Mary Nolan – Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice

Name: Mary Nolan

Job Title: Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Course studied: 10-credit module in Creativity & Entrepreneurship

Can you share your career path to date?

My primary degree is in Industrial Engineering, and I have a master’s in engineering design.  I worked for 13 years in Abbott in various engineering roles before joining IT Sligo (now ATU) almost 10 years ago.  A opportunity came up to complete this module in Creativity and Entrepreneurship and I am delighted I took it.

What does your current role involve?

I currently lecture across several departments Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Mechatronic Engineering and Electronic Engineering.

What motivated you to start studying?

A friend!

Why did you choose this course from ATU Sligo?

It was a good fit with my current role, and I was able to fit the times of classes around my regular hours.  My employer encourages lifelong learning and supported me taking this module.

How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging?

The classes were online and there was group work and this was online too.  The group work was great and although I knew some of the group in real life, some I had only met online.  We formed a friendship which long outlasted the module.  There was a clear plan of what was needed and when it was needed which was very helpful.  I found meeting the deadlines challenging and this gave me real empathy with my own students.

In terms of your employer, were they supportive of your decision to study? Were there elements of the course that were particularly relevant to your current employer?

The module was very relevant to my day-to-day role and I enjoyed the challenge.  My employer was very supportive.

What advice would you have for anyone considering studying online?

Give it a go.  Lifelong learning is part of all our lives now and not a once off event.  We all need to be continuously learning.

In what way has studying online with ATU Sligo benefitted your career?

It gave me the confidence to keep studying and I am currently completing my PhD !!

Did this course provide any unexpected benefits to your career?

It reminded me what its like to be a student and the pressure of deadlines!  It showed that teamwork can be very important and particularly online.

Did you find that the elements you were studying had practical relevance in your day-to-day role?

Yes, Creativity & Entrepreneurship is of particular importance in Engineering.

What were the key skills you took away from your time studying at ATU Sligo?

The skill of being able to complete a module! Another key skill was teamwork, the importance, and the benefits of teamwork.

Learn more about Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice