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Siobhan O'Shea, Engineer, Clifton Scannell Associates

After my first year I chose to specialise in civil engineering which is concerned with the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and natural built environment. It is not just bridges and road design.

Job titleEngineer
Employer Clifton Scannell Associates

I have been working in the industry for just over three years. I graduated in September 2012 and started work in CSEA, a multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm, immediately afterwards. I spent a three-month placement in CSEA during the summer prior to my final year in college. After I graduated I was lucky enough to be offered a graduate position within the company.

Choosing my career

There is a great amount of variety that comes with working as part of a multidisciplinary consultancy. One day you can be designing a drainage system using computer software and the next day you can be on-site lifting manholes. As to what attracted me to work in this profession: I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do when filing out my CAO form but I had always had an interest in maths, science and the business subjects in school. As I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in college a course that would offer me variety was appealing. Engineering was the perfect choice.

I studied omnibus engineering in UCD Dublin. This is a common first year which allows students to get a taste of the variety of the engineering courses available. After my first year I chose to specialise in civil engineering which is concerned with the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and natural built environment. It is not just bridges and road design. Other options available were mechanical, chemical, electrical or engineering. Since I graduated new courses have been made available including energy systems and biosystems engineering.

A number of friends from college have gone on to pursue careers in IT, accounting and business as well as a number who stayed within the industry after graduating. I enjoy the variety of the work. No two days are the same and every project is different. Engineering is a field which is constantly changing and so you have to be able to adapt to new ways of thinking. It is great to get to work as part of a team and see projects develop from paper to reality. I would highly recommend this career choice. The variety of opportunities and employers looking to hire engineers is vast. Even if you are not sure that you want to pursue a career within the field, an engineering degree is a great first stepping stone.