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 Lynsey Gargan from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Lynsey Gargan

Manufacturing Engineer

STEPS

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  Lynsey Gargan
With regard to education I say don't worry if you think you have the wrong subjects in school. I certainly didn't have the subjects you would typically expect.

There are a number of courses that cater to different backgrounds. The most important thing is to do your research. Go to open days, talk to the colleges and generally just find out what exactly you would be getting in to.

Don't just take for granted you know what a certain course or career is all about. Think about what you like to do, and not just necessarily in school, if you find yourself being curious about how things work or how thing are made, it's a good indication that you could like something like engineering.

One of the best things about engineering is that it really can be your passport to the world. There are great travel opportunities within the industry and chances to be involved in the next big thing.

Practically every man-made product around you came from a manufacturing plant, it's a huge industry with a lot of different avenues to take. Innovation is a really big part of what engineers do. The desire to be creative and improve production and processes is an important attribute for a manufacturing engineer.
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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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National Skills Competition 2014 [ CLOSED ]


Thanks to McDonald's (kind sponsors of our great prizes!) we are able to offer a simple competition that makes your work experience work for you.
 
The competition is exclusive to Second Level schools in Ireland running the Leaving Cert. or one or more of the following programmes:

Transition Year
Leaving Cert Applied
Leaving Cert Vocational
Transition Year Programme
Leaving Cert Applied
Leaving Cert Vocational Programme

The competition is organised through the Coordinators/Teachers of these programmes or your Guidance Counselor, so to enter you must contact the appropriate person.

Prizes
We are giving away superb prizes for the top three entries in each of the three categories (TY, LCA and LCE/LCVP). In addition, the school of the winning student from each category will receive a cash prize for the relevant programme.

What's the Competition?
The competition is based on your experience on a work placement. When you do a work placement, you get a chance to see and meet the people who's work and efforts contribute to the success of a company or organisation. You get a chance to see what the work is like, and think about whether you might like to do something similar some day. Love it or hate it, you wil certainly know more after spending some time watching, helping out, or even contributing to the tasks and activities of these people.

The Career Investigation (all entries)
This competition asks you to investigate closely one person who you get to work alongside during your placement. It asks you to describe the job-role, find out what education is required to enter it, to notice some of the skills required to do the job well, and most importantly, tell us what skills you have developed during that time. In other words, you need to complete a Career Investigation for a job role you observe during your work experience.

If you cannot get a work placement for a career you are interested in, you may complete a Career Investigation for one that you are. In this case you must research the career to get the necessary information.

The Work Placement Report (TY entries only)
Your work experience will provide you with new experiences and challenges. Each day will bring something different, and there is much to be learned. The competition asks you to tell us about your experience by providing an account of what you did for two days of the placement, for example, what duties you were given, or how you got on with staff or customers and so on. This part of the competition is called the Work Placement Report, and is required for TY students only.   

The Career Skills Statement (LC/LCVP entries only)
Gaining experience from your work placement is great, and is likely to help you to focus on your career path. But to get a job (even a summer job or part-time job) you will need to convince your employer that you have the skills to be a good employee. Creating a Career Skills Statement will help you focus on your employability skills by asking you to describe a number of skills you developed. Your Career Skills Statement will show that you understand and have developed 5 career skills during the course of a work placement and other activities.

Quick overview:

  1. Familiarise yourself with important skills essential for success in college and work.
  2. Choose a work placement in a career area you are interested in. On the placement look out for these skills - and find out additional information about the career, e.g. what courses might lead to it, what subjects are relevant etc.
  3. Familiarise yourself with the competition rules for the programme you are entering (there are different rules for different programmes - TY, LCA and LC / LCVP!) as these will give you clear directions for completing the competition.
  4. Make a note of what happens during the work experience and look out for those things mentioned in the competition rules.
  5. Create a new document in a word processor and complete the sections required for the category you are entering (see competition rules for details).
  6. Make sure you get the support of one of your teachers / coordinators or your guidance counsellor - they need to approve the entry also.
  7. Send your completed document to the competition address at the bottom of this page to arrive no later than 22th April 2014. You can also email your document instead - to careerskills@careersportal.ie by the same date.

Entry Date & Address
The final entry date for the competition was 22nd April 2014, the competition is now closed.

 
Great Prizes!

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