Last week (Thursday, 19th October) Clongowes held a College and Career Exhibition in the sports hall. While many are familiar with the Irish Times Higher Options Exhibition, held in the RDS annually, this year we decided to organise our own ‘mini’ Higher Options Exhibition for the Higher Line students and their parents, with a ‘mini’ café area included on the night. There were so many positive responses to our request to attend the exhibition that we had over 24 exhibitors and 7 career and college talks on the night. The talks were very well attended by students and parents alike and covered topics from studying abroad to general career fields.
We had representatives from Notre Dame and Boston College in the US with Erin Camilliar from Notre Dame arranging her travel plans around our event, for which we are most grateful. From a UK perspective we were fortunate to secure the services of the Education and Recruitment and Marketing group who provided the boys with some excellent insight into the application process to UK colleges. Guy Flouch from Eunicas gave a very insightful presentation on the many college opportunities in Europe and those who attended his talk were very impressed with the study options available in Europe.
From the careers perspective Celeste Golden from The Royal College of Surgeons outlined the many opportunities in the medical science field as well as the all important HPAT. Engineers Ireland were represented by Keith Elliot of the PM Group and Anne-Marie Fitzgerald of the OPW, which was important as this year’s Rhetoric appear to have a strong leaning in this direction. Ian Ryan, of The Law Society gave a very informed overview of entry pathways to Law, especially from a graduate perspective and some students have already been in touch with him. We finished off with Tom Kelly (OC’11) from Ormsby and Rhodes Chartered Accountants, who not only gave the boys great insight into the entry routes into accounting but also the many career paths leading from it. Tom was also a great ambassador on the night for the Union and we hope to work closely with them this year in organising career talks for senior students.
All in all the night was a great success. The exhibitors commented overwhelmingly on how interested the boys were and it was great to hear them say that the boys impressed them with their intelligent, insightful questions. I was genuinely very proud of the boys on the night; not only did they represent the school and their parents well, but they represented yourselves as young men with drive and enthusiasm.
I hope to be able to follow up on some useful contacts over the coming months and I hope the boys will do likewise. Our event was a useful tool in the preparation for college but by no means is the process finished. I look forward to supporting the boys and their parents over the coming months as they make key decisions about their futures.
Thanks to all who helped bring this event to fruition, staff, students, parents with offers of help and our many exhibitors.
Maria Shaw, Career Guidance Counsellor