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 Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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  Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.


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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DCU Student wins first ever Intel Galileo Technology Competition

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DCU Student wins first ever Intel Galileo Technology Competition

Thursday, May 07, 2015 

DCU Student wins first ever Intel Galileo Technology Competition

DCU Computer Applications student, Laura Browne has carried off top prize at the final of the Intel Galileo 3rd Level Technology Competition which took place in the Science Gallery in Dublin.

The competition, running since the beginning of February, was open to all 3rd level undergraduate students on the island of Ireland. The competition invited students to create projects based on the Irish designed Intel Galileo board.

The Intel Galileo board is the first in a family of Arduino*- certified development and prototyping boards based on Intel architecture and specifically designed for makers, students, educators, and DIY electronics enthusiasts.

Laura developed a Power Scout Energy Monitor using Intel Galileo, GROVE base shield and GROVE energy sensors to monitor the energy usage of various electrical appliances the home. This energy data, collected every 30 seconds and stored in a MySQL database hosted on Amazon Web Services is displayed on on separate graphs by querying the database using and python.

The collaboration with Arduino sought to inspire creativity, learning and invention with Makers and Students and development kits and software programming interface that make it easier for artists, designers and other do-it-yourself enthusiasts – who often don’t have technical backgrounds – to create interactive objects or environments.

To further spur innovation across the entire computing spectrum, Intel went on to provide 50,000 Galileo boards to universities worldwide and throughout 2014 almost 1000 boards were provided to 21 different institutions across Ireland who have been integrating them into upcoming curriculum plans and using the boards for a variety of research projects.

The Galileo Technology competition was the first opportunity for students to showcase the projects that they have been creating with the Galileo board. Following the first round of the competition, which involved students submitting their project ideas and a short video summary online, a shortlist of finalist projects was selected. The 6 finalist projects came together on May 1st for a special showcase in coordination with Techweek 2015.

The other 5 finalist projects were:

  • Smart Shower by Cathal Grant, James McCabe and Anthony Mullen from IT Carlow - This Smart Shower is an innovative idea designed to give people with intellectual disabilities and mobility difficulties more independence by converting an existing shower in a bathroom into a SmartShower in seconds, without any renovations or extra costs to the shower or bathroom. The SmartShower is a portable unit that can change any shower into a disable shower instantly.
  • The U-GOAT by Aidan Barrett and Conor O'Mathuna from IT Blanchardstown - The U-G.O.A.T. (Ultrasonic - Galileo Obstacle Avoiding Tribot) project involve the development of an autonomous robot that would traverse its surroundings without any need for input from a human. The U-G.O.A.T. utilises the processing power and capability of an Intel Galileo Gen 2 to guide itself.
  • Heavyweight Sumo Bots by Jason Berry, Philip O'Connor and Luke Byrne from Waterford IT - The heavyweight Sumo-Bot was designed in ARLabs Waterford institute of technology. The design of the heavyweight Sumo-Bot includes two line sensors that are used to detect the edge of the sumo ring and an ultrasonic sensor to detect the other sumo-bot in the ring. The sensors and Galileo board are mounted on a Dareway which is similar to the popular Segway.
  • Smart Window by Dillon O'Reilly, Nicholas Sloan and Melvin Benny from IT Carlow - Smart Window project is a complete gas and reaction system that aims to prevent CO poisoning as well as effects from the build up of other gases such as methane. The project uses the Intel Galileo as a control system to interpret input signals from a sensor and send on an output signal to a reaction system that alerts and provides a safer environment for building occupants.
  • *Intel Edison effect controller with Intel Galileo running C sound by Ronan McHugh from Maynooth University This project incorporates an Intel Edison as a wireless controller using an accelerometer block from Sparkfun. It sends OSC data over WiFi to an Intel Galileo running csound. Interaction by the user of the Edison causes audio effects or triggers on the Galileo.

The 6 finalists projects, who were vying for a top prize of €1000, were judged by representatives from Intel who selected the project ‘Power Scout Energy Monitor‘ as the overall winner.

The overall prize was presented by Philip Moynagh, VP Internet of Things Group at Intel who said “The digital world has been completely transformed in the last decade and the physical world is now at a similar tipping point. In this next computing wave driven by the Internet of Things it will be those who can move quickly and seize opportunities fast that will benefit most from the transformation. We have been very impressed by the projects on display today and it is really exciting for us to see these students bringing these innovative applications to life using a technology that was designed right here in Ireland”.

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The CareersPortal Team