I completed this course in June 2014, as part of upskilling I undertook before returning to the workforce after a career break to raise my children. I had previously worked in IT prior to having a family. The course was very beneficial to me in getting me up to speed in the area of Cloud technologies. The course content was excellent and tutors were both knowledgeable and supportive. The course was delivered online which enabled me to participate in the course and study in a flexible time frame. As a parent this made an otherwise inaccessible course available to me. I graduated with the qualification which enabled me to find work in this area and I am now currently in full time employment with a large technology company. None of which was possible without the facilities available as part of the Springboard program, I would highly recommend Springboard to anyone wishing to retrain in any of the areas available on Springboard.

Barbara Hegarty – CIT, Cloud Computing Infrastructure

Unemployed and over 55 leaves you very few employment options in Ireland. Applying to the Innovation Academy felt like the very best opportunity for a future that involved employment for myself or an option for broadening my prospects at least. I learned so much on the course, 12 weeks of learning seemed so little but allowed me to understand that I had the knowledge, creativity and focus needed to do anything I wanted. We had some fun too! I have taken a chance on doing what I love and my little business is picking up slowly, presenting me with unthought of opportunities and so much to enjoy. Meeting loads of new people, taking up every opportunity and connection for possible work, generating new ideas and in general benefiting hugely from being over 55 and free to make employment choices that will help build my business confidence. Thanks UCD and Innovation Academy!

Eleanor Lawler – Innovation Academy, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise

After spending almost 20 years in Microsoft I was unsure what the Digital market was like and whether my skills would be relevant outside of my old company. Doing the Fetac Level 8 Digital Marketing course in 2012\13 really helped me to understand the variety of technologies that are being used across the IT and Digital sector and to help me get a toehold in the Digital world. While I had spent the previous 10 years in a project management role I really felt the benefit of the different strands to the Digital Marketing course in particular User Centered Design, Business Analysis and the client centered project module. On completion I acquired a PM contract role with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt working on e-learning programs for the US educational space. This contract led to further contracts on a rolling basis until May 2016. I am now employed on a full time basis as an IT Project Manager with a leading financial Institution. Several of the key Project Management processes and skills highlighted during the Project Management module of the Digital Marketing course are extremely relevant to my current role and resonate with me on a daily basis. I should also mention that as a parent with a young family the part time nature of the Digital Marketing course was extremely beneficial for me. It enabled me to work during the day and to focus on my lectures and course work during the late afternoon\evening. Having great lecturers and excellent facilities made the course all the more compelling and set me well on the way to successful completion.

Francis Cahill – Digital Skills Academy, Digital Marketing

I studied the level 8 Special Purpose Award in “Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Operations” at Innopharma labs in conjunction with ITT funded by Springboard. I felt that I needed to upskill in specific areas in order to obtain employment in the pharmaceutical industry. The level 8 course taught me a great array of modules which were very specific and relevant for the pharmaceutical industry. You get the opportunity to understand the various processes that go on inside a pharmaceutical plant from drug formulation to packaging and new technologies. The lecturers come from industry or academic backgrounds, and the classes are interactive and engaging. The practical classes greatly enhance your learning experience and complement the lectures well. While studying for my final exams in the course I obtained a job as a Bio-technician at BioMarin in Cork. The Innopharma course has given me a better understanding of how the pharmaceutical industry operates and I feel more confident going into industry with my new pharmaceutical knowledge. I would highly recommend Innopharma Labs courses to anyone with a science or engineering background, whether you are a recent graduate or have previous industry experience. Ireland is thriving with pharmaceutical companies, who are looking for innovative people, and doing a springboard course will give you that competitive edge and enhance your career prospects.

Jennifer Smith – Innopharma Labs, Level 8 Special Purpose Award in "Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Operations"

As a mature individual involved in the property business for many years, selling and renting residential property, I found myself made redundant in late 2008. At my age the prospects were not good, however I eventually came across the FSI Career Start programme and was sorry I had not been aware of it sooner. Given the state of the property market a career change had to be considered. The main attraction for me was that on successful completion of the course there was an opportunity for job placement. I found this helpful because at my age (I'm now in my 50s), the chances of even being called for an interview were remote. On completion of the course I was placed with State Street for 3 months and this in turn allowed me to apply for a permanent position internally, which I secured. I have since moved on and now work at BNY Mellon. I really enjoyed the course and have since qualified as a QFA. I would highly recommend Springboard courses, particularly for more mature people as it can provide you with the qualifications and tools to help you to get back into full employment again.

Joseph Keegan- Financial Services Ireland, Professional Certificate in International Financial Services

I previously had a degree in Electrical and Electronic engineering, I graduated in 1995. I also had recently studied a short Java course in the Cenit College in Spring/Summer 2014. I needed to be able to change my career or enhance my current one as I had been out of work since 2012. Up until then I had been working as a QA Software engineer for 18 years in the contracting domain. I now needed to improve and sharpen my skills, so during the year 2014 - 2015 I completed and graduated in Computer Science HDip Software development at Maynooth university. I achieved a first class honours. It was great for learning Java, Databases, HTML 5 Mobile phone Application Programming and Flash. Thanks to Springboard for providing me with that step towards my next job.

Kevin O’Malley – Maynooth University, HDIP Computer Science Software development

Finding myself unemployed, Springboard was a shining light for me. I completed my MSc with the Institute of Public Administration. I am not going to say it was easy, it was hard work for a whole year. But with the help of all the support staff and the academics of the college, it was very enjoyable. The academics are passionate about their subject and I felt they all wanted us to succeed. When I couldn't make heads or tails in the finance subject, I was given 'extra classes' from the finance lecturer (in her own time, mind you) My reasons for doing the course - was that one day I would like to open up my own practice. That dream is now becoming a reality as I am in the process of setting up my own practice. The subjects covered on the course equipped me to do just that. The course is great for anyone who wants to progress in a financial/managerial position. I have no hesitation in recommending I.P.A. as the best course on the Springboard website.

Kulwant Gill - I.P.A. (Institute of Public Administration), MSc business and Finance

Prior to this course I had 7 years experience in Telecommunications. I had recently moved back to Ireland and I felt that I needed to change direction slightly in order to secure employment in Cork. This is an excellent course and I would definitely recommend it to those interested in Cloud or Android Mobile App Development. I found the online classes very engaging and just as effective as being in a classroom. The course content is interesting and the labs and assignments provide the opportunity to put the theory into practice. Being onsite in CIT for a few weekends through the semester also helped to engage with other students and the lecturers to discuss any questions. I had multiple employment offers just a few weeks after finishing the course and completing this course had a big part to play. I am currently working mainly with Mobile Apps but I see Cloud is a huge topic of discussion within my company and others - This course is definitely in line with what is happening in industry right now!! Thank you Springboard.

Linda Healy – CIT, Higher Diploma in Science in Mobile and Cloud Software Development

My previous qualification was in Music Technology. While I am passionate about this topic there are few opportunities for employment in this field, many start their own recording studios as a means of self employment. I had few employment prospects upon graduating and ended working in retail in the interim. This work paid minimum wage and I was not guaranteed full time hours. I was unemployed on and off for a year before I had joined a conversion course. The workload was intense but manageable. Initially I found it difficult but the lecturers were supportive and helpful. I had some previous experience in computer programming which was beneficial. As part of the course I had to do a six month work placement in an software development role. Like many in my course I found it difficult to get a paid position as I had no previous experience in this role. I took an unpaid voluntary position working for a social enterprise called Camara. After that I got a Job Bridge internship with a software start up Assured Web Services. I did this internship as per a verbal agreement that it would lead to full time employment within the company, only to find out in the last two weeks that there was no position for in the company beyond my internship. Having spent my last days there, I applied for every position I was qualified for. I did several interviews over the phone and in person. The staff at DIT were even helpful enough to find vacancies for me. Eventually I was offered a permanent contract in a thriving software company. I am here over 8 months now as a Junior Software Developer learning everyday from senior developers, gaining professional experience and being paid quite well for it. If it were not for the conversion course I did and the springboard initiative, I would likely still be unemployed or working a low paid retail job with little or no future prospects. I could not afford to pay for a post graduate course so the springboard allowed me to upskill into a thriving field of employment and has transformed my future prospects. I have become a productive member of society and work a job that I am proud to do. I would recommend the springboard course to anyone who wants to change career or that their field of study has few opportunities of employment. I am extremely grateful that resources like this exist to help lift people out of their situation of unemployment. Services like this a vital in times of recession.

Michael Jardine - Dublin Institute of Technology, Higher Diploma in Computing

I completed a Level 6 Special Purpose Award in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Operations. The reason for taking this course was that I had no experience in this field. My previous experience was in Manufacturing. I was unemployed for nearly 6 months when I applied for this course. All of the industries in my area of Galway are Medical devices. I was a Production Supervisor in my previous employment, But I knew that it was going to be hard to get into a new industry with no experience. I have found since graduating from this course and interviewing for position has become easier. The more interviews I do the more confident I become and my previous skills are invaluable. I really enjoyed this course and it really helped me understand the industry that I was moving into. I had over 20 years experience in the Manufacturing Industry and all the skills and knowledge I acquired really helped me move forward into the position I now hold. I am now working in a Medical device company in Galway as a Production Assistant. I would definitely recommend to others that Springboard is the way to go.

