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 Jason Ruane from Intel to give some advice for people considering this job:


Jason Ruane

Computer Programmer


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  Jason Ruane

Possibly useful qualities/interests:

A predisposition towards technical problems, such as puzzles or machinery. An interest in the nature of how things work, such as the desire to disassemble machinery/gadgetry to unlock its inner workings.

An inventive side; one who uses the parts of other gadgets, to make a new personalised gadget. Interested in high tech gear: gadgetry of all forms.

A capacity to learn processes for oneself e.g. seeing a puzzle solved and then repeating it.

Skills: Technical subjects such as Maths or electronics. Programming is very accessible to anyone with a basic home PC and some internet connection so try it out and see if you like it.

Values: If you value the solving of an intricate, convoluted problem, for it's own sake and find that rewarding, then any engineering job will come easily.

Education: Firm basis in Maths and the sciences. People are hired into engineering positions here from backgrounds such as science and computing primarily.


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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More than one route to Medical School

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More than one route to Medical School

Thursday, October 01, 2015 

More than one route to Medical School

"A place in medical school can seem like an unachievable dream for many, but there are now a number of routes, both in Ireland and abroad" writes Guidance Counsellor Aoife Walsh in today's Irish Independent. here's her advice:


Medicine at undergraduate level is offered, via the CAO, in five colleges:

In order to progress into an undergraduate degree programme, students must meet the college entry requirements and sit the HPAT test. Students must register for the HPAT by January 20th for the test on February 27th.

Applicants need a CAO number to register for the HPAT. Mature students may also apply in this way.

Graduate medicine

Students who have already achieved a minimum 2.1 award in their first undergraduate degree in any discipline may apply for entry to graduate medicine.

Graduate medicine is available at:

Application is through the CAO. Offers are based on results achieved in the GAMSAT test.

The GAMSAT is a little different from the HPAT in that it is not an aptitude test. It contains a section on scientific knowledge and students would benefit from preparation. GAMSAT testing will take place on the March 19.

Recent research by the RCSI suggests that students whose primary degree is in a non-science-related field (such as arts) are performing no worse than their classmates from a science or engineering background.

Fees are subsidised by the Government but students are liable for a large portion. In 2014 fees for RCSI were about €14,500 per year.

UCAS (the UK's centralised ­colleges' admission service)

Applications for medicine in Britain and Northern Ireland must be submitted to UCAS by October 15. Students will need to take a test for entry into most health degrees in the UK. This is likely to the UKCAT BMAT or HPAT UK. Registration for the UKCAT has now closed.


There are many opportunities to study medicine through English in Europe. These courses often have lower entry requirements, lower fees, and are recognised by the Irish Medical Council. Courses include the Doctor of Medicine and Surgery course at Universita degli Studi di Milano and seven others in Italian universities.

The University of Groningen, and University of Maastricht in the Netherlands offer undergraduate degrees for €1,984 per year. While they do not qualify graduates to practice medicine, both institutions offer a follow-on master's degree that qualifies graduates to practise anywhere in Europe. For more information on opportunities in Europe, see eunicas.

Aoife Walsh is a guidance ­counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin

Question: My daughter is in fifth year and will do the Leaving Certificate in 2017. When should she apply to UCAS if interested in the UK?

Answer: Depending on what your daughter intends to study, there are a number of different deadlines of which you need to be aware. All applications for medicine, veterinary and dentistry, or to study any subject area at Oxford or Cambridge, should be submitted to UCAS no later than October 15 the year before intended entry. Applications for nearly all other courses should be with the UCAS no later than January 15. The only exception to this are applications to certain art and design courses, which should reach UCAS by March 24.

In the UCAS system early application can result in improved chances of being successful, so the earlier the better, really. UCAS begins accepting applications from September 1. These dates are the same every year so, if your daughter is currently in fifth year, she will complete her application during sixth year for entry in autumn 2017.

The CareersPortal Team