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 Catherine Day from EU Careers to give some advice for people considering this job:


Catherine Day

Secretary General

EU Careers

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  Catherine Day
I would advise them to give it a go - it doesn’t mean you have to work there long term. You must know how to speak a language other than your mother tongue reasonably well, as a good proficiency is essential. It’s also important to know and understand the cultural diversity that makes up the European Union.

Our internships are a great chance to come for a short period to determine where your interests lie and taste the experiences. Starting out your career path with the EU gives you a really good foundation of insider knowledge of how the EU works and is so useful professionally, even if you don’t plan on working there forever.

It is also important for young Irish people to consider moving to countries that are not English speaking and working for the EU would be very useful to your long term career.

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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CAO Change of Mind Opens 5th May

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CAO Change of Mind Opens 5th May

Monday, April 27, 2015 

CAO Change of Mind Opens 5th May

The deadline for late applications to the CAO is Friday 1st May. No new applications can be submitted after this date.

The CAO change-of-mind facility then becomes available to any applicant already in the CAO system.

The online change-of-mind facility becomes available from May 5th, with a closing date for any changes of 5.15pm on Wednesday 1st July.

Applicants may submit a change of mind to CAO free of charge. A copy of a paper change-of-mind form will be included with the statement of the application record which all applicants receive from CAO before the end of May. However, CAO stresses that it is safer to record a change of mind online.

When applicants use the online facility, they should remember that the same basic principle underlines the CAO application system.

Applicants should place their courses in order of genuine preference, regardless of what points they feel they may get.

A change- of- mind application cancels and supersedes all the original course choices made in the category in which changes are now being made.

Applicants can use the facility as many times as they want up to July 1st. However, they may not introduce a restricted-application course to their list of course choices on a change of mind application. There is an exception - if a restricted course shares the exact same assessment procedures with a course an applicant has already applied for, it may be permitted to introduce it on a change of mind. Applicants should always consult with the relevant Higher Education Institution before introducing such a course. Applicants may remove restricted-application courses from their list of course choices if they wish to do so.

Many CAO applicants will be happy with their choices to date and will not change their mind. 

However, in 2014, according to figures from the CAO, over half (41,897) of the 77,725 CAO applicants submitted a Change of Mind before the July 1 deadline.

In some instances, applicants may have discovered and become interested in a course they had not originally considered and applied for, or may now realise that a course they had applied for is not for them.

Applicants may have seen a new course in CAO's Important Changes list, which they did not know was available, because these new courses received approval too late to be included in the CAO 2015 handbook.

Useful Resources:

  • CAO Change of Mind video - A guide from the CAO to making changes to your application

The CareersPortal Team