Noelle McDonagh – Innopharma Labs, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Operations

At the age of 28 I decided to give up my career as a hairdresser I realised I had lost my passion for the job so it was time to go back to the drawing board. I went to a career guidance councilor through the local social welfare office and we went through my skills, interests, what aspects I enjoyed most out of my previous education and employment and we narrowed it down that the pharmaceutical industry was what was most suitable to me. He recommended the Springboard Level 6 course in Bioprocessing and Cleanroom Management which I went on to complete, leading straight into Level 7 in Pharmaceutical Technology, Bioprocessing and Healthcare. I was offered a job in Pfizer as a manufacturing operator technician the month I finished my exams and started soon after. The experience NIBRT gave me a great insight on what to expect and the confidence that I was capable of the job although I didn't have previous experience in the industry. There was a great diversity of people in the course but each person was there for the same reason and all willing to help each other out and good friendships were formed. I love my job now and am delighted I found out about this course as it has turned my life around for the better.

Sarah O’Connor – NIBRT, Level 6 in Bioprocessing and Cleanroom Management

I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of doing a Springboard Course in the fantastic DCU Ryan Academy. I would have to say in was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I was made redundant after 15 years in s Senior Position in a big PLC. The Springboard Course actually picked me up & for me kept the brain going. It opened a wonderful new network for me most of which I am still god friends with. It also gave me new set of skills, even though I thought I knew it all. The course itself was excellent and had varied modules in it which all very cleverly linked together. The course also helped me to find a new Senior position in the Noel Group of companies who have several recruitment companies. I could not recommend a Springboard Course strongly enough & I will always be very grateful to the whole team there.

Stephen O'Donoghue - DCU Ryan Academy, Business Innovation

I chose to study the Higher Diploma in Computer Science due to the rapid growth of the IT industry to the pinnacle of both the Irish and global economy. The opportunity to excel myself with a dynamic skill and expand my interest in technology was an easy decision to make. In terms of the course, I thoroughly enjoyed learning both Java and Python programming languages, as these modules gave me an insight into a world of endless potential and possibilities, taught in a well-structured learning environment. Overall, I believe the variety of core Computer Science modules provided an insight into many streams of the fast moving IT industry, and this was perhaps the most attractive feature of the Springboard course. Through taking the course, I entered the interviewing process with the confidence that I was ready to begin a career in IT. The Springboard initiative provided me the platform on which to build a successful career.

Neil Brennan - UCD, Higher Diploma in Computer Science (ICT Skills Conversion)

I had a background in Architectural Technology and Construction Management with several years of experience in the industry prior to joining the Springboard programme. Following the downturn in the construction sector, I decided to obtain new qualification that would ensure flexibility in paving a new career path, hence took on the Master's programme in Business, Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. Within a few months after receiving my Master's degree in Business, I secured an internship with a global management consulting firm, which led to a full time employment and further career development in the areas of marketing, business development, recruitment and talent management. I feel grateful for having the opportunity to take part in the Springboard programme, which offers the best support for the unemployed who seek a second chance in their professional life.

Anna Szeraszewicz – WIT, Msc Business, Innovation, Technology, Entrepreneurship

I enrolled in the BSc Quantity Surveying online course in IT Sligo through Springboard in Sept 2016. I had previously studied Architecture in UCD but had only completed the Part 1 or BSc Architecture. However, at the time this was no obstacle to employment as “business was booming”! I remained employed by the same firm for the following 8 years. However, the company ceased trading in 2011. Initially I welcomed the break as I had a small child but the months turned into years and soon I was 4 years unemployed and was having no success in securing an interview, let alone a job! I had seen Springboard advertised so I decided to give it a shot to enhance my employment prospects in the construction industry. The course fitted in very well around family life and commitments. The course content was accurate, current and appropriate and the tutors were always available to answer any queries. It did take a little time to adapt to being back to study and assignments etc. but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I made some great friends along the way also and we all supported each other throughout the year. In January 2016 I secured a part-time job with 15 hours per week. In February 2016 I secured an interview with my local county council for a Grade 1 Technician post in their Housing Department and started my new job in April 2016. I can’t say working full-time and completing the course was an easy task, in fact I felt like giving up at times! But it can be done! With the support of family and friends I completed the exams and now await my results. I have no doubt that the Springboard course opened the door to employment for me. I can’t thank you enough!

Catherine Fitzpatrick – IT Sligo, L8 Hons Degree in Quantity Surveying

I took the L9 certificate in bio-science. I have worked for many years in different parts of the pharmaceutical industry. My objective was to get a strong background in the fundamentals important to the bio-pharmaceutical industry, complementing my existing skill set. The year was challenging but rewarding. There was a good structure to the overall course. Each lecture had defined objectives. There were few audio and visual difficulties with online lectures. The lecturers were knowledgeable and approachable. Questions were welcomed. The lecture and supporting material were of a high standard. There was a strong focus on the application of the basic knowledge to industrial practice. There were many opportunities during the final projects of each module to extend that knowledge to advanced topics. I was fortunate to have taken the Upstream lab elective which was presented by NIBRT in their centre of training. This was an excellent experience with very knowledgeable and experienced trainers working with good examples of typical technologies. I have moved into biopharmaceutical very recently and look forward to applying what I have learned very soon.

Brendan Wallace – IT Sligo, L9 Certificate in Biopharmaceutical Science

Applying for the Higher Diploma in Software Development at the University of Limerick is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Prior to starting the course I had been out of employment for two years. My undergraduate degree had been a BA in European Studies and despite having no prior knowledge of any of the course material, my first semester results surpassed my expectations thanks to the excellent teaching staff and the amazing group spirit within the class who were always there to help each other. With the help of the CPE office here in UL who arranged an interview for me, I secured a graduate position in the sector before the end of the course. I started my new position as a junior ERP consultant with Limerick-based Company and Oracle platinum partner Redfaire immediately after the final exams. I would not hesitate in recommending this course to anyone who is considering a new career in the software industry.

Karl Sachartschuk – UL, Software Development (Higher Diploma) [ICT Skills Conversion]

I found doing the Quality Specialist Lean Diploma in the University of Limerick very rewarding and beneficial. I was unemployed for 3 months prior to taking up the course, having relocated from Dublin to Kerry, but have since found some contract work in the Biotechnology Industry. My previous experience was working in Manufacturing Engineering and Quality where Lean principles are in place for a good number of years, however I did my project with the service sector (disability organisation) which were new to Lean and enabled them make significant savings utilising lean tools learned in the modules. I highly recommend the Springboard course, as the work based project is mutually beneficial to the student in gaining a valuable insight into the industry they are interested in, and the organisation sponsoring the student can make significant savings in the adaptation of Lean principles.

Billy Stack – UL, Diploma Lean Systems (Distance Education)

As a graduate of University of Limerick, Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain Management program, I found the course, while intensive and challenging, refreshingly innovative and worthwhile. I began the course in September 2013 as part of the Springboard Initiative and found that the on-site tutorials and on-line lessons were of superior quality and transmitted by professors who were experts in their field.

Whilst the workload and commitment required is not for the faint hearted I felt that the whole process was a very rewarding and enriching experience. A large portion of the course’s success was down to availability the online tutorials, available 24 hours a day, which allowed me to get my Work/Life/Study balance right and the on-line content was invaluable at study & exam time.

I do feel however that the holistic approach of the course provided me with valuable knowledge in helping me every day in my career, which is I consider the uppermost compliment I could give to University of Limerick and its staff.

John Branigan – UL, Specialist Diploma in Supply Chain Management (online)

"I studied the level 8 Special Purpose Award in “Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Operations” at Innopharma labs in conjunction with ITT funded by Springboard. I felt that I needed to upskill in specific areas in order to obtain employment in the pharmaceutical industry. The level 8 course taught me a great array of modules which were very specific and relevant for the pharmaceutical industry. You get the opportunity to understand the various processes that go on inside a pharmaceutical plant from drug formulation to packaging and new technologies. The lecturers come from industry or academic backgrounds, and the classes are interactive and engaging. The practical classes greatly enhance your learning experience and complement the lectures well. While studying for my final exams in the course I obtained a job as a Bio-technician at BioMarin in Cork. The Innopharma course has given me a better understanding of how the pharmaceutical industry operates and I feel more confident going into industry with my new pharmaceutical knowledge. I would highly recommend Innopharma Labs courses to anyone with a science or engineering background, whether you are a recent graduate or have previous industry experience. Ireland is thriving with pharmaceutical companies, who are looking for innovative people, and doing a springboard course will give you that competitive edge and enhance your career prospects.

Jennifer Smith - Innopharma Labs, Special Purpose Award in “Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Operations”

I absolutely loved the course and think it is fantastic that I could do it. It has really helped me in my direction in starting my own business. I met such amazing people and the facilitators on the course were inspirational. Springboard is a brilliant opportunity for people who are unemployed to grow their confidence and help them realise their strengths.

Anne-Marie Curran – UCD, Postgraduate in Innovation Entrepreneurship and Enterprise

I just completed a Higher Diploma in Food Science & Technology from ITT Dublin. I have a previous BSc in Biotechnology from WIT. I was working in the pharmaceutical Industry for the last 12 years and was seeking a career change. I was unemployed for 4 months before enrolling in my springboard course. Initially I was concerned about returning to college after such a long time away from formal education. My fears were unfounded, the lecturers were very accommodating and on my course we had some real industry experts from the private sector. You just can't beat private sector experience! I'm delighted to say I received a first class honours and am looking for work in Biotechnology with interviews now on the horizon. The course had a huge influence in me rediscovering my love for science and my confidence has grown as a result. I was also voted the class rep for the year and this as much as anything helped me with my personal growth. I would recommend a Springboard course to anyone seeking to upskill in their field or learn a new skill set as I have.

