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 James Ryan from Coillte to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

James Ryan

Engineer - Chemical

Coillte

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  James Ryan

To have a career in engineering you have to be a problem solver. Engineering involves managing, analysing, communicating and problem solving so it helps to be a versitile individual. My backround is in chemical and process engineering and it would be necessary to have an interest in chemistry, physics, maths and also more practical applications.

I would advise someone who would be interested in a job in engineering to study hard for your leaving certificate and in college and your interest in certain areas should drive you on. If you were interested in a job in Medite you should be a hands on person and very interested in your work. There is a wide variety of work in Medite so you should be able to adapt to deal with what is assigned to you.

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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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1 Denis Canty, Electronic Engineer
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Electrical & Electronic Engineering 

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Denis Canty, Education Profile 

How did you go about getting your current job?
A friend noticed the job on irishjobs.ie and I rang the company directly. Sometimes the personal touch is helpful, which I followed with a CV submission. I then did an interview with the Human Resource Manager and also the senior electronic engineer. I was contacted by the Human Resource Manager a week later to notify me of their decision to hire me. It was a great feeling. 


Describe a typical day?
My work hours are 8:30 to 5:00, and we finish early (3:50) on Friday. First duty every day is to check my emails, to address any issues. Because our main plant is in Japan, we are in constant contact with them. With the time difference, between 8:30am to 10:00 am is the only time we can contact them. 

I have a number of functions such as supporting the manufacturing area on electronic test issues and also developing new tests. It's a good feeling when you solve a particular problem. There is a level of responsibility attached to the job so you have a level of respect from colleagues. 


What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
My main tasks are to:
  • Support our manufacturing production on electronic test issues.
  • Develop new electonic tests for new products.
  • Interact with the Japan office and also work colleagues on finding the correct solution. It is a team based organisation.
  • Act as a representative for the company on business trips abroad. Ethics are important.
  • Come up with new and innovative ideas, while trying to minimise cost.
  • Always maintain a positive attitude.
 


What are the main challenges?
There are many challenges. Everyday we come up against a new problem that needs to be solved. We are encouraged from the beginning of college to become an efficient problem solver and you really use this in the workplace. 


What's cool?
Job satisfaction, the social element to work (with regular nights out, summer barbecue, and Christmas social), and security. The aspect I like most about my job is the constant challenge and change that it brings. There is a great team atmosphere. 


What's not so cool?
In the role of being an Engineer, you have a level of respect and responsibility. Sometimes in order to complete a project on time, some extra hours are needed. 


What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I bring a positive attitude, a good work ethic and a lot of knowledge, built up from years in college and the workplace.