Languages Connect is an integral part of the Strategy for Foreign Languages which sets out a roadmap to put Ireland in the top ten countries in Europe for the teaching and learning of foreign languages.
Specialising in foreign languages can lead to a career traveling the globe as an interpreter, diplomat or foreign correspondent, giving you a front-row seat to watch history unfold.
Amost any career from finance, to law to engineering can be transformed by studying a foreign language.
If you are still in school, choose at least one language subject to keep your options for the future open and so you can include it on your CV.
The languages sector is about communicating. Language skills enable us to exchange ideas, buy and sell, discover and function, learn and teach, work together and make connections.
Fergal Donnelly has worked in the European Comission for the last 20 years. He trained as a medical doctor and wanted to pursue a career in the medical sphere in an international environment, which led him to his career in Brussels.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
I chose scientific subjects in school so as to become a Doctor. In the third level sphere, I did medical & pharmaceutical research but without having decided on a clear and defined career path. Travel was definitely an eye-opener for me. Meeting different people from different cultures opens the mind. Job changes, even on a temporary basis, led to unexpected benefits for me.
Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
How did you go about getting your current job?
By accident! The date for applying for the application form has already passed, but not the deadline for sending the completed version. I got and completed it, sent it back, completed selection tests and progressed to interviews, almost a year had passed. The message here is be patient – all things come to those who wait. Notification of success was by mail.
Describe a typical day?
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
What are the main challenges?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
What is your dream job?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
1.Be open to new ideas. Think critically, and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out onto the verandah and beat them with a cricket bat. Be intellectually rigorous. Identify your biases, your prejudices, your privilege. 2.Dedicate one's self to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious.
Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you, you never know where you might end up. Be aware that the next worthy pursuit will appear in your periphery and when you least expect it. 3.You don't need to already know what you're going to do with the rest of your life. Many people who were sure of their career path at age 20 end up having midlife crises now. 4.Be able to speak in public and also in a foreign language. If you can do all that and tell a joke, you've cracked it.
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?