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Interviews

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Dr. Patrick Cadwell is an assistant professor of translation studies in DCU teaching people how to translate from Japanese to English.

Ask me your
first question!

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

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

My decision to move to Luxembourg after completing my undergraduate degree. My decision to move to Japan from Luxembourg. My decision to study for a Master's degree and my decision to study for a PhD. In short, the times when I have made a leap to travel to new countries and pursue further education have brought me to to where I am now.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Several university lecturers - they were role models for me and showed me an example of what I wanted to career to look like. They also mentored me at various points in my career and gave me lots of concrete support (e.g., feedback on job applications, advice about interviews).

How did you go about getting your current job?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

I finished my PhD and heard that a position was to become available at the university where I studied. I applied by filling in a very detailed application form (it took me several weeks to write my answers and be happy with them), I taught a sample lesson and made a presentation about my plans for the job if I were to be successful, I sat an interview with a selection panel, and got told by phone that evening that I got the job.

Describe a typical day?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

During semester time, a typical day revolves around teaching. I teach a variety of subjects. Planning and preparation for lessons takes a lot of time and effort. Preparing assessments and exams require a lot of time and effort, too. In between lessons, I conduct research (gathering data, interviewing people, writing papers).

This involves a lot of deadline pressure, but it is a really interesting aspect of the job. It feels great when a piece of research that you have created is published and read by other people. Academics often travel a lot because research is usually carried out within large international networks and present their work at international conferences. I travel outside Ireland about once a month on average. Trips I have taken have been as short as one day or as long as three months, depending on the project.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Teaching and supervising students, conducting and disseminating research, and assisting with the administration of the university are my main responsibilities.

What are the main challenges?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Time management! There is a lot of work to do, especially if you want to keep up with all the developments in the topics that interest you. I am good at maintaining to-do lists, and I spend a lot of time thinking about what is important and what is urgent on these lists and managing my time accordingly.

What's cool?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

The variety (two days are rarely the same) and the fact that I can control how my career develops. You are given a lot of freedom by the university to research what is most interesting to you, and this can change over time. I think the opportunities for international travel with a stable Irish base are great as well.

What's not so cool?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Time management! It is a busy job and I don't always have time to do as good a job as I want to on some tasks because other things are more important or urgent. For example, sometimes you want to spend more time working on a piece of research but you can't because you need to respect a deadline given to you by a publisher.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Experience, an unusual language skill, good presentation skills, dedication, curiosity.

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

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Studying languages altered my career path the most - I studied French first and then Japanese, and these subjects led me to Luxembourg and Japan.

What is your education to date?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Business, French, Translation Studies, Japanese - these are the subjects that helped me most throughout the years.

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

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Deciding to take a risk and pursue a PhD. I quit a well-paid job to go back to study for my PhD, but it was the best decision I ever made.

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

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Getting my PhD is my biggest personal achievement. Participating in a large, international research collaboration is the work I am proudest of. Helping students to get a start on their own careers rewards me every year.

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

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Being organised, dedicated, and flexible has helped me most.

What is your dream job?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

I am doing my dream job right now.

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

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Yes, it is my dream job. It is secure, has lots of flexibility, allows me to travel, and gives me a lot of control over my future.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Follow your interests. The people I know who are happiest in their jobs (including myself) are the people who have pursued the things that interest them most not necessarily the things that will pay best or have the highest status.

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

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Curiosity, critical thinking, a thick-skin.

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

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Even after PhD level, there are still lots of opportunities to learn. We have lots of personal and professional development courses that are offered by the university to help us work better or be better (learn new teaching, research or administrative skills, take care of our mental health, work better with others, etc.) I take about one short course a year.

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

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Research assistant - ask lecturers if there are projects you could help with.

What is your current job title?

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Assistant Professor

Ask a question about...
  • Career Development?
  • Current Job?
  • Education and Training?
  • Personal Qualities?
  • Advice for Others?
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