I heard about this course through Mr Doherty in November. It is run by the ESB during Engineers Week for aspiring engineers or students who think this career may suit them. As part of the application process we had to submit our Junior Cert results for maths and science and an 100 word paragraph on why we wanted to take part in the course. I got the acceptance email a few weeks later and I was delighted. They ran the same course in November and they said there was 424 applicants then for only 20 places so I was very lucky to be accepted. The course began on the 26th of February and was held in ESB offices on South Lotts Road in Ringsend. Out of the 19 other participants there were only 5 or so that weren’t from Dublin or the surrounding counties. I think I was the furthest from home along with another girl from Galway who I became friends with. The first day of the programme we talked a lot about what engineering is, seeing as most of us had only a vague idea. We were put into groups to help us bond and I thought everyone was really nice and friendly. We had to come up with ideas to improve the ESB. Most of these were mainly revolved around increasing the use of renewable and sustainable electricity and I found it very interesting to hear about the work the ESB already do in this field. Lunch, snacks and drinks were provided during the day so we didn’t leave the building until it was time for us to go home.
On the Tuesday we were supposed to be going to Turlough Hill, one of the ESB’s main powerplants in Ireland. However, because it was situated high in the Wicklow Mountains we were unable to travel there due to the high volume of snow at that time. Instead we went to Poullaphuca which was a big hydroelectric station also in Wicklow and we got a tour of that for the day. On the bus on the way back to the office the leaders told us that the course would be going ahead as normal on Wednesday as the weather warning at the time was only amber but when I woke up on Wednesday morning it had developed to a red warning for Dublin which would affect transport out of the city so I had to get the first train home. I thought that by doing that I had missed one day of the course but when I checked my emails the final three days had been cancelled and are to be rescheduled for the coming weeks.
For my first week of work experience, beginning on the 5th of February, I went with my dad to his office in Manorhamilton. My dad works as an auctioneer and valuer in Leitrim, Sligo and South Donegal. As part of my work experience I typed up letters for clients or solicitors, I made brochures for new properties, I filed paperwork and did jobs for the secretary.
Although I don’t plan on pursuing this as a career, I found it very insightful to having an office as a workplace and I did enjoy the secretary work. This was the first of three weeks work experience I will be doing.
On the first of February, Amy Christie came in to do a makeup demonstration with the Transition Years. We were split into three groups so each group had a demonstration that lasted three classes. Amy began by talking about how she got into the makeup industry. She originally had an interest in tattoos and body art but that progressed into a love of makeup when she realized she’d have more opportunities in that field. She trained as a beautician in Ballinode in Sligo and now works in a salon Ballyshannon and does some freelance on the side.
She asked us what kind of looks we would like to see her demonstrate and there was a tie between a festival look and a ball look so she decided to do half and half. She talked through each step of the looks and we all learnt a lot of tips. She also gave an insight into what a career as a makeup artist would entail as some of the other TYs there were interested in it. She was open to all of our questions and was really nice and chatty the whole way through.
I thought the makeup course was very interesting and fun and I would recommend they include it as an annual course for future TYs.
On Tuesday the 23rd of January the school held its annual Open Day which is a day when 6th class students get a taster for what it would be like to attend Colaiste Cholmcille next year. TYs are generally enlisted to help teachers in their classes and I was helping Mr Doherty and Ms Cooney with P.E.
For P.E. we set up 10 stations in the New Hall, each based on a different sport. For example, there were soccer, volleyball, tennis and gymnastics stations. Each TY student was given a group of 3-4 students to take around the stations.
When the 6th class students were having lunch we performed some of our favourite dances from the musical which were ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, ‘Dancing On The Ceiling’, ‘Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car’ and ‘Footloose’. We had to perform these twice and then we went back to helping the teachers for the rest of the day.
During Open Night 10 of us were also asked to come in and be guides with the teachers as the brought parents to each classroom in the school. We brought the group to about 10 classrooms, each showcasing a different subject. Each teacher would talk about what their subject entailed at both junior and leaving certificate levels, the success rates of the subject in our school and how a parent could encourage and help their child with the subject. For example, in H.E. Ms Darby and Ms MacHale had cushions that their students had made on show and Jessica Doherty also had some of her lemon drizzle cake that is for sale in Aldi for the parents to taste. For the foreign languages, the teachers had different delicacies from France and Germany. I think the 6th class students that were there probably found these two rooms the most interesting because of the food. I really enjoyed helping with both open day and night as it reminded me of my own experience when I was in 6th class.