David Fitzgerald – IT Tallaght, Higher Diploma in Food Science & Technology

Having completed the Lean Six Sigma Black course at the Cork Institute of Technology, I have been given the opportunity to sharpen my skills at Change Management, Project Management and Leadership. This course required me to carry out a live Action Research project for a potential employer, which helped me to showcase my skills and to apply what I was learning in a real life work situation. As a result, I have gained full-time employment as a Quality Technician. I am forever grateful to Mark Stockil and his excellent team at CIT.

Gerard Tobin – Cork IT, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

A brilliant course, learnt all that I expected to and more. Really enjoyed each class as the lecturers interacted well with the class and made it more enjoyable. I would recommend the course to everyone who would be interested in a career in Digital Marketing. In terms of Springboard, I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to study as part of their programme. Without this programme I would not have been able to peruse a career in digital marketing. Because of this I am now following my dream a building up my portfolio.

Jessica Belton – Dundalk IT, Digital Makerteting and Digital Media Management

I was having trouble finding a job online where I felt confident with my current skill set in comparison to the requirements outlined. I had many interviews over the summer and always had the feeling that I wasn't able for the job and received many 'we will call you' type responses. I then heard of Springboard through one of the job sites and found out about the courses they provide. I recently had graduated from Multimedia in CIT and found out they had a course in Cloud and Mobile Software Development which sounded like an exciting step forward for me. The course was amazing. We were given lectures, projects and exams just like any other course and our lecturers were always there to help. Fast forward 9 months and I've been approached by companies already just after finishing as opposed to me contacting them. This course was the huge turnaround from struggling to find a job to struggling to keep count of offers! Definitely worth the time. Go for it! Go Springboard.

Joe Winfield – CIT, Higher Diploma in Science in Cloud and Mobile Software Development

I found Sprinboard courses a really good idea for unemployed people and I am grateful for opportunity to finish CCNA for free. Interview skills and CV preparation was great help as well. But the most important thing what get me a job in the end was internship I got into IBAT College. Experience gained there and people I have met got me interview in Dublin Business School where I got the full time work. Thanks Springboard I really appreciate it.

Krzysztof Piatkowski – IT Blanchardstown, CCNA

I had graduated and gone for an MBA Finance stream, I worked for years at different capacities but the last was as an Operations and Development Manager and suddenly I was out of job, oops. Over 2 years without job were everything humiliating and tough. Springboard Diploma in Investment Operations and Compliance program has reinvigorated my lifelong passion for a career in Financial Services as a Compliance/Money Laundering Reporting Officer/Manager. The course (DIOC) modules, contents and delivery methods were challenging as expected but rewarding, Lecturers and staff at Springboard office in Griffith College have been nothing but supportive. I look forward to completing this course, which definitely will improve my potential future career prospects. Springboard courses are not only life changing these courses are career and economy transforming. I am an advertising board for springboard, as well as an evidence of her good works and can look forward to returning back to job on completing the program.

Marvel Chikwe McKaiver – Griffith College, Diploma in Investment Operations and Compliance

I have been in the IT industry for 20 years and have had a very successful career. I found myself out of work during the downturn and after 18 months, I saw an advert for this course at my Local Enterprise Office. This four month part time course was really amazing. The tutors and content were first class and I learn a lot from it. In fact, I would say that this course is life changing. I had so many realisations during the course which increase my confidence and inspired me to move forward with a business idea. I am now on the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, have set up a company and have secured my first client. I am very grateful for this opportunity and really appreciate Springboard for making this possible.

Mary Callaghan – UCD Innovation Academy, Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise

Certificate in Doing Business in China (with Mandarin) at ICD through the Springboard Course. At my age I didn't think I would be able to go back to College but through Springboard I have the opportunity to go back to Education after been unemployed for more than 3 years. It is an enjoyable experience as I learn new things every day. Springboard services is the way forward to gaining employment. Thanks to Team Springboard.

Mary Peters – ICD Business School, Certificate in Doing Business in China (with Mandarin)

I am writing this endorsement of CCT (College of Computer Training) as a former student. I have recently completed a Springboard Certificate in Computer Networking at CCT in March of this year and am now, thanks to the dedicated staff of CCT gainfully employed.

I first went to CCT with very little former education and I knew almost nothing of computing in any form. I could browse the internet and that is about it, I couldn’t even use MS Word but that has all changed now. The staff were very supportive of all the students and were always on hand to answer any questions you had, even if they had to answer by email from their phones as they went about their personal lives. In no time at all I went from feeling completely out of my depth to feeling like this was where I belonged and always had.

this was where I belonged and always had. The course content was always relevant, lively and absolutely fascinating. Most of all though it was delivered at a pace where any of the students could keep up, not so repetitive that the more advanced students got bored but not so fast that others got lost or left behind. The really important topics were drilled into you so that you could rattle them off the top of your head but it was done in a fun way. It was a challenge to see how much we remembered or quickly we could subnet for example (very useful for anyone who wishes to progress). All of the students including myself responded to this very well and it encouraged us to do well, many of us would be in an unspoken competition to see who would answer correctly and fully first. We covered a lot of ground in a short space of time with masses of theory but the staff seemed to have the ability to make it stick, to make us want it too. To top this off we obtained invaluable hands on experience that really showed us what we were doing, the effects it would have and how we could manipulate the equipment into doing exactly what we wanted it to. If it didn’t work we had been given the skills to trouble shoot it to find out why and quickly rectify it. Any of the students who had an interest went into their exams prepared, not only that but confident that they could handle whatever was to come their way. We looked forward to the exams to show what we could do and what we had accomplished.

The campus at CCT is clean comfortable and well equipped but it could be a shack in a field and it wouldn’t matter. It is the staff who make CCT what it is. I have never met people more dedicated to helping and guiding others as they are. They will push, drive, encourage and support you; they will give you a shoulder to lean on when you need it. They make you want to succeed and give you the tools to do so. I have had the pleasure of attending CCT twice for different courses and as such have had the opportunity to be lectured by at least 10 of the lecturers. I can say with all confidence that no matter which course a student were to embark on they would be taught by people with a wealth of knowledge who would inspire them to learn.

of knowledge who would inspire them to learn. One of my lecturers went so far as to contact a previous employer of his and gave him a recommendation of me. Thanks to this I attended an interview in the hopes of obtaining an internship and walked out with the offer of a permanent contract. I am still currently employed there now. Not only that but 3 others from my Springboard course are employed there too. One of my colleagues attended CCT 2 years ago and gained employment at my workplace due to said lecturer at that time also. There are others from my course who are now gainfully employed because of the direct efforts of the staff at CCT.

CCT and the staff there have provided me with the means and confidence to change my life and that of my family. For that I am eternally grateful and cannot speak highly enough of them.

David Power – College of Computer Training graduate

I have just finished my second Springboard course in CCT, where I achieved a level 6 qualification in Computer Networking followed by a Level 6 in Computer Programming. Before Springboard I had been self-employed but my old business was a victim of the recession and was pretty scared of using computers. After completing the networking course I decided to try again and I set up my own small business using my original skills as an electrician, and experience in the CCTV/Alarm industry combined with my newly achieved networking skills to allow me to offer a much better product. While in the process of setting-up my new business I enrolled to do a programming course.

The skills that I have achieved through Springboard have now allowed me to offer a much improved product. I can connect analogue and IP CCTV systems to the client network and router to let the client remotely view and control their CCTV system over the internet. Without my new networking skills I would not have been able to offer this facility. This new service has been extremely successful for me and I am currently very busy and in the process of hiring my first employees.

Programming has also been very helpful as I am currently working on code that I hope will allow me to offer home automation via a small computer(Raspberry Pi) to my clients to allow them to remotely control their lights and alarm systems at much better value than is currently available.

There have been other benefits too, for example I now also have the computer skills needed to use new technology such as HD resolution IP CCTV and I can also build small office networks for clients. These added skills have really helped me to grow my business.

I found that the Springboard programme was enjoyable and genuinely beneficial to me. The courses had a mix of all people of all ages, various backgrounds and experience. This, combined with great teaching and faculty staff at CCT helped to make it a worthwhile experience for me. I found the Springboard application process very straightforward and the staff were very helpful.

I would recommend that anyone who is looking to up-skill or try a new challenge should consider a Springboard course, I am glad that I did as I am now very optimistic about my new business and looking to the future.

Gary Collins – College of Computer Training graduate

"I enrolled on the Certificate in Advanced Project Management for the ICT Professional at DBS as I thought this course would be most beneficial to me. The lecturers were really helpful and they always went that extra mile to make sure the students understood everything and there was support available from staff throughout the year. Each student also had full access to the library, computers, cafeteria, student services and there were always Springboard advisors nearby should you have any queries regarding the course.

Overall, my experience at DBS was really enjoyable and very beneficial. Without Springboard I would not have had the option to return to college. The Springboard programme gave me that chance and thanks to Dublin Business School and the programme I am now currently employed as a Project Support Worker on a Community Drug Intervention Team."

