Communication skills are at a premium in this digital age. Knowing how to argue a point, to think independently, to summarise, to write reports and speak well are all important skills. Ability and competence in English is the starting point not only for writing a good CV, but also for careers in journalism and advertising, marketing, sales and many other occupations.
icould Video Interviews
Anne-Marie Grant is a floristry lecturer at CAFRE. She trained in horticulture and went to work as a teacher of young offenders before having children and re-training in floristry. She says, "I didn't think I would like sitting, you know, in an office doing things like writing and that kind of thing but I thought I would like the outdoorsy stuff."
Gary Irvine is the contract sales manager at Ulster Carpets in Portadown - "We supply primarily five star hotels around the world and we develop carpeting schemes for those hotels so a lot of my job is actually involved with speaking to designers and architects, coming up with design schemes". After gaining a degree in French and German, Gary thought he wanted to teach and took a placement opportunity while waiting for the teacher training course to begin. Although he enjoyed the work, he realised it wasn't for him and found work in the Sales Department of a linen company. The best thing for him is when he can make a presentation about Ulster carpets using his foreign language skills.
Seamus McCracken is a lighting camera supervisor for BBC Northern Ireland and says "I don't have to be a boffin to do my job and to do it well... I love the process of filming, I just love taking pictures". When an uncle bought him a camera for his 14th birthday, Seamus discovered his passion for photography and after leaving university he found a trainee placement at the BBC as a camera operator.
Mervyn Jess is a senior broadcaster working in the BBC newsroom in Belfast. He describes taking a huge risk when he was younger by not taking an engineering job offered by a company with a world-wide reputation. Instead he followed his heart into journalism, and has never regretted it - "go after it and if it means taking a risk, take the risk. Go after it."
Jane Cassidy is managing editor of learning, language and social action here at BBC Northern Ireland - "It's a department of about thirty people and it involved looking after all the education content for all ages from cradle to the grave". She has always loved singing, and has been involved with folk music since winning a talent contest at the age of 14. Jane performed on TV and radio, and then decided to get behind the camera and worked as a producer before eventually becoming an editor and head of department.
Ian Snowden is an audio archivist with the BBC Northern Ireland. He has a hereditary condition which made him lose his sight at an early age, he says "It definitely made me more independent because you can't sit back and just do nothing you've got to go out there contribute and feel part of the community and part of the population". Ian knew he wanted to work with sound, but was laughed out of a careers office when he asked about it. This spurred him on and he eventually found the job with the BBC. He enjoys a very active social life doing things like fishing, skiing and playing in a band.
Lord David Puttnam decided to "have a crack at the movie industry" after 10 years in advertising. His films 'Midnight Express' and 'Chariots of Fire' were huge hits, the latter winning David an Oscar in 1982. David was awarded a CBE in 1982 and was appointed to the House of Lords in 1997. He now works principally for the Department of Education.
Raechel didn't want to get stuck in a rut like people around her so she decided to work abroad. She found PGL online, applied and was offered a job as a kitchen assistant in the south of France. She now works at one of their sites in the UK In the future she wants to be like Gordon Ramsay, but less angry.
Mark Justin-Ford is a Receptionist and Trainee Manager for Intercontinental Hotel Group. He originally wanted to work in the media, so he funded a voluntary post at the BBC by working as a waiter. But his money ran out before he got any paid work, so he took the hospitality and catering route for his career and satisfies his passion for the media by writing for a local paper in his spare time.
Kelly Allen is a Reception Teacher at Fairstead House School, Newmarket. She trained in her home city of Calgary, Canada. "Everybody needs teachers everywhere in the world and if you have a good degree behind you and a good letter of reference then lots of doors are open for you."