make changes to your CAO application at various points throughout the year, but the online change of mind facility is open from 5th May - 1st July each year. (The paper-based option is closed at this stage).

It is free to submit a CAO Change of Mind form


You can make as many changes to the change of mind form as you wish, between 12.00 on 5th May and 17.15 on 1st July.

The Change of Mind form works in the same way as the regular CAO form. The key thing is to list your courses in order of genuine preference - always put the ones you most want to get as your top choices. Do not base the list on how many points you expect to get. 

You can make changes to both your Level 8 course list and your Level 6/7 course list. It is also worth checking for any new courses that have become available since you first filled in your CAO form.

Once submitted, the Change of Mind form cancels out your previous application. 

Approaching Change of Mind

  • Review the list of course preferences submitted before 1st February
  • Reflect on each course, asking the question "Would I be happy if I was offered a place on this course?"- if the answer is no, remove it!
  • Revise the order in which your course preferences are listed if necessary - this is a good time to ask: "Which course do I most want?" and check if that has changed since you first compiled your choices and be sure to put that course as Number 1. The top advice is to always put your course choices in genuine order of preference.
  • Research - finally, check for any new courses that may have recently been added to CAO - these courses can be included in your CAO choices during the Change of Mind period.
List your courses in order of genuine preference

Restricted Courses 

Restricted courses cannot generally be added for the first time to a Change of Mind application. See also CAO Handbook.

Mature applicants

Mature students [and students from outside the EU and transfer applicants] may not be able to use the Change of Mind form - you should contact the admissions office of the college/course in question if you have an issue. 

What happens next?

Once you submit your Change of Mind form, you will receive a revised Statement of Course Choice confirming that your new choices have now been entered into your CAO record. 

For online changes, you should receive an email acknowledging the edits you have made. 

Paper applicants -  a revised statement is issued after the 1st of June. If you do not receive a Statement of Course Choice before the 7th of July, you should contact the CAO immediately with proof of your Change of Mind form. 

Important Dates - Click here