Faustina McLoughlin is from Rooskey
Two experienced guidance counsellors have developed a range of career camps for second level students to help inform them about subject choices, what different careers involve and the various paths to achieving your dream job or career.
Faustina McLoughlin from Rooskey (daughter of Neil Moran and Loretta Mulligan) and Breda Ann de'Courcey from Cleggan, Connemara, both teach in secondary schools in Dublin but have identified a need for one-to-one mentoring and better research skills for teenagers who may be unsure what course or career to pursue.
While young people are resilient, Faustina feels they can be under pressure with schoolwork and, at times, bombarded by information on a wide range of career options.
“They may not have access to guidance classes in the same manner that they have for mainstream subjects. They may lack the knowledge and skills to compare a course and a college, to discover an alternative pathway, to find what is the right fit for them,” says Faustina who has over 15 years' teaching experience.
Breda-Ann adds: “Most students don't understand what a career is or how to select a path to take. They think of engineers as building bridges, pharmacists as working in a pharmacy, but those qualifications open so many other doors and opportunities. What students don’t always understand is that constant learning and development is a journey.
“Together, we want to teach students the tools to understand that and to research the options they have to grasp what it is to work in a field. Very few people work in the same job for 40 years anymore and we want to facilitate that understanding.”
The camps are about students taking ownership of key decisions about their future.
“The focus of our camps is not just on skills and knowledge development but also an understanding on how to use them. Students will leave our camps with better research skills, better decision-making skills and better awareness of learning opportunities and available to them,” explains Breda-Ann.
“Participants will learn, discover and achieve. Our sessions are prepared and delivered with the learner in mind, allowing them to interact and engage in a supportive environment. We use video case studies, stories and carefully designed worksheets to enable participants to become active participants on all of our camps. We embrace ICT tools such as Mentimeter, Padlet and Kahoot,” adds Faustina.
Both ladies are members of the Teaching Council and of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors and are garda vetted. They also take a holistic approach to students' development encouraging them to get involved in extra curricular activities at school and college.
The Covid-19 pandemic and extended periods of remote learning may have restricted some students' access to career guidance, says Faustina.
"Our career guidance camps will make students more aware of all the options available to them. They will learn how to research the different pathways into their desired course/career from Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) courses, to apprenticeships to courses on the National Framework Of Qualifications (Levels 6-9).”
Breda-Ann says subject choice is important. “It’s important that senior cycle students pick their subjects carefully as subject choice can have unintended negative consequences that may not become apparent until sixth year when students realise that they don’t meet the subject matriculation requirements for entry to a course they wish to pursue.
"In our experience, we find that students might discredit certain science disciplines for example, without knowing what the career or course content is actually really about. We show them how to explore course content and understand the benefits and outcomes from specific course choices," she explains.
You can book your place and find out more information at www.mycareerguidance
Parents and teens can follow the ladies on instagram @mycareerguidancecamp to get notifications about upcoming events, CAO, UCAS & EU application updates and all that is career guidance related, as well as competitions for free places.
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