LOSING her job three years ago due to the economic crash proved to be a blessing in disguise for Mary Shine from Cullen, as it prompted her to pursue her dream career in childcare.
Mary, who recently acquired eight distinctions in the FETAC level 5 Childcare course examination, has been highly commended by her tutors for her exceptional results.
"I said I will make this a turning point", Mary said, speaking about being made redundant in 2009, "I'll try to work at something that I really love doing instead of just trying to get a job to earn a weekly wage".
Mary remarked how she has always loved working with children. "I don't know why I didn't go down that road when I left secondary school, I said now I'll have to be brave, take a chance and go back and study childcare", she said.
She enrolled in Cork's College of Commerce where she had been a student previously, and attended classes two nights a week while logging up work experience at Danú Chilcare in Rathmore and Curious Minds in Millstreet.
Mary is currently having a great time working at the Anchor Playschool in Meelin where she has been made very welcome.
She explained to the Corkman the many reasons why she loves her chosen profession.
"The rewards are immense, the gratitude the children show for the smallest thing I do for them is wonderful, and I get lovely positive feedback from parents who tell me that their child has 'really taken to me' so it's all very positive," said Mary.
This motivated and enthusiastic young woman is heading back to college in October to begin studying for her level six qualification, after which she will go on to gain a Diploma in Childcare, and ultimately aims to open her own playschool in the future.