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 Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Elva Bannon

Mechatronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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  Elva Bannon

I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.

There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.

General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.

An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.

Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.

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Realist?
Realist 
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Gateway

Gateway is a County and City Council work placement scheme designed to provide short-term working opportunities for unemployed people. The scheme is intended to assist the personal and social development of participants by providing short-term work opportunities with the objective of bridging the gap between unemployment and re-entering the workforce.

The work opportunities are intended to benefit the local area and are identified and provided by County and City councils (collectively known as Local Authorities - LAs) in both urban and rural areas. Gateway is managed by the various County and City Councils.

Unemployed people who are eligible to participate in the scheme are selected at random and contacted by the Department of Social Protection

For further information on Gateway, click here

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The job was advertised in the paper and on the council website. I filled in the application, waited patiently for an interview, and happy days, here I am.
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