Amy Blount, DBS Certificate in Advanced Project Management for the ICT Professional

“Having faced a career change at a relatively late stage in life, I was faced with the prospect of returning to formal education for the first time in over 30 years as I planned the next stage of my career.

I had all of the usual concerns. Would I cope with the course work, how would I fit in, would I achieve a good enough grade and would it be worthwhile? From the outset, it was clear that my fears were unfounded. As a mature student, I engaged with the student group from day one and am still in regular contact with a number of the group. Students came from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences adding to the interest and enjoyment.

The lecturers at Dublin Business School are first class and the course material was delivered in an engaging, interesting and supportive way at their easily accessible city centre locations and in facilities that are of a very high standard.

In my new career, I promote the benefits of Springboard to jobseekers and follow the example of my DBS lecturers in offering encouragement, support and guidance. My positive experience of Dublin Business School’s Springboard course has helped me in successfully managing my career change and I look back on my time there with fond memories.”

Andrew Mulligan, DBS Certificate in Financial Services

"Having been fortunate enough to gain a place studying Digital Marketing as part of the Springboard initiative at DBS I found myself enjoying the course from the start. The attitude of lecturers and students was immediately positive and encouraging, while the course content itself was thorough and enjoyable. Gaining new skills and the general environment of encouragement certainly helped my own prospects and confidence with regard to future professional development.

I found the DBS city centre location convenient and vibrant. Overall, having seen my career benefit significantly both during and after my time at the college I feel that my participation on the course at DBS was an extremely rewarding and beneficial experience."

Jim Jennings, DBS Certificate in Digital Marketing

“The Higher Diploma in Science in Computing at DBS proved to be very valuable in gaining employment in the ICT sector. The course content was well organised and it covered all relevant ICT topics.

What I enjoyed most about DBS was the people I met while I was there. Staff were very helpful and always willing to assist. The facilities are second to none and the library is equipped with all the latest technology and up to date reference material.

The best thing about this programme is the relationship between staff and students. Everyone is willing to share their knowledge and experience to help ensure everyone achieves their long term career goals.

Thanks to this course, I have now commenced a full time permanent position with a leading ICT company.”

Martin Neary, DBS Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development)

“The Higher Diploma in Science in Computing was very focused on preparing the student for the workplace and the subjects proved to be invaluable within the company that I was placed in for my internship. The projects which I undertook during the course, both individual and group, were most useful in consolidating the learning experience.

The Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) accreditation also added value to the course as I had been placed with an IT company which is a Microsoft Gold Partner that customises Microsoft Dynamics CRM systems. I gained great work experience during the six months and I was rewarded with a job offer at the end of the internship.

This course was a great opportunity for me to make a career transition into the world of IT and has given me the skills I need to be successful.”

Raymond Sherlock, DBS Higher Diploma in Science in Computing (Software Development)

The Digital Marketing Springboard course with DBS has been a life changing experience for me. The recession created some challenging times and I had to close down my business. As a result I had lost some of my self confidence and needed a major boost.

At the beginning of the course, I set out some clear objectives, most of which have been achieved and I’m on track to achieve the others.

I found the course to be of an exceptional quality, easy to follow and beyond my expectations. The lecturers were friendly, approachable and extremely knowledgeable. They were always available to answer any questions.

The team based assignments were an excellent opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals. The learning outcomes and friendships developed from this experience will never be forgotten.

Now with a renewed appetite for learning and self confidence, I have started my own digital marketing business in two locations, Dublin and Clonmel.

I would highly recommend a Springboard course with DBS to anyone looking to get their life back on track.

Thomas Crotty, DBS Certificate in Digital Marketing, 2013/2014

“The prospect of returning to education was made easy when a career change was necessary with the Polymer Level 6 online course with Plastics Ireland.

It was my first introduction into the plastics industry and gave me a great appreciation for the materials we touch and use throughout our daily lives while also gaining valuable knowledge into how products are designed and manufactured.

During our well structured one year course we had weekly lectures with informative and challenging content and great online support if queries arose. College travel and attendance was minimal and well organised and constructive time spent when necessary.

After my examinations I feel confident having a great foundation to build on within the industry where I can implement all I’ve learned with a host company work placement and gain practical experience which will be a huge benefit to my career.

I have no hesitation recommending this course to anyone considering a career in polymer engineering.“

Niall Rochford, First Polymer. L6 Certificate in Polymer Technology 2013-2014.

"For my Springboard course, I have always received excellent support and advice from Plastics Ireland. The experienced lecturers and staff were always there to assist me, which made it easier for my online studies. Being a nodal point for the plastics industry in Ireland, Plastics Ireland has got the best of abilities for imparting education and training. I am confident that the skills gained here will help me to get back into employment".

Himayath Ali Khan, First Polymer. L6 Certificate in Polymer Technology 2013-2014.

"I found on-line learning to be so helpful. It reduced travelling time and travelling costs for us off-campus students. We travelled only for practicals. Students can study anywhere they have access to a computer and Internet connection. If you miss a lesson you don't lose much as you can get everything on the recorded lecture, thus we had a flexible time to study. We got a lot of support from our lecturers , if we have questions, we just write them on 'any questions'' on the moodle page and get the answers quickly from the concerned lecturer. Lectures are also put on PDF format so that we can print them and revise at any time. Through e-learning I have developed tremendous knowledge of internet and computer skills and an excellent understanding of plastic materials and the manufacturing of parts processes. I am now expecting to get work placement so that I can put what I have learnt into practice. After that I can be qualified to work in the plastics industry".

Obey Shanya, First Polymer. L6 Certificate in Polymer Technology 2013-2014.

"I have found it to be interesting and enjoyable overall. The area of polymer technology is of interest to me as it does play an important role in the manufacturing sector at present. I was unfamiliar with the area of polymer technology and this course has given me a great insight into its capabilities in manufacturing such as injection moulding, extrusion, blow moulding, thermoforming and what each technique can do and how it is setup. The introduction to engineering mathematics I found it to be an interesting and very beneficial way of getting more familiar with mathematics involved in engineering and how applied mathematics is used to resolve engineering problems. Overall I have enjoyed the course very much and appreciate the opportunity to have participated in the course and hopefully use the polymer qualification in the workplace to put what I have learned in theory into practice".

Declan McDonnell, First Polymer. L6 Certificate in Polymer Technology 2013-2014.

"I have really enjoyed the course. The course content was very detailed and way surpassed my expectation. While the course was challenging, the online support and access was exceptional. I am really looking forward to progressing to the follow-on/specialization course, “BioValidation” when it becomes available".

Darren Deehan, GetReskilled (formerly DPS Education & Training) with Accreditation from D.I.T.
BioPharmaChem (Graduated February 2014)

A while back I I found myself in the unusual position of being out of work – I had been working for a well known Pharmaceutical company for over eleven years and was now “finished” .I was in my mid forties and thought what’s next, what can I do to help myself get back on the ladder – then the first time I went to sign-on ( only the second time in my life), I saw a notice on the board there about Spring Board courses, I looked it up online when I went home and applied that very day.

Following a few conversations and a video interview I was accepted on a Biopharma course – this I believe changed my destiny, I had been getting some interviews up to then but with no success the level of candidates had increased significantly since I last had been looking for employment – I hadn’t stood still while working I had completed a number of certificates but, now everyone was studying !

The course I am pursuing ( I haven’t completed all the modules yet ) is very well delivered through DPS Education and Training in Cork – it is an online course delivered weekly and there is always someone there to help if needed either online or over the phone and most importantly you can do it at your own pace – trying to balance work , kids and home life can be very challenging !

When I got interviews after that the companies were very interested in my course, I felt like I had gained an advantage again, and fortunately I am now employed by one of the biggest BioPharmaceutical companies in the World that is why I’d say continuing education can only be good for your career.

Denis Mehigan, GetReskilled (formerly DPS Education & Training) with Accreditation from D.I.T.
BioPharmaChem (Currently Studying)

My name is Edel Harkins. I am qualified as an Instrumentation Technician and I have a wide range of engineering work experience. I have worked in many of the manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies located in Cork (Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer etc.) in various roles such as, E&I design, validation, commissioning and qualification.

Like many working women, I took time out of my career to raise a family. During this period I worked a part-time job in an office and concentrated on furthering my education. The break from my career increased my desire to return to the manufacturing and/or pharmaceutical industry in a full time capacity. So in anticipation of returning to an engineering position I completed a CPD in BioPharmaChem, a level 7 continued professional development course facilitated by GetReskilled (formerly DPS Education and Training) and DIT. I am currently studying another level 7 CPD course in BioValidation and I hope to progress to the third year and pursue a degree in Manufacture of Medicinal Products.

The reasons why I have chosen to study the above mentioned courses is because the biotech sector is rapidly expanding in Ireland and I feel these courses have course have helped refresh my knowledge of engineering concepts as they apply to equipment, processes, facilities and systems used in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medical device industry. It brought me up to speed with various worldwide regulatory and current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) guidelines required to successfully work in said industries. Studying at home is very convenient, especially if you have children, to be able to studying and learn to your own timetable is invaluable. I generally try to keep a study timetable that fits around school hours. I find the webinars extremely informative, easy to follow and very practical.

