Sunday 4 December 2016

Oscail -- opening the door to a brighter future for Peter

Case history: Peter McDonnell, age 53, Kells, Co Meath

Published 09/06/2011 | 10:49

I'd been working full-time as an electrical technician in the same company for many years before the downturn.

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We were manufacturing air conditioning units, extractor fans and other products which were highly dependent on the construction industry.

When the construction industry went into a slump, our business took a hit, and I eventually had to go on a three-day-week. Going on to that three-day-week was stressful.

It's not good for the spirit when you're coming into an office and the phones aren't ringing. I'm a diabetic and stress aggravates the condition by causing high blood sugar.

When I started the DCU Oscail degree I found that the stress immediately lifted because it once again gave me a direction for my energies. Oscail is a distance education course, which means it's very flexible.

I'm now finishing the second year of what I hope will lead to a BSc in Information Technology.

The flexibility means that you can complete the course in as many stages as suits, which enables me to fit it around the work I have.

I'd been dabbling in Information Technology for years, and I'd done bits and pieces of diplomas, but this time, when the opportunity presented itself I took it with both hands.

When I left school in the 1970s, I did what most other people did and went to work.

It was great to have a few bob in the pocket for going out, but from the start I always said that if I got the chance for further qualifications I'd go for it.

I'm really happy with the course. I always had a good head for figures so I love the maths side of things.

At the start, when I'd get the kids to school and get stuck into the studying, I found that grappling with the maths was a great way of detaching yourself from everything else. The physics was and is more of a challenge.

All in all it has been incredibly rewarding experience and I'd recommend that anyone who thinks it might benefit them should check it out."











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