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 Peter LaComber from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Peter LaComber

Consulting Engineer

CRH plc

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Peter LaComber
Skills - organisation and attention to detail Interests - all things technical Education - basic engineering foundation course (degree or similar)

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Growing your Skills

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Growing your Skills

The focus on activities in TY offers a great chance to develop the sort of life skills that really matter as you grow older.

Skills are learnt by doing - this means they develop over time while actively doing something. You can't learn lifeskills from a book, no more than you can learn to drive a car by just reading about it.

So, a number of TY modules usually involve activities with your classmates, where you have to work together as a group, sharing out different tasks and responsibilities, and discussing how things should be done. Through these activities you have the opportunity to develop what are known as 'soft' skills - those skills that enable people to get along together and produce good work efficiently.

These 'soft' skills are also known as career skills for the same reason - they are the skills that are needed by all people in the workplace in order for them to do their job well. We encourage you to explore what these skills are during your TY in general, and in your work experience in particular.

Fact: you can get all A's in your Leaving cert or college degree, but if you are not able to communicate well, or work comfortably in a team, you won't get the job.

Employers regard career skills as equally important to qualifications - so developing career skills is actually incredibly important for your future career.

Explore Career Skills here

My biggest career milestone so far was when I chose to study Mechanical Engineering in the University of Limerick.

I always wanted to be an engineer, and subjects I chose during school were influenced by this, e.g. physics, construction studies, etc.

I completed 9 months of co-operative education as a mechanical engineer in Wyeth Nutritionals in Limerick as part of my engineering degree. This not only gave me a great insight into the technical aspects of a mechanical engineers job, but also the interpersonal aspects of working in a large company and dealing with people in completely different disciplines.

I chose to travel for a year after college to Australia, New Zealand and America. I would highly recommend this to anyone wishing to get some "worldy" experience. It not only allowed me to have fun and explore remote parts of the world, but also increased my confidence and developed my personality in new ways.

On my return from my travels, I then chose to accept a job with Irish Cement in Drogheda as a mechanical engineer. I worked in the Maintenace Department here for 2 years with a hugely varied number of challenges over this time.

I was then asked to transfer departments, and work on a new 200million project in Irish Cement, called "Kiln 3".

Shortly into this project I was asked to move to Copenhagen to work in the Layout and Design Department of the main suppliers of equipment to the project, FLS. This was a higly rewarding experience for me, and I would recommend anybody to spend some time abroad working in a foreign environment. It was a sharp learning curve here, and I attended some high profile meetings that I would otherwise have not been involved in had I not been in Copenhagen. I learned a lot about plant design, the importance of good communication, and all the aspects associated with a large new Cement Plant - design, layout, procurement, supplier issues, documentation control, civil/mechanical/electrical interaction, shipping and deliveries.

I am now back in Irish Cement in Drogheda, and am heavily involved in the installation of large sections of mechanical equipment for the new plant.

Hint: CRH plc

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