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 Maria O'Neill from STEPS to give some advice for people considering this job:


Maria O'Neill

Civil Engineer


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  Maria O'Neill

If you like working with others, and like problem solving then its definitely worth considering. Do you ever look at a bridge/skyscraper etc. and wonder how they did that? Or better still, are you looking at the way the road at home is laid out and thinking if they had of done something differently it would have been better.

Engineering is not a career people think about and say its helping people, but in many ways it is rewarding and just as much about helping people. Engineers design things used everyday that help people get to work, provide clean water, provide sewerage systems, care for the environment....


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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Countdown to CAO Deadline

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Countdown to CAO Deadline

Monday, June 29, 2015 

Countdown to CAO Deadline

CAO Change of Mind deadline this Wednesday 1st July

CAO applicants are being reminded that the Change of Mind deadline is this Wednesday, 1 July at 5:15pm. 

This free facility offers applicants the opportunity to add, remove or change the order of their course choices, however some restrictions apply – for more information go to page 4 of the CAO handbook

CAO would like to advise all applicants to think carefully about introducing new courses or changing their order of preference at this stage in the application process.

Use our Tools to Help with CAO Change of Mind 

CAO communications officer Eileen Keleghan asks applicants to always remember to place their course choices in genuine order of preference;

“Every year we experience a surge in last minute amendments to CAO applications. This is due to a number of factors, for example more time spent researching courses and the introduction of new areas of interest.

“What we would like to advise applicants to avoid doing is making changes to their order of preference or course choices based on how they feel they have performed in their examinations.

“If applicants simply follow the golden rule of placing all of their courses in their genuine order of preference they will be offered the course highest up on their preference list that they are deemed entitled to, if any” she added.

Other advice for applicants from CAO is as follows:

  1. Make sure to carefully check your application and ensure that all of the course codes are correct and listed in order of preference.
  2. When entering new courses or editing existing course choices applicants must list ALL courses on the New Choices list.
  3. Use the online Change of Mind facility – it is quicker, easier and helps to reduce the opportunity for applicant error.
  4. Carefully read any correspondence from CAO, including the ‘Statement of Course Choices’ which is sent to applicants after amendments are made to CAO course choices. Applicants will also receive an email showing these changes.

The provisional date for Round 1 CAO Offers is August 17.

Applicants will be notified by post and e-mail if they have received an offer and will have until 5:15 pm on August 24 to register an acceptance. Applicants who do not receive an offer in Round 1 will receive a Statement of Application Record which they must carefully check and notify CAO of any errors or omissions. The expected date for Round 2 Offers is August 27.

A video guide to the CAO Change of Mind process is available here

The Careers Portal Team