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 Shane Callanan from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Shane Callanan

Electronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Shane Callanan
Being an Engineer is a great career choice. It offers so many opportunities both in Ireland and world-wide. Most positions will have terrific travel opportunities after a few years experience under your belt, and if you choose you course carefully your qualification will be recognised by employers all over the globe. Also an engineering qualification will open doors into management roles if that is your preferred career choice, but the reverse is not the case (if you do a course outside of engineering, you will probably not be able to branch off into engineering a few years after graduating).

Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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My Experience as a Garda Reserve

Meet Reserve Gardaí Fiona Kelly and Matthew O’Connor who share their experience as voluntary members of the organisation.

Reserve Garda Fiona Kelly

Fiona is 26 years old and her area of full time employment is in Education where she has been working for the past 7 years. Fiona is currently completing a BA Degree in Business and Management part-time. Reserve Garda Kelly is based in Pearse Street Garda Station in Dublin's City centre since October 2006. Here are some of her thoughts on joining the Garda Reserve.

Why I joined the Garda Reserve

It’s always something I had a huge interest in. I wasn't in a position to join the full-time service, so joining the Garda Reserve and working alongside a full-time member carrying out his or her operational duties gave me an insight into what the role would be like.

I would consider myself a people's person with good communication skills and I like to interact with the public on a daily basis. I felt my contribution would provide support to the full-time members.

Garda reservists improve visible policing and can also contribute to reducing incidents of public order and anti-social behaviour in the division. The Garda Reserve also builds on community engagement by reflecting the needs and priorities of the people from the area.

How it has worked and what I've got from the Programme

The course runs over a phased period of time with emphasis on Law/Legal and Human Right Lectures, with an element of physical training at the college in Templemore.

Then a period of work experience follows at a station where you are tutored and observed by a full time member of the service. I have gained a considerable amount from this programme and a greater insight into the many problems that are prevalent in today's society.

I would hope that as a member of the Garda Reserve, I can assist and support the full-time Gardaí in any way possible in their ever difficult role today.

Reserve Garda Mathew O'Connor

Matthew is a Contract Project Manager by day. Mathew is highly qualified having obtained a B. Comm. from UCD in 1993 and an MBA from Boston College in 1997. Reserve Garda O' Connor is based in Galway City Garda Station. Here are some of his thoughts on joining the Garda Reserve.

Why I joined the Reserve

I've always been interested in law enforcement and during my business degrees took as many law electives as I could to deepen my understanding. In my life I'm motivated by a desire to help people; nothing gives me greater personal satisfaction.

When I examined the mission of An Garda Síochána, which is "to provide the highest attainable level of personal protection, community commitment and state security", I felt that I could make a contribution through the Garda Reserve to community commitment.

I believe that we all have a responsibility to try and influence the world we want to live in by getting involved and moving beyond blame - it's up to us! Of course there are different levels of involvement and circumstances for everybody in voluntary activities, but the Garda Reserve is a good fit for me.

How it has worked and what I’ve got from the programme

The Garda Reserve programme is designed to fit around the busy lives that we all lead. It offers real world exposure with support from a world-class faculty in the Garda College, Templemore and the professionals of An Garda Síochána with the same standard of quality.

Only the format differs with you choosing when to work so you that you can still pursue your personal interests, experiences and career goals. The Reserve programme is customised to you. 

The reservists work with members of An Garda Síochána and the result is a learning environment. After nearly 20 years in the business world, my mind is being stretched again and my perspectives are being broadened in a fresh dimension.

Here learning crosses all disciplines and there are no boundaries - everything is merged from law, public policy, psychology and business. Leadership is best taught through experience and the Reserve programme exposes you to real-life situations, enabling you to hone interpersonal, team-building, and leadership skills in a new environment.

When you join the Reserves you also join a network of over 14,000 peers and working professionals and are part of an influential and vast networking base at home and abroad.

Watch new video of Reserve Garda Rasaq Falade here


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