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Student Profile: Susanne o’Leary.

Returning to education after being self employed for 10 years was a massive step for me, but it was the best decision I made. I decided to do Level 6 in Business and Administration with Wicklow Further Education Centre on their full time VTOS programme starting in January 2019. This course allowed me to look at all aspects of working in an office environment and opened doors for both education and employment.

At times, I felt that maybe I had taken on too much but with the guidance and support from Ms. Maria Lally (VTOS Co-ordinator) and my teachers I felt that the end goal was achievable. Everyone at the centre is friendly and supportive which is so important when you are trying to keep a home and young family running as well as getting assignments in on time.

My advice to anyone thinking of returning to education is to stay focused and designate this time for yourself as it is far too easy to put things off. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge this centre and its teachers have to offer as it has had such a positive impact on me personally.

One of my modules for this course was Personal and Professional Development taught by Mr. Anthony Kielthy. This course took me by surprise as it was not what I expected at all. By the end of term, it showed me certain areas of my life that I neglected. The main objective of the course for me was to put a plan in place for the next 3-5 years, not exactly long term but it gave me the focus to keep working hard. This plan has given me the opportunity to sit down and look at where am I and where I want to be. Any new student should set aside time to look at what they want to achieve. This course has made me believe again that anything is achievable once you are in the right mindset and follow the advice that your teacher gives. The successful Dragons Den Scenario was also very challenging and enjoyable.

I was lucky enough to have Mr. Kevin Nolan as my teacher for Finance, Bookkeeping, Payroll and Spreadsheets. He showed me that hard work, perseverance and organisation will point you in the direction of success. His classes were filled with information and I loved that he followed a strict time schedule as it encouraged me to make sure that my assignments where in on time and the work produced was to a high standard.

I achieved what I set out to do and that was to get a job and change from the hospitality sector to an office environment. I am now working full time as a Bookkeeper in Wicklow Town and enjoying every moment of it. I would still like to continue studying and enhancing my education over the next few years once I am settled into my new job and Bookkeeping/Accountancy would be my ideal career and my new job allows me to look at bookkeeping and this is something I really enjoy.

I met some lovely people along the way in my class and hope that we will remain friends. They made class time enjoyable and interesting and motivated me to keep moving forward. My experience from start to finish was extremely positive and it is very hard to sum up in words, but I would highly recommend taking the leap into education, as it will bring you on a fabulous and exciting journey.

At this time, I would like to thank my teachers for the encouragement they gave me throughout. I am thrilled that I received a Distinction for my course, and this not only reflects the work I put in but the work my teachers and Ms. Maria Lally have put in throughout the year. Enjoy your time at Wicklow Further Education Centre as it flies by.

Susanne O’Leary (Level 6 Business and Administration 2018/2019)

Wicklow FETC