I feel my course has had an amazing impact on my life

I feel my course has had an amazing impact on my life

PLC graduate Chelsea Lyons on the transformative effect of Further Education and Training on her life.


Tell us about you and your PLC course.

The PLC course I did was Office administration and reception skills level 5. I chose this course as there is many career job opportunities, such as clerical officer, administration or reception assistant or medical secretary. This PLC also allows a pathway into higher education, and you are spoiled for choice in your options when it comes to higher education courses. My course consisted of 8 modules, 4 days a week from September through to May. I enjoyed the courses schedule as I also worked part time and could work most evenings after college, this way I could earn my keep while still enjoying my youth lifestyle.


Did you have any idea of what you wanted to do after school?

No. Simply answered, I did not know what I wanted to do after school. I also feel I was not the only one who has felt this way, from engaging with recent school leavers to even remembering my sixth-year class wondering what we would do after school, no one really knew. I now feel, my course of action from the time I left school to now is what led me to where I am today.


Tell us about your journey after school and what made you decide to take the PLC route in the end

I worked full time retail jobs which eventually burned me out, and I believe this is what ignited my desire to go to further education. Although I enjoyed the decent wages every week, I knew I wasn’t really pouring enough into myself and decided I would work part time and give myself the education I deserved. I knew I was not prepared for higher education and decided I would apply for PLC courses at Colaiste Ide, in Finglas.


What have been the highlights for you during the PLC?

Some of my many highlights from my time during my PLC were being elected to both student council and the student voice for the board of management. Although I was nervous, I was excited taking on these roles. I also was awarded a fully funded Erasmus scholarship and spent three weeks in Perpignan, France. During my time here I was an intern at Alfmed, school of languages. I really enjoyed my internship while I also met many new people from a variety of nationalities, I learned basic French and went sightseeing. It was nothing less than a once in a lifetime experience. I was also selected to give an opening address at an NAPD conference, while also attending learner conferences to contribute to student voice.


What impact has the course and in general, Further Education and Training had on your life? Do you think it has opened up opportunities to you?

I feel my course has had an amazing impact on my life. I needed a change of course in my life, and my further education journey has definitely given me that. My opportunities include job and course offers and I think I’ll have many options from this course and can not wait to see how my journey continues as a result of attending my course.


Would you recommend Further Education and Training to other people and if so, what would you say are the main benefits?

The main benefits of further education and training is you become better educated and receive a nationality recognised certification upon completion. You also meet new friends, have an amazing support network thanks to guidance councillor’s and student council representatives. Opportunities of getting to go and be an intern abroad, and all the while being educated to a high standard.


What’s the next step for you after your course?

The next step for me is I applied to higher education, such as Maynooth through my CAO.  I hope to study further, although if I change my mind I could apply for a variety of different jobs thanks to my level 5 qualification.


What advice would you have for Leaving Cert students or people a few years out of school who aren’t sure what to do with their careers? 

My advice would be when you feel ready to take that leap back into education, know that there will always be a place in further education and training for you. It is never too late to go back, and if your confidence is not great surrounding your education abilities, take comfort in knowing you are not the only one. I have witnessed and I am proof that it is never too late to try again. If your unsure where your end-goal is, my advice would be don’t panic and trust what’s meant for you won’t pass you by.




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