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

Horticulturist

Teagasc

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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.
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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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Rosin McGrath Personal Trainer


Roisin McGrath graduated from The Fitness Institute with an ITEC Level 3 Diploma In Personal Training and currently works as Personal Trainer with Evolution Fitness. 

Why Did You Choose The Fitness Institute?

Before joining the Fitness Institute I spent some time researching other organisations. I spoke to a few people about what they liked and disliked about their courses. Having met the course director Stephen and the owner of the Fitness Institute Ronnie I was confident that I was making a well informed decision. I was impressed by their professionalism and felt that I was around like minded people. This was definitely the place for me!


At first, I’d been tempted by an organisation that provided intensive, shorter term courses. I didn’t feel that this suited my learning style or what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to have a chance to really absorb the information. For me, it was important to have a real working understanding of what I learnt so I could apply it correctly in my career. As a widely accepted qualification and accreditation by ITEC, REPs and FHT I knew the course was of a high standard.

What Was Your Favourite Part Of The Course?

It’s difficult to pick my favourite part of the course as I enjoyed every minute of it. One area that I particularly enjoyed was Functional Movement Screening with Keith Reynolds. I have a lot of admiration for him as a trainer, believing strongly in his approach that “without mobility there is no stability”. Yoga has been part of my own personal training plan and helped me to relate to this. It’s something I hope to develop further. One of The Fitness Institute team is Noel McPartlin.

He has both a history and a huge amount of respect in the industry. He’s an expert in the correct technique for exercise. Form matters, and in every single detail.
I feel that what I learnt from him will really help support my clients in working out both effectively and safely. I ask a lot of questions and Noel was more than happy to answer them all without hesitation! Sarah-Louise Moloney and Fergal McArdle shared their in depth knowledge on Physiology and Anatomy, and how there (SP) principles apply to exercise. The classes were challenging but fascinating.The knowledge I gained allows me to have a real working understanding of how a client’s body is reacting to what we’re doing. Part of the course gave us the opportunity to apply the principals of nutrition to a physical activity programme. The wonderful Eamon Lovett from Lovett Nutrition was in charge of this portion. I’ve always had a very keen interest in healthy eating. This course took it to a new level. You need to support all your hard work in the gym with smart decisions in the kitchen.

Eamon understands the subject completely and cleared up a lot of misconceptions about nutrition with some real science. Whether your goal is your body composition or your performance, you need to have the diet to make those changes effective. Alongside the theory and practical knowledge The Fitness Institute provided me with the tools to use these with my clients. John Carroll covered everything I needed to know to keep people engaged when I work with them. I learnt how to plan and deliver sessions, create programmes and support my clients throughout their programmes. Most importantly he did all this by keeping us all smiling.

How has your career progressed since graduating?

I’ve always thought about a career in fitness. When I left school in 1995, I got a place on a Personal Training course with FÁS but I decided to do a degree in Physical Education in the UK instead. In hindsight, I was more suited to the PT course. Having said that, I couldn’t be happier that The Fitness Institute was where I finally got to take that journey. I’ve made some great friends and met some truly inspirational trainers. I’m living my dream as a Personal Trainer.

Is There Anything You Would Like To Add?

If there’s any advice for someone that’s considering taking the course, it would be simple…JUST DO IT!!! If you’re worried about having any regrets, mine was only that I didn’t make the decision sooner!


Article by: The Fitness Institute