By upskilling I have dramatically increase my confidence as well as my qualifications. At interviews I now feel I have more to offer a potential employer. As well as having the courses as a reference to engage interviewers and showcase my knowledge and qualifications I have also utilized the employment coaching webinars and applied the skills I learned from these webinar into my interviews. I have been very fortunate to have recently secured an operation technician role with a multinational biopharmaceutical company. I know the hard work I put into these courses, the knowledge I gained and the employment coaching modules have been integral in my success in securing this job.

I would highly recommend anyone in my situation who has been out of the industry for a period of time to do these courses. They have contributed to my new found confidence in my existing and new qualifications, my improved interview skills and my new job!

Edel Harkins, GetReskilled (formerly DPS Education & Training) with Accreditation from D.I.T. BioPharmaChem
(Graduated June 2013) and eValidation (Due to graduate June 2014)

My name is John Ryan, living in Killarney Co. Kerry The reasons I would recommend the course are:
1. The professionalism and passion of the lecturers comes across in the tutorials which gives the student confidence and encouragement to keep on top of the course. 2. The course content material is concise and interesting. 3. The timing of the release of the lessons is perfect, the student moves at a comfortable pace, one step at a time.

I have been working in the automotive components manufacturing industry since 1992 and I recognised that I had to upskill in order to get into the medical device/ pharmaceutical industry. In 2013 I secured a six month contractual position as a process engineer with contact lens manufacturer Vistakon in Limerick and the course certainly helped with the validation terminology and protocol requirements I dealt with on a daily basis.

I have completed the Biopharmachem and received my certificate. And in a few months I will have finished the Biovalidation certificate.

Following on from that I will complete the Manufacture of medicinal products and have the degree qualification by May 2015.

John Ryan, GetReskilled (formerly DPS Education & Training) with Accreditation from D.I.T.
BioPharmaChem (Graduated February 2014) and eValidation (Due to graduate Jan 2015)

Before I speak of my reasons for deciding to apply for a place on the initial BioPharmaChem and follow up BioValidation courses, I would first like to provide a brief summary of my educational / employment background up to that point

My educational background is very modest to be fair, where I completed at satisfactory Leaving Certificate result back in 1991 with a view to getting employment where ever and as soon ever as possible once I left secondary school. Third level education for me at this time was never a goal or possibility, but to pass the Leaving Certificate for me was very rewarding, and because Ireland was a very different place at the time than it is now, where having come out of a bleak 1980`s, receiving any form of employment was the main objective for most people, and luckily for my generation opportunities on the employment front were beginning to pick up slightly at the beginning of the 1990`s, and more so as the decade went on. I received my first experience of employment at a service station working part time filling cars, as a shop assistant, car valeting and general forecourt duties. It gave me confidence and belief that there was opportunities around. With that in mind I decided to actively send/deliver my Curriculum Vitae to many companies, factories near and far from where I resided. Not many replies ever came back but one day I received a letter for an interview at Yves Rocher manufacturing, a well-known cosmetics company. I got the position and so my first real opportunity of full time employment arrived. I’d spend 18 months at this company before another opportunity came about, where I next received employment from Dover Electronics. This was a defining moment to leave one such company for another, and taking the risk I never looked back and spent the next 16 years here. My experience within this facility grew over the years and I am very proud of the input I provided within the various positions I held. However, in 2009, due to slow down in the worldwide economy, redundancies became available and taking the brave road once again I decided to leave my position and again never looked back. I spent the next 2 years in a customer service role for a gaming company, which again was a great experience, though a return to manufacturing was very much a goal again someday.

I had always been attracted to the possibility of one day working within the pharmaceutical/bio-pharmaceutical or medical devices industry and hoped that the vast manufacturing experience that I had acquired would help in someway to achieve this goal. However, over the years I realised that when the rare opportunity came about to obtain employment from such a company, be it through interview and alike, the fact that I had little or no experience within such an industry was always my downfall. It was and still is a double edge sword scenario. You don’t have the experience gained for such companies because you’ve not been provided with such an opportunity to begin with. With this in mind I decided to do the next best thing, educate myself with as much information related to the industries in question, hence my enrolling in the BioPharmaChem and follow up BioValidation courses. My main reasons for choosing these industries are that they are thriving, sustainable, even in this current economical climate. These companies also offer stability, security and opportunities to learn and progress and express your full potential over time.

To date I have completed:
Bio Pharma Chem course – Modules 1 – 3 Certificate Obtained

  • VOMP3001 - ` Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technologies`
  • VOMP3002 - ` Commissioning and Qualification of Equipment and Systems`
  • VOMP3003 - ` Fundamentals of Chemistry for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients`
Bio Validation course – Modules 4 – 6 Certificate Obtained
  • VOMP3006 - ` Pharmaceutical Facility Design`
  • VOMP3008 - ` Planning a Validation Strategy`
  • VOMP3011 - ` From URS to PQ – A Practical Validation Project `

With a view to one day completing the further six remaining modules in order to obtain full Degree - BSc (Ord) in Manufacture of Medicinal Products.
Manufacture of Medicinal Products course – Modules 6 – 12
  • VOMP3013 – Design and Operation of Clean-rooms
  • VOMP3004 – Mathematics & Statistics for Medicinal Products
  • VOMP3018 – Practical Biopharmaceutical Processing
  • VOMP3014 – Design and Operation of Water, Steam and Cleaning Systems
  • VOMP3010 – Process Development and Technology Transfer
  • VOMP3009 – Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Safety for Industry Processes =Whilst coming to the latter end of the Bio Pharma Chem course I did manage to successfully obtain a manufacturing team member position within a medical device company. I am currently in my second 12 month contract and the future looks bright. If I am to be honest however, while being interviewed for the position the opportunity to mention that I had been completing the courses in question never came to light, for whatever reason, but what I can say is, all of what is involved in my day to day duties and activities within this position is very much related to the same information that arose out of the different modules related to the courses I have completed, such as, working to Standard Operating Procedures, working in a regulated Good Manufacturing Practices environment, use of Guide Sheets, Acquired Quality Limit sheets, various Protocols, Clean Room Environment, Periodic Audits. Both internal and external etc. What I can also say, having been advised on same, is that having these courses behind me will stand to me should I wish to apply for any other positions that may arise within the company. For example, Clean Room, C&C machining, ME position, Validation Engineer, Finished Goods/Packaging Department etc. Again, all relevant to the course material I have covered.

Studying on line was a benefit to me personally because it gave me flexibility to log on to the course content at the times that best suited me. This flexibility was essential as it gave me opportunities to also look for full time employment, which as you can imagine does require a vast amount of time and effort in this current climate.

The quality of the course content was excellent and very substantial and covered all aspects associated within the Pharmaceutical, Bio-Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries. Information that I feel could and would be very much a requirement for the type of work I would be seeking, within such companies. The associated Notes, Videos, Self-Assessment facilities, Discussion Forum and Module Graded Assessments were very helpful indeed, though it must be said that the amount of informational initially was very substantial and sometimes even overwhelming, but a requirement nonetheless. The assignments were very challenging yet very enjoyable and rewarding at the same time, having to look through notes that you would have gathered throughout the course. This was an important aspect. The information gathered throughout the initial stages was essential.

I would whole heartedly recommend and endorse this course as a guide, information gatherer and a stepping stone to friends or a family member who wishes to one day work within the Pharmaceutical, Bio-Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries. The course contents, including assignments etc. are geared up exactly to meet such requirements expected within the industries mentioned.

The benefits of the series of Employment Coaching webinars were also a pivotal aspect of the courses I successfully completed. In fact, they were an essential method of interaction that unfortunately you did not receive to the same capacity via the videos and notes, as important as they were. The webinars gave you a chance to speak directly to your lecturers with questions you may have felt an answer was difficult to come by using the other methods available. Also, you were also speaking with your class mates and the interaction was very interesting, availing of how the other students were getting on with the course and associated assignments etc. The lecturers were very generous and fair to each and every student that attended the webinars, the ones that I attended any way. Without obviously providing you with the answers, they would set you at least on the right road to help gain the information in question. The lecturers also offered one to one sessions if a student was really in difficulty, which made you feel at ease I must say. Personally, I also befriended a couple of students that were useful for correspondence outside of the scheduled webinars. These were helpful and I recommend other students strike up similar acquaintances. Overall the course was a great learning curve for me. I relish the opportunity to one day use the information I gathered in order to be considered for a position within a Pharmaceutical/Bio-Pharmaceutical.

It is my goal in fact.
The best advice I can provide to any willing students who wish to complete the courses I have done is as follows.

  • Make sure you gather as much information during the initial stages of the course. I would take notes from the video as I found that sometimes even the provided notes did not contain all the information in the video.
  • Attend the webinars as frequently as you can. Prepare your questions and don’t be afraid to ask them. The lecturers are there to help. Also, befriend other students in your class, exchange emails and correspond with each other. It helps.
  • There can be an overwhelming amount of information relayed in relation to the course. Don’t get panicked, you’ll get there and it gets easier, and make sure you save everything you gather as you go.
  • Don’t be afraid to look to outside sources for information related to the course and assignments. Internet is also your friend.

