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 Paul Dowling from Teagasc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Paul Dowling



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  Paul Dowling
Ideally, try and get a job in the industry for a summer, or get a bit of experience before you go into it. You have to be happy with working outside, and doing physical work. If you are not prepared to work hard or are looking for a soft job, don't go into Landscaping. Design is very sexy at the moment, everyone wants to be a designer, a Landscape Designer. It's different on the ground, you have to be out there on sites in all weather and you have to make sure projects are managed well and you're able to muck in with everyone else. Biology is most important for anyone going into Horticulture or Landscaping as it covers propagation and helps with the identification of plant names, species and families through the universal use of Latin. Chemistry is also helpful as the use of various chemicals is a constant in horticulture. The chemical content and dangers of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides in use in Amenity Horticulture needs to be understood anyone going into this business. Geography would be a relevant subject as well. Also, the simple things like having a full, clean driving licence, which can make you a lot more employable if you are trying for a job with a Landscape Conractor. This indicates that you are more mobile and can also drive a company van if needed. Be sure you're happy with the outdoor life. Having taken a Horticulture course will give you an advantage. However, it's possible to take a job first and study later, e.g. in IT Blanchardstown it is possible to study at night. I think you cannot beat doing the Diploma Course in the National Botanic Gardens because it is a good practical course which also covers all the theory and is invaluable for gaining plant knowledge.

Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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A Day in the Life of a Marketing Manager

Do you have excellent written and communication skills? A creative mind? Confidence to sell ideas? Good planning and organisational skills? Determination and the ability to work well under pressure? Then a career in marketing could be for you.

We asked one of our marketing managers to run through a typical day.

Marketing managers, sometimes known as brand or account managers, plan all aspects of an organisation's marketing.

As the head of their department, they will research and analyse marketing trends; identify target markets; plan campaigns and develop strategies; manage a team of marketing executives and the budget, as well as monitoring and reporting on the success of campaigns. The job can demand long hours, especially in the lead up to a campaign launch, but the satisfaction of a happy client after a successful campaign is enough reward in itself.

My Working Day 

In the morning I'll spend the first hour or so checking my emails and actioning anything that's necessary.

Working at a global agency you constantly have to be aware of the time difference between you and each of your clients, so it can be important to respond more rapidly to some people than others. I'll then ring around any jobs I've been briefed on to get an update of any progress.

I'll usually receive one or two sign-offs every morning, so these will be next on my to-do list. This could be a proof to sign off and get to the printers, some copy from the copywriters or something along these lines. I'll then have a meeting mid-morning, usually with three or four offshore consultants, to get an update and make sure everyone is running to schedule.

Then I'll head off to the gym for an hour and grab some sushi on my way back to the office. In the afternoon I might have a meeting with a supplier, perhaps looking at a trade stand that's being built and checking the branding is exactly correct. I then usually have a meeting with an agency group, and will round off the afternoon by speaking to my team and ensuring everything is running smoothly. As a career, what I enjoy most about marketing is the diverse nature of the job. Working with many different stakeholders means you have contact with a number of different people at all levels.

I've also worked on some very exciting projects over the years. Whilst working in New Zealand recently, I worked on the America's Cup, which was funded in part by the New Zealand government, so we were essentially managing tax payers' money. Online is increasingly becoming an integral part of the job; as an agency you have to keep up with current technology.

One of the interesting aspects of online work is that the success of a specific campaign is measurable, so it can be really satisfying when something goes to plan. Marketing is notorious for its unpredictable hours, and when you're working with a global agency you are often required to stay late into the evening to have video conferences with people on the other side of the world.

Unfortunately that is just the nature of the profession; it's a reactive industry, and that can often put a lot of pressure on the team. If you're anything like me, you'll find that acts as a motivator!

Article by: Regan & Dean