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 Brian Macken from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Brian Macken

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

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  Brian Macken

I would strongly advise you to do the Masters in Science Communication in DCU. It really gives you a feel for the different kinds of media and ways of explaining things. And it's a good place to make contacts, which is also useful.

I would also recommend that you read science books. Not textbooks, good popular science books are just as useful for this kind of work, as it's already been broken down into simpler language for you. And only read the ones that you're interested in - it shouldn't be a chore to read them.

But I would recommend reading outside your subject area, so if you're into physics, then read some books on biology and vice versa (everyone should read Stephen J. Gould).  However, the more knowledge you have, the more questions you'll be able to answer.

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Administrative?
Administrative 
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

DIT 
St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra 
Pulse College 
Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute 

Sector Video Profiles
 
1 Denis Canty, Electronic Engineer
 Full Interview with Denis Canty here Go to Full Interview
   

Electrical & Electronic Engineering 

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.