PostGrad Focus: From Redundancy to Sustainable Energy Masters Graduate

Engineering
Alexandra pictured with colleagues and former Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English at an EU conference and training workshop on nearly zero energy buildings (NZEB) standards and practices

Alexandra pictured with colleagues and former Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English at an EU conference and training workshop on nearly zero energy buildings (NZEB) standards and practices

After being made redundant from her job as a road engineer for Waterford City Council, Alexandra decided to return to college and enrolled in WIT

Having been made redundant from her job as a road engineer for Waterford City Council in 2009, Alexandra was forced to reconsider her career. She decided to upskill, return to college and enroll in the MSc in Sustainable Energy Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology.

Alexandra registered to study in WIT, began her Masters in 2010 and graduated in 2011.

Living in Dunmore East, Co Waterford, pursuing a masters in WIT was a no brainer for Alexandra “I was always interested and passionate about sustainability and renewables. It was perfect that this was a local course close to home.”

Since graduating from WIT in 2011, Alexandra worked initially as an energy engineer with Tipperary Energy Agency before being promoted to senior energy engineer with one of Ireland’s leading local energy agencies, Carlow/Kilkenny Energy Agency.

Speaking about her career success to date, she says, “I would not have been able to get where I am today without this Master’s degree or the excellent knowledge and understanding of the sustainable energy sector in Ireland that I gained from WIT. It helped me change course and pursue a career which I am passionate about and love doing.”

There were a number of challenges that Alexandra faced when re-entering the education system, including her fears of being a mature student.

“I was a bit apprehensive about fitting in with younger students and getting back into studying,” she says. However, it didn’t take Alexandra long to settle in, and was elected class rep by her peers not long after starting the course.

"My fellow classmates were all very friendly and there was a good mix of mature students and students coming straight from level 8 degrees, so the experience of mature students and the academic experience of those who came straight from degree courses was a good mix and we worked well together, to help each other out in different aspects of the course.”

“In the end I had no difficulties in fitting back into academic life as I loved learning and the young vibrant atmosphere an academic institute lends itself to, the teaching staff were very helpful, friendly and understanding.”

While studying at WIT Alexandra was also working, to help in funding the family home, and acknowledged the Student life and learning office and the helpfulness with personal issues regarding income and fees. “The most difficult challenge was the time keeping over the 12-months, especially as I was also working a number of part time jobs to help with the family income.”

After successfully completing the year-long Masters, Alexandra believes time management, planning and organisation are vital when hoping to return to college.

Alexandra has fond memories from her year spent at WIT. “I have some really good memories like, learning new things, good discussions in class about sustainability, teamwork shown by the class mates, and curry chips in the canteen.”

 

About the MSc in Sustainable Energy Engineering

This post-graduate programme has been designed to facilitate professionals practicing in the areas of building design, management and technology. Its’ purpose is to provide expertise in terms of; energy use, environmental performance and sustainability in the design and operation of buildings and their associated facilities and services systems.

Other postgraduate courses that WIT offer in the School of Engineering are;
MSc in Construction Project Management, MSc in Construction Project Management, MSc in Innovative Technology Engineering, MEng in Electronic Engineering (full time), Higher Diploma in Science in Building Information Modelling

Related Courses

Master of Science in  Sustainable Energy Engineering

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