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 Kieran Magee from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Kieran Magee

Farm Manager - Dry Stock

Teagasc

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  Kieran Magee
Someone who wants to be where I am today shall need bucket loads of ambition and not be afraid of hard work.  They will need to not be afraid of starting at the very bottom of that big high ladder but at the same time have the eagerness and determination to get to the top of that ladder because the opportunities are there.

Education is very important.  It may only seem like a silly piece of paper but it's that Cert, Diploma or Degree that gets you that job and not the man/woman beside you.

The one thing that is vital in not alone this job, but any job, and alot of people don't seem to have it, is common sense. It's something so simple but really important. if you have no cop-on then nobody wants to know you.
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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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Devin Scannell - Engagement Manager

Devin Scannell is an engagement manager at McKinsey & Co in San Francisco. He works as an advisor to pharma, medical devices and health insurance companies as well as academic medical centres, health systems and public health organisations. Devin primarily focuses on personalised medicine and “Big Data” in healthcare.

Describe your typical day

As a consultant, I work with global public health organisations. I also do some high-tech work. For example, a company has three molecules that it could put forward for clinical trials, but can only choose one. I help them decide which to choose. At the start of a project I do a lot of research. Then I have meetings with experts, including doctors and scientists. After that, I meet with the people within the company. During a project, you address specific questions and build a consensus as to whether molecule one, two or three is the best.

What’s cool about your job?

Each project lasts six to eight weeks. I’ve also a lot of control about what projects I work on. Every eight weeks, I learn about something that is fairly new to me.

What are the main challenges?

I work to very strict deadlines and the hours tend to be very long. It can be very fast paced and sometimes it is a little bit stressful.

What subjects did you take in school and did they influence your career path?

Everything I do now was set by subjects I studied in school. I focused on physics, applied maths and chemistry.

What did you do after school?

I studied human genetics at Trinity College Dublin. After that I did a PhD in Trinity, building on the genetics base but adding more computers (bioinformatics). Then I moved to University of California, Berkeley to do a postdoc in the same area. How did you transition from being research based to being a consultant? The company I work for recruit directly from PhD programmes and it does a certain amount of retraining on business topics.

What advice would you give to students considering a job like this?

I would say get a solid foundation in maths and science. Really become a master of your domain in a certain area. Take responsibility for a technically demanding project. Also, maintain interest in the bigger picture, like how that technology or field of science fits into the wider world.

What inspired your love of science?

When I was about seven, I thought it would be really great to be a doctor. At around 12 years old, I realised that a doctor could only see a certain number of patients every day. There is someone behind them inventing the medicine. The person doing that would be helping millions of people. I decided I wanted to be a scientist and try to help develop cures.

Article by: Smart Futures