Amy Dawson

Admissions and Programme Administrator
Hibernia College
Dublin
Teaching and education
English, Sociology
English and Sociology
2001

Time management, organisational skills and communication skills.

I am new in my role as Admissions and Programme Administrator at Hibernia College and prior to this have spent most of my career to date working in arts administration. I worked for 7 years for the Gaiety School of Acting, starting there in 2005 as a receptionist. I had a couple of promotions leading me to the position of Co-ordinator for the full time Actor Training Programme. I left that job with mixed feelings – I loved it, but in a small organisation I had gone as far as I could, so I decided to seek employment in a larger company. 

College administration – applications and programme administration. Therefore I process applications and payments as well as dealing with students on a number of programmes to assist them throughout their studies. My previous job had greater diversity, involving scheduling students and tutors, recruiting tutors and production teams, budget planning and implementation, marketing the programme, organising auditions, as well as dealing with all involved in the programme – parents, students, staff.

Dealing with the public can be both interesting and challenging! I loved the diversity of my last job, but sometimes found the lack of resources (time, money, staff) very challenging and very frustrating

Organisation’s own website

Work! While education and training are so important, it can be too easy to hide in full time education and not experience the real working world. I see so many people through my work who as yet do not have employment experience - getting experience in the world of work is very important I feel that the jobs and tasks I have been best at are not necessarily those for which I had specific training, but those I did badly at work the first time around! There really is no substitute for practical experience. Any work you do, even if you think it’s irrelevant, adds to your bank of experiences.

Any other relevant information on your career to date: 
I finished my BA in Maynooth University in 1998. I did a Higher Diploma in Development Studies for a year in UCD. A few years later I did a part-time Masters in Information and Library Management by distance learning. I loved it and would highly recommend it! For a couple of years I thought my arts degree was a waste of time as I emerged from it not really qualified to do anything. My higher diploma was certainly interesting and enjoyable, but I think it just occupied me for another year at a time when I felt a bit “lost”. In hindsight I probably should have gone traveling or volunteer working instead. However, the Masters was different in that with a small child by then, it allowed me to study while working and raising my daughter. I am not actively using it now, although I can clearly see how I am applying it in my work. I hope that I will be able to use it more directly in time, but may need to do internships in order to do this. It’s only really now over 10 years later that I can see how applicable in general the BA was and how it did give me very transferable skills that maybe I didn’t appreciate at the time!

(Submitted July 2012)