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 Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:


Elva Bannon

Mechatronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Elva Bannon

I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.

There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.

General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.

An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.

Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.


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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St. Angelas College Sligo

St. Angelas College Sligo

St Angela's College 
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    St. Angela’s College, Sligo, a College of the National University of Ireland, Galway, is a provider of University-level education and research in the North West of Ireland. As a College within the wider National University network we are a dynamic, fast-growing educational institution that recognises our strategic location in Sligo and the North West. We are fully responsive to the local/regional needs and aware of our contribution not only to University-level education but to the social and economic development of the region.

    Students at St. Angela’s College, Sligo are afforded a high quality of University education with small classes, state of the art resources within a strong community environment while been given the wider opportunities of being registered students at NUI Galway. St. Angela’s College, Sligo, is founded on over 400 years of education tradition. This is a tradition which values both Christian ideals and academic excellence.

    As a College within the wider National University of Ireland network there is a strong community environment which is recognised for its friendly, caring, atmosphere characterised by respect for the individual. St. Angela’s College, Sligo, has a well-deserved reputation for delivering high quality programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels across the academic departments of Nursing and Health Studies, Home Economics and Education.

    The College offers a wide range of Access, Adult Education and Professional Development programmes. Although established as a College of Education for Home Economics Teachers in recent years the College has expanded far beyond its original remit and currently its profile of academic programmes of study also includes:

    • Education
    • Nursing & Health Studies
    • Special Needs Education
    • Theology
    • Food and Consumer Studies
    • Science
    • Irish
    • Economics
    • Social Studies

    The Irish Government’s decision to name St. Angela’s College, Sligo as the sole provider of Home Economics Teacher Education in Ireland (2003) and the Department of Health’s approval of the new School of Nursing and Health Studies has resulted in a dramatic increase in student numbers in the past five years.

    Current student numbers attending the College are approximately 900. The provision of such a range of academic offerings at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels coupled with its unique geographical position as the sole provider of University education in the North West has lead to a dramatic increase in student numbers regionally and nationally with an ever increasing interest internationally. It is predicted that there will be a significant growth in student numbers over the next few years.

    The Modern Day Campus & Environment In 1952, St. Angela’s College, Sligo was founded by the Ursuline Order. It was around this unique cut stone building, the beautiful 19th Century Clogherevagh House that our modern day campus, overlooking the lake has evolved.

    In recent years the College has undergone a period of rapid infrastructural development. The landmark new Àras Michael Building is home to the well equipped McKeown Library and the Department of Nursing & Health Studies incorporating state of the art clinical facilities. St. Angela's Student Residences are luxury student accommodation adjacent to the St. Angela's Campus, overlooking Lough Gill and are available to students, visiting academics and international guests. On site support services include a laundry, gym, a convenience store with ATM and car parking. (see Aras MichaelThe new Nursing Building, Library and Student Residences clearly demonstrate the College’s commitment to modernisation of facilities and infrastructure.

    All infrastructural developments reflect new academic and enrolment growth. Investment plans and developments are ongoing to undertake significant projects of building and modernisation in the coming years which will include: further upgrading of classrooms, lecturing facilities and specialist laboratories, indoor and outdoor sports and recreation facilities. We recognise and are proud of the fact that our College campus is located in one of the most scenic areas in the country on the shores of Lough Gill.

    Our College Green Team monitors and maintains how we interact with our idyllic environment as we continue to develop and cater for an increased student population. The aim of the Green Team is to focus on conserving resources and increase recycling so an environmentally friendly campus can be enjoyed by students, staff, the community and visitors alike.