Noel O’Brien, GetReskilled (formerly DPS Education & Training) with Accreditation from D.I.T. BioPharmaChem
(Graduated June 2013) and eValidation (Graduated February 2014)

"Coming from the construction sector I decided to re-skill myself in the pharmaceutical sector. I started out completing the eBioPharma course, upon successful completion I continued to the eValidation & following on from this I am currently continuing with the final leg of my journey with the degree element, with the completion of this eminent I know this will only help to enhance & strengthen my position in gaining employment in the pharmaceutical sector. The courses are delivered to a very high professional standard with both the tutors & administration staff being very helpful & encouraging along the journey, the course videos & notes were very easily followed along with weekly webinars in which we could engage with the tutors & tap further into their knowledge & experience. Studying online gives you the time to do the course in your own time yet with assignment deadlines this made you disciplined to meet the deadlines set. I would have no hesitation in recommending these courses to anyone wishing to gain an education in the pharmaceutical sector."

Ronan Balfe GetReskilled (formerly DPS Education & Training) with Accreditation from D.I.T. BioPharmaChem
(Graduated November 2012), eValidation (Graduated June 2014) and Manufacture of Medicinal Products Degree
(To graduate January 2015)

I would highly recommend this course to everyone! Before taking this course I didn`t know anything about pharmaceutical industry. I wanted to try something different and never regretted for choosing this one. It helped me not only to enhance my knowledge, but also boosted my confidence and faith to find employment again. I found that pace of course was good, lecturers were very good and professional, overall very good experience.

At the moment I am employed in a different kind of industry and my work involves some of the knowledge gained on this course.

Vesna Dimitrijevic, GetReskilled (formerly DPS Education & Training) with Accreditation from D.I.T. BioPharmaChem
(Graduated November 2012) and eValidation (Due to graduate June 2014)

I took on the Springboard course as a means of broadening the field of experience on my CV and with an aim to diversifying and challenging my own perceived strengths, or step outside my comfort zone if you will. While originally the Web Design and Innovation aspects of the course were my primary incentives for applying, it was the project management module which I found most engaging. On a weekly basis we solved problems of dealing and organising the sequence of an ICT company project. This involved storming ideas with colleagues and developing potential solutions. I would not consider myself a leader but found I niche in the team of collating the information into a presentable solution. The interaction within the team could be challenging but overall rewarding. The introduction of the project management tool benefited me in that I was better able to organise my own schedules into manageable tasks while adding a skill to my CV. In making incremental changes I was able to progress projects that had been put on the long finger for many months.

Suzanne Moncelet, Institute of Business and Technology graduate.

IBAT College Dublin has opened new career opportunities for me. From studying the Certificate in Project Management in ICT I can now design websites and I'm looking forward to the opportunities ahead. The supreme effort of lecturers on the course and friendly atmosphere from the College in general is what makes IBAT College so unique. I would recommend it to everyone wish to upskill through Springboard.

Radoslaw Bielak, Institute of Business and Technology graduate

I have been unemployed for many years. The FSI CareerStart programme has changed my career prospects in a very positive way through the assistance of the FSI CareerStart team and the lecturers. Having completed a Professional Certificate in Investment Fund Services, and a Diploma in Management (where I learnt more about organisational behaviour, team work, and interview techniques), I got a work placement offer in a Fund industry through FSI CareerStart programme in August 2013, and by January 2014. Following the experience of the work placement I got a job offer in one of the best Funds Industry. If this worked for me, I believe it can work you better.

Bukola Oladele, The Irish Business and Employers Confederation FSI Career Student 2013.

"fter becoming unemployed in July 2013, I decided it was time to seek out new opportunities through upskilling and further education. After investigating the courses on offer through Springboard, I decided that the FSI Career Start was the programme for me. It offered me 2 qualifications which were both relevant to my past experience and my future goals. The FSI CareerStart team were very helpful and supportive in providing all the information required to secure a place on the most appropriate course to take. I commenced the FSI CareerStart Professional Certificate in International Financial Services and the Diploma in Management. The course content was extremely relevant, up to date and the lecturer’s experts in their fields. I was successful in gaining an internship with Citi. The internship, together with the courses, and my own determination, has led to my success in securing a permanent contract with Citi, in their Alternative Investments division."

David Cummins, The Irish Business and Employers Confederation FSI CareerStart student

In 2013/2014 I took part of FSI Career Start program - Option A - Professional Certificate in Investment Fund Services. I was motivated by strong Government support in job creation within Financial Services, especially the Funds.
On a personal level I am very interested in the workings of the banking, economy, financial markets, investments and flow of funds.
This course has helped me to deepen my understanding.
The structure of the course enabled me to seek employment almost instantly.
Learning supports provided by the Institute of Bankers as well as IBEC Management Academy is invaluable - which contributed greatly to my success in the exams.

Lectures were provided by industry experts with long standing record of practical experience. This is of particular importance to any new comers with no previous experience in Financial Services.
I would strongly recommend the program for anyone who either wants to enter or already works in industry. The course opened many doors for me.
There are networking opportunities, study supports, mentoring, career advice and job placements for anyone seriously considering taking a step forward in their professional development.
The course is demanding but also very rewarding.
It teaches about the real world and provides fantastic opportunity for candidates,

Tomasz Andrzej Jaraczewski, The Irish Business and Employers Confederation graduate.

As I was 2 years out of work my CV needed significant improvements and the course enabled me to get my CV ‘application ready’ and I also found the pointers on what makes a good interview very helpful, I particularly enjoyed the GMP and Regulatory affairs module and it definitely stimulated my interest in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. The course co-ordinators told us on our first day that they won’t get the job for us (we own that part!) but they will give us give us the knowledge, tips and techniques to maximize our chances of success in the job application process. I got the Quality Engineer position with Sanmina-SCI for two reasons (1) one my own research told me that this was a company who would be interested in my skills and experience (2) the Innopharma Labs course maximised my chances of landing the job and built up my confidence for landing the job.

Andrew Finn, Innopharma Labs graduate.

I believe that it would have been a lot harder to gain employment within the Medical Device/Pharmaceutical Industry if it were not for the guidance, help and contacts that I made during my time on the Innopharma course. I approached the course with an open mind and with the objective of gaining an entry level position within the industry. I was realistic about my chances as I was trying to change career in the middle of a recession and with the knowledge that potential employers were going to be looking for someone with experience within the industry.

With this in mind I took on board all the advice that was given to me by the team at Innopharma labs. Creating a LinkedIn account and Updating my CV from a very much “1990’s” CV to one more suited to getting a job within a very competitive jobs market was crucial. Before completing my exams I had completed three interviews and was given two job offers! Thanks to all in Innopharma for their professional help and encouragement. I am really enjoying the challenge of a new job in a new sector.

David Keogh, Innopharma Labs graduate.

I believe the course was vital to my return to work only six weeks after the commencement of the programme. On becoming unemployed I had targeted the pharmaceutical industry as a new source of employment as there was still growth in the industry. With no previous experience or contacts within the sector my efforts to seek employment had proved an impossible task. I enrolled in the course and fully engaged with the programme, which gave me knowledge of the wide ranging processes, good manufacturing practices and regulatory requirements of the industry. Along with this, the preparation for work and CV updating was invaluable to me personally. I had come to the programme with a lot of work experience but with a very generic CV. At Innopharma Labs they delved into our career histories and delicately extracted and teased out qualities and skills that people did not realise they even possessed. It also focused on people’s career achievements and looked at skill sets that were adaptable to the pharma industry. This whole exercise provided me with an excellent CV, and personally gave me a greater confidence about myself and my ability to achieve my goals. The importance of networking was also very strongly emphasised, and upon encouragement, I opened up a Linkedin account. The contacts that Innopharma has in the pharmaceutical industry, along with recruitment agencies, gave me the opportunity of a job interview on my sixth week into the programme. The knowledge and skills I gained through the programme, as well as the greater confidence I felt as a result, allowed me to perform successfully at the interview. I was offered a job position that very evening of the interview and was happy to accept. Despite securing employment, I was determined to still complete the course having experienced its great value. For this reason, I continued the programme. Although at the start it was challenging to juggle a new job in a new sector with coursework, I persisted and I am now fully comfortable in my new position and managed to successfully complete my exams. The course has in no doubt been the very reason I am now back in employment and is something that will stand to me going forward.

Francis Caffrey, Innopharma Labs graduate.

I feel Innopharma played a crucial role in me gaining employment again, It gave me a sense of purpose coming from working 60 hours plus every week to a total standstill with little hope of a new job in construction and not much desire to go down that road again, And to be honest I would have to say I was suffering from burn out after the last few gruelling years spent on sites both physically and mentally, with chronic back pain I had little desire to be labouring on sites as 80% of site work comes down to that in the end of the day.

Innopharma curriculum and lectures opened my eyes to the array of roles within manufacturing Medical device and Pharma, and I quickly recognised all those years of onsite problem solving, technical understanding, customer service etc could be redirected to a new industry, but where to start was my biggest problem! Well this is where Finbarr & Orla’s expertise came in “THE CV & THE CONTACTS” is where it’s at. I’m sure if you’re any length on the course you’ll have been getting that one in the ear! Well listen up and put their plans in place. I remembered as an employer the grubby CV’s I had witnessed over the years and despite not having needed one for close on 15 years myself, I required one like a drowning man needs a life jacket as my career had gone down the toilet and with no entitlement to government assistance and young family to look after I wanted all the help I could get.

