6th year group
Feedback from Leaving Certificate Students
- Nicole, Brian, Michaela & Tom
We are a small group of leaving cert students who commenced Anne’s Career Development Programme last August, just before going back to school. We completed the second and final day-long workshop during the Christmas holidays. The reason we decided to do this programme was that we didn’t really know what we wanted to do after finishing school. The prospect of facing into leaving cert and deciding what courses to chose for CAO was daunting.
By the end of the 1st workshop we had a much clearer idea about what we wanted to study in college. It forced us to think about something that we were putting off and it motivated us to start researching courses and colleges. It was a huge relief to be able to get started at last. We all agree that it’s a great starting point for anyone who doesn’t know or isn’t sure what they want to do after finishing school.
Having a real sense of what interested us meant that we got a lot more out of attending Higher Options and College Open Days. We knew the information we were looking for and could target the right people, as much as was possible.
Anne encouraged us to look more broadly at sectors and careers before narrowing our focus. This was a good idea as we all found that once we had narrowed our search and found courses we were interested in, it became much more difficult to look at other areas. We discovered that Careers Portal and Qualifax are really good sources of information. It was very useful having Anne’s list of what to research in order to gather enough information and compare courses and therefore make an informed decision.
We discovered that not being sure about what job we want in the future is ok and that the most important thing when choosing a college course is that the subjects really interest us. It was reassuring to know that jobs are constantly changing, with new areas emerging all the time. For that reason, there is no point looking too far ahead. It takes a lot of the pressure off. It eases the pressure also to know that we are not choosing something for the rest of our lives.
Paying attention to the logistics of attending different colleges was very useful. For example, as we live in Malahide, attending UCD would mean travelling at least 3 hours a day. This would seriously limit our involvement in college life and the all - important social aspect. The alternative is to move south side, and this has serious cost implications.
We started to get a sense of the importance of extra- curricular activities and that college is more than just a course. Participation in clubs and societies has a lot to offer, not just the fun and getting to know new people, but it can lead to learning new skills that are of value in the workplace.
Being with our friends meant that we all enjoyed the programme and it started a conversation amongst us that we can continue long after the programme ends.
We discovered that figuring what courses we want to put on the CAO is a big project and we worked best when we were clear what to do and were accountable. So many competing priorities with school-work meant that we needed the support.