Jane Stout, a Senior Lecturer in Natural Science in Trinity College Dublin talks about her career.
What are the roles and responsibilities of your job?
What do you like most about your work?
What are the main challenges?
Because my work is flexible, I can do it at any time, and because there’s a lot to do (and there are lots of opportunities for taking more work on), I end up working at every available hour!
Who or what has most influenced your career direction?
Mainly my own interests and the opportunities that arose. Voluntary work is a really good idea for getting some experience in the area you’re interested in.
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
I would like more time with my family and less rushing around, but I think that’s true of any working mum.
What subjects did you take in school and did they influence your career path?
I did A’ levels in Biology, Geography and Maths – these definitely influenced my career path as I was interested in living things, the environment and how people interact with it and working with numbers (this pretty much sums up my research area of ecology).
What is your education to date?
GCSEs and A’ levels at secondary school, and then a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Sciences at Southampton University and a PhD in Biology at Southampton University.
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
You need to work hard and get good qualifications. You need self-motivation and have to be very well organised. You should take any opportunities that arise, and enjoy working with others and travelling. You need to be able to work flexible hours, be very computer-literate, and, for my field, have a real love of the natural world!