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Sinead O'Hara, Higher Executive Officer
Sinead O Hara is a Higher Executive Officer in the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Sinead joined the Civil Service in 2007, having worked for a number of years in International Banking.
Subsequent to sitting my Leaving Cert, I attended University College Dublin and completed a Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics.
After a number of years - while working in banking - I studied by night for a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Studies.
In the last few years, I completed a full-time Master of Arts in European Studies at the Dublin European Institute, UCD.
Ongoing training is an important and ongoing feature within the performance management and development system of the Civil Service.
The Training Unit in the Department offers a very wide spectrum of courses on everything from MS Word, to time management, to presentation skills, to stress management to policy analysis.
I have already undertaken a number of courses in the Department this year. I have also just started studying for a Higher Diploma in Public Management in the Institute of Public Administration.
Overall, my university education has been quite a valuable background resource for this job.
I studied Irish and European politics so I had a reasonably clear concept of the function of the Government, the Oireachtas and the Civil Service, from a theoretical point of view at least, if not quite in an operational sense of the word
I knew by the time I started studying for the Leaving Cert, that I did not want to work in an area related to the Sciences so accordingly, I did not take up any of the science subjects.
Personally, I have no regrets with my study choices. I enjoyed studying them, which I think is a vital factor, and I think they helped me entering the Civil Service, and continue to do so in terms of the fact that I have some understanding of the mechanics of the governmental and public system, even if it is often quite theoretical!