I finally finished the course and was on my way sending out top quality CV’s, but true to her word Mary Jo kept an ear to the ground and put me in contact with a medical device company looking for operatives, This was the opportunity I had been looking for, it was to be 6 weeks work which lead to 16 weeks in total. With actual manufacturing experience now in place it set me up for a job advertised on the Applied Materials web site and brought to my attention by an employee and friend who after seen my CV felt comfortable putting me forward to his company. After the 2 hour interviews I landed the position, I now have with a 2 year contract with VHI and a pension plan. I’m now a couple of rungs up the ladder in a totally new to me semi-conductor industry in a trainee engineering role. The pay is not as good as I’m used to, but again that’s up to me to change.

Jim Ryan, Innopharma Labs graduate.

There were several elements within the support system provided by Innopharama that helped me prepare to focus on getting a role in the pharmaceutical sector.
Great emphasis was placed on the planning and preparation of C.Vs. This aspect of the program also included the importance of tailoring each C.V. to each job application. This topic was initiated early in the course and adequate time was made available to ensure that my CV was well prepared following a number of reviews and edits.

I found that the interview technique sessions were also of great benefit.
The mentoring and encouragement of the Innopharama lecturers was invaluable. The prior knowledge of equipment and systems obtained during the course was of great benefit to me at interview .
I was fortunate to be offered a position with a pharmaceutical company when I finished the course last May.

The course content is very comprehensive. For example, I find that I am using the information learned in GMP and Quality Systems in everyday aspects of my work.
I would like to acknowledge the commitment of all at Innopharma in developing this course.

Kieran Flannery, Innopharma Labs graduate.

I believe that it would have been a lot more difficult to gain employment within the Medical Device/Pharmaceutical Industry if it were not for the expert guidance, help and contacts that I made during my time on the Innopharma course. I approached the course with an open mind and with the objective of gaining an entry level position within the industry. I was realistic about my chances as I was trying to change career in the middle of a recession and with the knowledge that potential employers were going to be looking for someone with experience within the industry. I was fully prepared to start at a lower level and to build a career up from there within the Industry.

With this in mind I took on board all the advice that was given to me by the team at Innopharma labs. Creating a LinkedIn account and Updating my CV from a very much “1990’s” CV to one more suited to getting a job within a very competitive jobs market was crucial. Additionally I was very flexible regarding potential job location.

Two months into the course I got an interview at Alkermes. I consider myself to be lucky to get the position and there is no doubt in my mind that without the knowledge I had gained on the Innopharma course in that time and the expert help from the Innopharma Education Team I believe I would not have got the position. Thanks to all in Innopharma for their professional help, advice, encouragement and feedback. I am really enjoying the challenge of a new job in a new sector.

The goalposts were moved during the recession but the Innopharma course repositioned me so that I was in a strong position to take my best shot at the new opportunities which presented themselves as a result of the course.

Martin Gowran, Innopharma Labs graduate.

I found the course gave me the confidence and the drive to get back into the workplace. I enrolled for the course hoping that it would give me the experience and knowledge to get a position in the Pharmaceutical Industry. I have since gained employment in Henkel Loctite in the shipping department. While Innopharma Labs were not directly involved in securing this position for me, I believe that I learnt things on the course that were very beneficial. I.e. Networking, CV writing, LinkedIn and how to sell yourself. The lectures were very helpful and some of them really went the extra mile to assist me.

I am on an eleven month contract with Henkel Loctite and I hope to get a position in a Pharmaceutical company when it expires. I am hopeful that the knowledge that I acquired on the course will assist me in this.

Above everything else, the two main positives I got from the course were the quality of my fellow students and their determination to better themselves. Also, I feel more confident and better equipped to secure a Pharmaceutical position.

Mike Corkery, Innopharma Labs graduate.

I found that the course was a major benefit in helping me gain a new job in my chosen sector of Medical Devices. Firstly I got excellent coaching on CV and interview preparation, which put me ahead in the application process. Secondly I have found that the course material especially with regard to GMP has helped me to quickly get up to speed with medical device regulations when I started work. Finally, the leadership from the course organisers and the support of fellow students helped me to remain confident of finding a new job whilst out of work. I would highly recommend the course.

Paul Mitchell, Innopharma Labs graduate.

I had thought with my degree in science it would not be difficult to get a job within the pharmaceutical/medical device industry, however the biggest obstacle was my lack of experience and industry focused knowledge. Taking part in the lnnopharma labs course provided me with the leverage to break into the medical device sector. I am now working full time in an entry level position within a well established medical device company. The course equipped me a foundation of knowledge specific to the area I was looking for work, furthermore I was taught how to make a lasting impression with a professional CV and how to succeed in an interview.

The staff were very knowledgeable, extremely friendly, and willing to help. Throughout the interview process I was given guidance and advice which ultimately resulted in a successful interview and job offer. An added bonus to the course I had not anticipated was the broad range of students, many having worked in the medical device and pharmaceutical industry in the past. We were able to share our varied knowledge and experience to benefit the class as a whole. Thanks to all in Innopharma for their professional help and encouragement. I am really enjoying the challenge of a new job in a new sector.

Ronan Miskell, Innopharma Labs graduate.

To change from one professional career to another is a challenge for anybody. Trying to do this in a foreign country, and one in economic recession and where you have absolutely no network is something entirely different!

Recruiters were not much help and would direct me to Germany and the Netherlands (from where I had just come from) and that was only for jobs I had years of experience and expertise in…not what I actually wanted a job in! What I really wanted was to move to Regulatory Affairs.

Despite suggestions from many who said there is no chance of getting into Regulatory with no experience, I did, and this was thanks to the Innopharma course. They encouraged me to persevere, and to go out of my way to develop meaningful networks, and modify my CV so that potential employers could immediately see how my background could be relevant to a typical Regulatory Affairs job post. Meeting other highly qualified PhD’s with similar backgrounds to my own was also a reassurance that I was not the only one experiencing difficulties.

In the end it was through my network that I obtained an interview and got a job as a Regulatory Affairs Associate. During the interview they were impressed with the level of my Pharma regulatory knowledge gained through the Innopharma course and were very interested to hear more about the course. My story gets even better, as after 6 months I was promoted to Consultant and given a permanent contract. Thanks to all in Innopharma for their professional help and encouragement. I am really enjoying the challenge of Regulatory consultancy, a sector and job quite different to the academic sector in which I have come from.

Sonia van der Sar, Innopharma Labs graduate.

‘When I lost my job The Springboard was there when I needed it, the initiative gave me a fantastic opportunity for upgrading my degree and gaining new skills, while I was seeking for a new job. I was really amazed how quick and professional my application was processed and within a month from document’s submission I was back in the college. The course I had chosen Biopharmaceutical Science at Institute of Technology Sligo, let me to study online in my own pace which suited me as a busy father of two. Thanks to powerful internet tools, I was able to watch lectures when had a time for it, collaborate online with other students on team projects and assignments or just meet a few interesting people on our forums. As a part of my course I had laboratory classes 2 days per semester, the labs taking place in NIBRT (National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training) gave us access to newest technologies and helped to learn unique practical skills so much needed in in Pharmaceutical Industry.

If you ask me, was the course easy? I say no, not at all. Part time courses require self-discipline, time management and a lot of studying.

If you ask me was my participation in the Springboard Course worth it? I say, of course! thanks to new skills I’ve gained, I was lucky to get an internship in one of the world’s biggest company manufacturing medicines and no, I am not making coffee, I am getting more needed practical skills and I know that on the end of my internship there is full time position waiting for me.’

Marek Gronowski, IT Sligo graduate.

‘Choosing a course after 15 years since any previous studies was difficult with the choice available. I wanted to progress my education so the postgrad in Bio-pharmaceutical science suited my busy life. Great course which covers all areas of the Biopharmaceutical industry. Online lectures are user friendly and lecturers themselves were there to help with any queries throughout the course year. Recommend for anyone interested in this area!’

Antoinette Kevany, IT Sligo graduate

‘The Certificate in Biopharmaceutical Science is well-structured, paced and highly applicable. The lecturers are continually supportive and approachable and their exceptional industrial experience is apparent throughout. I began with no experience in this sector and complete the course with a great understanding and knowledge of bioprocessing. I absolutely recommend this course to anyone thinking of entering or already in the Biopharmaceutical sector.’

Eimear Carney, IT Sligo graduate.

I’m Eimear Thornbury and I did a Certificate in Web Development at the National College of Ireland. Coming to NCI was the best thing I have ever done. I really have enjoyed my time here. I have taken a complete U turn and it’s been the best thing for me and my son.

I came to an open day in National College of Ireland and I met a woman who suggested that I would ask the lecturer about the Certificate in Web Development. When I told him all I can do is turn on a computer and said an email he said that was ok and within 6-8 weeks I realised that I absolutely loved the course and I had a real aptitude for it.

We did HTML, JAVA SCRIPT AND j Query we also did multimedia. During the course we did a number of websites we also did projects, we made a website for a charity. I really enjoyed my lectures. I found the lecturer was really creative and inventive; the lecturer really paced the classes very well. I found the whole journey to be really good. I found the college to be really supportive. There was always someone to talk to, very friendly. Every staff member once you met them once they smiled. It made it feel like being part of a family. Coming back to studying part-time was a little bit daunting at the start. I found the lecturers so enthusiastic that it made it quite easy to sit and learn. I was a bit worried that more couldn’t squeeze into my brain. The library and computer labs were great resources.

