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What are your interests?

Naturalist?

Naturalist

Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.

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Interviews
Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer
History, Culture & Languages

Dr. Patrick Cadwell, Lecturer

Dr. Patrick Cadwell is an assistant professor of translation studies in DCU teaching people how to translate from Japanese to English.

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What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?

My decision to move to Luxembourg after completing my undergraduate degree. My decision to move to Japan from Luxembourg. My decision to study for a Master's degree and my decision to study for a PhD. In short, the times when I have made a leap to travel to new countries and pursue further education have brought me to to where I am now.

Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?

Several university lecturers - they were role models for me and showed me an example of what I wanted to career to look like. They also mentored me at various points in my career and gave me lots of concrete support (e.g., feedback on job applications, advice about interviews).

How did you go about getting your current job?

I finished my PhD and heard that a position was to become available at the university where I studied. I applied by filling in a very detailed application form (it took me several weeks to write my answers and be happy with them), I taught a sample lesson and made a presentation about my plans for the job if I were to be successful, I sat an interview with a selection panel, and got told by phone that evening that I got the job.

Describe a typical day?

During semester time, a typical day revolves around teaching. I teach a variety of subjects. Planning and preparation for lessons takes a lot of time and effort. Preparing assessments and exams require a lot of time and effort, too. In between lessons, I conduct research (gathering data, interviewing people, writing papers).

This involves a lot of deadline pressure, but it is a really interesting aspect of the job. It feels great when a piece of research that you have created is published and read by other people. Academics often travel a lot because research is usually carried out within large international networks and present their work at international conferences. I travel outside Ireland about once a month on average. Trips I have taken have been as short as one day or as long as three months, depending on the project.

What are the main tasks and responsibilities?

Teaching and supervising students, conducting and disseminating research, and assisting with the administration of the university are my main responsibilities.

What are the main challenges?

Time management! There is a lot of work to do, especially if you want to keep up with all the developments in the topics that interest you. I am good at maintaining to-do lists, and I spend a lot of time thinking about what is important and what is urgent on these lists and managing my time accordingly.

What's cool?

The variety (two days are rarely the same) and the fact that I can control how my career develops. You are given a lot of freedom by the university to research what is most interesting to you, and this can change over time. I think the opportunities for international travel with a stable Irish base are great as well.

What's not so cool?

Time management! It is a busy job and I don't always have time to do as good a job as I want to on some tasks because other things are more important or urgent. For example, sometimes you want to spend more time working on a piece of research but you can't because you need to respect a deadline given to you by a publisher.

What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?

Experience, an unusual language skill, good presentation skills, dedication, curiosity.

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Studying languages altered my career path the most - I studied French first and then Japanese, and these subjects led me to Luxembourg and Japan.

What is your education to date?

Business, French, Translation Studies, Japanese - these are the subjects that helped me most throughout the years.

What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?

Deciding to take a risk and pursue a PhD. I quit a well-paid job to go back to study for my PhD, but it was the best decision I ever made.

What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?

Getting my PhD is my biggest personal achievement. Participating in a large, international research collaboration is the work I am proudest of. Helping students to get a start on their own careers rewards me every year.

What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?

Being organised, dedicated, and flexible has helped me most.

What is your dream job?

I am doing my dream job right now.

Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?

Yes, it is my dream job. It is secure, has lots of flexibility, allows me to travel, and gives me a lot of control over my future.

What advice would you give to someone considering this job?

Follow your interests. The people I know who are happiest in their jobs (including myself) are the people who have pursued the things that interest them most not necessarily the things that will pay best or have the highest status.

What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?

Curiosity, critical thinking, a thick-skin.

Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?

Even after PhD level, there are still lots of opportunities to learn. We have lots of personal and professional development courses that are offered by the university to help us work better or be better (learn new teaching, research or administrative skills, take care of our mental health, work better with others, etc.) I take about one short course a year.

What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?

Research assistant - ask lecturers if there are projects you could help with.

What is your current job title?

Assistant Professor

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