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 Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Elaine McGarrigle

The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.

One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.

An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.

It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.

Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.

Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Studying Abroad
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Studying Abroad

Time spent studying abroad enriches a student’s life, academically and in future career terms. The experience improves foreign language development, intercultural skills, self-reliance and self-awareness. Employers value experience abroad - it can increase the students' employability and job prospects going forward.

Students opt to study abroad for different reasons: as an alternative to points pressure and the CAO system; lower entry requirements; access to courses that are not available in Ireland; or, you may simply want the experience of studying outside Ireland.

It is important to carefully consider the differences between studying here and abroad - Application procedures, duration of courses, fees, living expenses etc. as part of making an informaed decision.

The menu items in this area provide summary information on Studying in the UK, Europe, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Each section is presented under the headings above to help with your decision-making process.

Useful Resources

Finding and financing study worldwide: click here