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).

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Life as Third Secretary in the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade

"It is a huge responsibility to help carry forward our work on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and many other international treaties." Dermot Fitzpatrick, Third Secretary - Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. 

I graduated with a Masters in Political Science from UCD in 2012, having previously obtained a BA in International Relations from Dublin City University.

Jobbridge Internship 

In 2014 I completed a Jobbridge internship in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, where I worked on delivering public sector reform through shared services, and I subsequently joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

I am currently working in the Department's Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Section. In addition to providing briefings and analysis on disarmament and non-proliferation issues, I represent Ireland at EU working groups and at the UN and other international fora, and it is both a challenging and rewarding position.

Ireland is a leading voice on disarmament issues and has been a consistent force arguing for a world free from weapons of mass destruction. It is a huge responsibility to help carry forward our work on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and many other international treaties.


A personal highlight was when I represented Ireland at Anti-Personnel Land Mines Convention meetings at the UN in Geneva - sitting behind the Irish flag was an incredibly proud moment and really brought home how big an impact Ireland can have on the world stage.

I will most likely serve in Dublin for a further year or two and then depart on assignment to an Irish diplomatic mission abroad. I would really recommend the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to graduates who are considering their career options.

Article by: Dermot Fitzpatrick