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 MacDonald from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:


Elaine MacDonald

Psychologist - Clinical

St. Michael's House

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  Elaine MacDonald

Make sure you are willing to go the full distance in terms of the time needed to train as a Clinical Psychologist – it’s typically at least six years academic study, and invariably this period is interspersed with work in a relevant field.

Do be as confident as you can that you’re happy being a “listener” and “observer”, as you will spend significant amounts of time in your work life as a Clinical Psychologist being in this role, as well as being in the “do-er” role and being in the limelight.

To have a good ‘fit’ with this career you’ll need to be happy working with people – as individuals on a one to one basis, with groups (e.g. families), and as part of a team in the workplace.

You need to have a good attention to detail as the job needs good observation skills, record keeping, and organisation skills.

Be prepared for learning and self-development to be on-going for the whole of your career because, as a Clinical Psychologist, you’ll be learning and using techniques and intervention approaches that are being constantly developed, and be working in accordance with policies and laws that are also constantly evolving.

The last piece of advice I’d give to someone considering this job is to be as sure as you can that you feel comfortable and even excited at the prospect of your career revolving around people and groups with all the varied, diverse, and unpredictable rewards and challenges that this brings!


The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
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Irish student wins bronze medal at International Linguistics Olympiad

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Irish student wins bronze medal at International Linguistics Olympiad

Monday, July 27, 2015 

Irish student wins bronze medal at International Linguistics Olympiad

Nineteen year old Luke Gardiner from Gonazaga College, Dublin, clinched a bronze medal at the International Linguistics Olympiad in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria on Friday.

The international problem-solving contest, which ran from 20th to 24th July, challenges students to test lateral thinking skills by decoding some of the world’s toughest problems in logic, language and linguistics. Gardiner beat off competition from 180 students from 29 countries to bring home a bronze medal.

The top four teenagers from the national All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad, run by the Science Foundation Ireland ADAPT Centre, attended a two-day problem-solving training camp at Dublin City University prior to their departure for Bulgaria.

Gardiner was joined on the team by Shmuel Barron (17) of Sutton Park School, Dublin, Ethan Hamman (18) of Newpark Comprehensive, Dublin, and Niamh Lynch (18) of Loreto College Letterkenny, Donegal.

Dr. Cara Greene of the ADAPT Centre, who led the Irish delegation, said: “I am very proud and excited that Luke Gardiner has won a bronze medal in the International Linguistics Olympiad. This is Ireland’s first medal in seven years competing in the contest. The standard of competition is incredibly high and nations with a long tradition in the Linguistics Olympiad tend to sweep the medals. This makes Luke’s performance very noteworthy. In fact, all four members of the Irish team performed exceptionally well.“

The students decoded numerals in the Nahuatl language of the Aztec Empire; deciphered Soundex, a phonetic algorithm for indexing names by sound; interpreted ancient Somali poetry; and decrypted sentences from the Wambali language of Australia (spoken by only 89 people worldwide). Knowledge of a second language is not required, as the puzzles are designed to test contestants’ reasoning skills, logic and patience.

Gardiner is planning to study Mathematics at university next year. He will join a long line of All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad past participants who are now putting their problem solving ability to good use in STEM-related careers.

The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad

Launched in 2009 and run by the ADAPT Centre, the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) is a contest in which secondary school students develop their own strategies for solving problems in fascinating languages from around the globe. Students must use their ingenuity to solve puzzles as deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics, decoding numerical spy codes, and interpreting ancient Mayan poetry. No prior knowledge of linguistics or a second language is required, as even the hardest problems require only logical ability, patient work, and a willingness to think around corners. AILO introduces students to linguistics (i.e. the study of human language) and to the application of logic to problems of language understanding and translation. The goal is to develop students’ problem-solving skills and to inspire them to consider the fascinating range of careers at the intersection of computing, linguistics and language. More than 10,000 students have participated in the Olympiad to date, with many former participants now studying computing and linguistics and tutoring current participants.

The International Linguistics Olympiad

The International Linguistics Olympiad is one of 12 International Science Olympiads for secondary school students, and has been held annually since 2003. Each year, teams of young linguists from some 30 countries gather and test their minds against complex puzzles in language and linguistics. The weeklong Olympiad comprises individual and team contests, and students enjoy an active programme of social and cultural events. The 2015 edition of the contest took place in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria from 20th to 24th July 2015.

ADAPT Centre

ADAPT is the global centre for digital content technology. Supported by Science Foundation Ireland, ADAPT combines the expertise of 120 researchers at four universities (Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, Dublin City University, University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology) with that of its industry partners to produce ground-breaking digital content innovations. The Centre’s research and technologies help companies to deliver the right content, to the right customer at the right time, in the right language, in the right format and on the device of their choice.

The CareersPortal Team