The Career Bridge module for your CV and your Linked In profile was fantastic because that would have been something that I found very daunting. They didn’t hold your hand but you had enough information to go forward and feel really confident about the CV you produced. My Linked in Profile has been very effective and I have had a number of phone calls from employers contacting looking to offer me jobs.

I would say to anyone thinking about doing a course; if I can do it, you can do it. Just make the step forward because there is always someone there to help you. The amount of time that I put in really came back to me.

Eimear Thornbury, Certificate in Web Development at National College of Ireland

My experience was through Springboard that I would have heard about the Cert in Entrepreneurship. I’m very glad I did. I think it should be encouraged more. I think there should be a lot more awareness out there maybe that people can go back to college especially for mature students, because it’s an excellent platform on which to base your career on going forward; so I very much thank Springboard for giving me the opportunity. Going back to College for me was very good for my confidence and for my self-esteem. I think the whole mind-set of being in a classroom with people that share the same energy as you was very, very encouraging and very effective. A primary objective for me was building my network, for me coming back to College was very inspiring for me. Just the energy I felt the minute I walked into the course, I would highly recommend those of you that are thinking about it, don’t just thinking about it, just do it that’s what I would say.

Amy Mullen, Certificate in Entrepreneurship at National College of Ireland

I had 20 years previous experience in the pharmaceutical industry but needed to up-skill to enter the biopharmaceutical industry. I saw NIBRT advertised in our local newspaper and felt this course offered me the opportunity to update my skills while gaining a recognized qualification.

The NIBRT Springboard course provided me with a strong foundation in biopharmaceutical technology while also giving me hands on practical experience of new processes and practices within the industry. I was also able to work on and improve my CV and interview skills which gave me confidence in looking for employment. This was a real benefit in helping to obtain my current job. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone - either looking to enter the industry or intending to up-skill. NIBRT is a fantastic training facility.

Helen O’Leary (now with Amgen), NIBRT

My name is Michael and I am a graduate of the NIBRT Springboard programme. I am currently working as a Quality Technical Analyst at Genzyme Waterford and I am responsible for introducing new Quality processes for new drug products coming on site. I came from an academic background, being awarded a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin, but wanted to make a move toward industry R&D. I found that I lacked the GMP focus required for industry roles. I enrolled in one of NIBRT’s Biopharma and Healthcare courses, as NIBRT has a very good reputation with all the major Pharmaceutical companies in Ireland and they are recognised as one of the most advanced training sites in Ireland for the Pharmaceutical industry. I found the course helped me make the cultural transition from academia to industry and prepared me for my current role. Additionally, the extensive career coaching helped me succeed in the interview process. I highly recommend NIBRT to help you achieve your career goals.

Michael I. Millerick Ph.D., NIBRT graduate (now with Sanofi Genzyme).

“The reason I chose the course at NIBRT is because NIBRT offers quality training, and the facility is purpose built to replicate a modern bioprocessing plant which is the industry I want to break into. Leaders in the bioprocessing industry use NIBRT for their training needs ,so this proves that a course at NIBRT is highly relevant and can open doors.

I found all of the elements of the course were structured well so the maximum amount of theoretical learning and practical learning was achieved, I enjoyed all elements of the teaching provided by the highly skilled demonstrators. The practical elements provide hands on experience to bioprocessing equipment and processes which will not be matched from any other course available in this country at present.

I have gained so much from this course in terms of knowledge, experience, and insight to the bioprocessing processes and procedures. I would have no hesitation in recommending this course to any person interested in pursuing a career in the bioprocessing industry”

Peter D’Arcy, NIBRT graduate (now with MSD Carlow).

It has been fantastic to have been given the opportunity to return to education and study at UCC this year. The course has been very insightful, thought provoking and challenging. I have gained a lot from this year and am grateful to my fellow students and the teaching staff who have made it such a rewarding experience.

Nicola Byrne, UCC Class of 2013-2014, Higher Diploma in Chinese Business, Language and Culture

I am delighted with how the springboard programme at UCC turned out. The programme was well organized… I especially enjoyed our Chinese language classes. UCC is well known as one of Ireland's only Confucius institutes. The availability of language resources, teachers and classes is amazing. Everyone is more than willing to help. I really enjoyed the two different elements of the programme: the Chinese language classes and the business classes.

Kevin Rice, UCC Class of 2013-2014, Higher Diploma in Chinese Business, Language and Culture

I can already see where this is paying off in terms of putting things in perspective from a job point of view. Aside from having this experience on my CV, I feel more confident. So if I were to get an interview, I think I'd feel worthy of the position I was going for. Whereas before, because I was on the dole so long whether it was part time or Job Seekers, I approached the interview process with a defeated attitude which most employers could probably see right through.

Niamh Hegarty, UCC Class of 2013-2014, Higher Diploma in Chinese Business, Language and Culture

I'm finding the course to be immensely beneficial. While I had a diploma in accounting before I started, I had never studied the 'high level' business subjects like strategy, innovation and finance that make up much of this course. I am working on a business plan at the moment and hope to have a new venture up and running by September…I have gotten to know some of the research community in UCC. There are a number of well-funded research centres here, particularly in healthcare technology, and I expect there will be great opportunities for entrepreneurs as these initiatives mature.

Gerard O’Brien, UCC Class of 2013-2014, Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship

“We recruited three candidates from the Dublin Business School Springboard programme in February 2014.

From the beginning, in consultation with Dublin Business School, we identified the individual strengths that each of the candidates has. Having done this we assigned each of them to roles that allowed them to play to these strengths, while learning new skills at the same time.

From Qualcom’s perspective they have been very valuable in their contribution to the aggressive business expansion program we have in place. They have each contributed in a variety of ways to the sales and marketing process over the past few months.

From the point of view of the interns they are gaining important experience which will stand to them whether they remain in Qualcom or seek employment elsewhere after the expiry of the internship.”

David Laird, Chief Operating Officer, Qualcom

At Citi we have supported the FSI CareerStart Programme from its inception in 2010 and over the last four years we have placed over 60 students on internships and have converted 50% of these interns into full time paid roles. The programme provides students with both the theoretical knowledge and practical experience which will increase their employability for a career in Financial Services. We are very proud our involvement with this programme.

Aidan Brady, Chief Country Officer – Citi

Ballyroe Heights Hotel, the leading Wedding Hotel in Munster, has a reputation for being customer focused and pro-active in the marketplace. This has resulted in increased business at Ballyroe Heights Hotel and we want to ensure that the Sales Office is equipped to deal with the change from traditional marketing to incorporating Digital Marketing in the mix.

We heard that Louise had completed the Digital Marketing Level 8 Springboard course at IT Tralee and we approached her with a view to assisting the team. She is a highly qualified Sales and Marketing consultant, with an extensive network of contacts, who has upskilled and now provides properties like ours with the opportunity to develop Digital Marketing strategies to push forward in the marketplace.

The elements of the course that really contributed to bringing our Sales Office to the next level are CRM which has enabled us to revise our whole customer management system and provide our guests with a more personal and efficient distribution of information and Social Media, which we fully implement and have increased our followers considerably. In addition to this, Web Development and Analytics information has resulted in a review of the website and a better understanding of our client base.

‘We must acknowledge the value that the Springboard course has made in ensuring that Louise’s knowledge is current on Digital Marketing topics ‘ said Mark Sullivan, General Manager, ‘We have seen the benefits and could highly recommend the course content.’

Ballyroe Heights Hotel

Dress for Success Cork is a not-for-profit organisation. We educate and train women, who find themselves in financially challenging situations, to (re)enter the workplace. We offer free programmes to our clients. These include: Confidence Building sessions with life coaches; CV review and amendment; Mock Interview training and Basic Computer Skills Training. We also offer free interview clothes along with free make-up from Boots Pharmacy. Our offices in 131 Oliver Plunkett Street are very busy on a daily basis. And, along with the day-to-day administration, we also require interns who will carry out ongoing research into funding opportunities, grow and develop our social media campaign and expand our presence on the ever growing "not-for-profit" map through effective marketing. Our experience of having UCC Springboard interns on our team has been more than positive and, to date, all have integrated with our existing team. I have no hesitation in promoting the placement of UCC Springboard students here in Dress for Success Cork to enable them to gain essential skills on their journey to full time employment.

Carmel O’Keeffe, Dress for Success, Cork.

Working with Springboard has been extremely beneficial and positive for us here at Grove House. We had lots of ideas about looking towards the Chinese market and were unsure where to start. I had been looking for some time and trying to research opportunities myself. Our intern is from the UCC H.Dip in Chinese Business Language and Culture course and the first hand and cultural information and knowledge she brought has made a huge impact in our research. She has been following up on leads and has shown great initiative in pursuing new avenues and compiling research for us. As an inventive and innovative company Grove House are continuously working on specific projects and looking to for new ways to market and enhance our business. I would certainly hope to work with and recruit an intern from UCC’s Springboard programmes again next year.

Jacqueline Farrell, Grove House Health Spa, Shanballymore, Co Cork

Thousands of individuals from walks of life have already taken a Springboard or ICT skills course and secured employment and self-employment. Taking their first tentative steps back into education, these participants are eager to help each other and to provide others with a foothold to follow.

These stories inspire and they are offered as a way of rekindling, for all who read them, hope and new confidence for the future.

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