Sharon Kelly had been living and working in the UK for a number of years when she decided to return to Ireland. What she found was a completely different Ireland to the one she left
"I quickly discovered that my skillset did not match the jobs available. I had a Ph.D in Molecular Biology but I found that there were greater job prospects in the medical devices area."
So Sharon decided to undertake the Specialist Diploma in Medical Device Science in NUI Galway as part of Springboard+. What really appealed to Sharon was that the course was held on Saturdays.
"The structure of the course was really helpful for me as I didn't want to do a full-time course. My ultimate goal was to get a job and I wanted to be available for work should the opportunity arrive."
Sharon started the course last September and secured a job four months later.
"Working and studying at the same time was tough but I did it with the help of my family. Without their support it would have been impossible."
Would Sharon recommend this course to others?
"Absolutely. The workload was tough and it's not something to take lightly but the pay-off is worth all your effort. I particularly enjoyed the practical part of the course as it was very hands-on."
Sharon has recently had a baby and is home with her new-born at the moment, but feels her prospects for the future are bright.
"I really feel that this course will help me in the future. Having it under my belt will be really useful and I'm confident I will go on to rewarding and enjoyable employment."