‘Find your passion: you work to live and not live to work’

My Career Path: Reamonn Mac Reamoinn was a Fulbright Irish Awardee to Johns Hopkins University where he completed a Masters in Civil Engineering.

Reamonn Mac Reamoinn: ‘I have learned to stay informed and be adaptable.’ Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Reamonn Mac Reamoinn: ‘I have learned to stay informed and be adaptable.’ Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

 

What/where did you study, and when did you graduate?

I applied for a Fulbright Award to undertake a two-year civil engineering research masters at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, focusing on computational wind engineering. I was successful in my application and graduated with my degree in 2015.

What attracted you to your current role/ company/ path?

I had worked for eight years as a consultant civil engineer before beginning my masters. However, my job description changed upon my return. I still work as a civil engineer but my role now relates to the Fulbright research I carried out in the USA. It is rewarding to use your knowledge to gain insight into challenges that ultimately leads to better and more efficient design.

What did you find most challenging about the working world, or the transition from education to the working world?

The biggest difference between education and the working world is people. In education, you can find yourself working in isolation to fulfil your own mission. In the working world, people want things done and are not necessarily concerned about the process. In addition, people often can have contrasting objectives and motivations.

Do you have any mentors? If so, what is their value to you?

I have a number of mentors from different backgrounds and experience levels. It is reassuring to know that you are not alone and that others have faced and overcome similar challenges in the past. In addition, it is important to have trusted people who will give you honest feedback. I established a wide group of contacts through the Fulbright network in Ireland and the USA, I still keep in touch with many of them today.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned since you joined the workforce?

I have learned to stay informed and be adaptable. Studying in the USA through my Fulbright Award helped me to see my work through a global lens. It seems like the world is changing at an ever-increasing pace. It is essential to stay relevant and to continue to offer value no matter what you do.

One piece of advice for new graduates?

Find your passion: you work to live and not live to work. Seek out opportunities like the Fulbright Awards! They will stand to you throughout your career.