Pat Shanahan
Ex-Dell worker re-skills for the future

51 year old Pat Shanahan worked as a Production Supervisor in DELL for five years.  In August 2009 Pat was made redundant and had to rethink his future plans. 

Having completed a Beginner Photography course Pat enrolled in a FETAC Level 5 Digital Photography course with Limerick City Adult Education Service.  This part-time course ran from March to July 2010 and was funded under the European Globalisation Fund.

Pat says the course was a fantastic opportunity to meet with like minded people and to learn new skills.  He enjoyed the practical nature of the course and particularly the photo shoots around Limerick.  ‘We learned something new in class’ he says ‘and then we went out and practised it’.  ‘The course was intensive and challenging’, Pat reflects, ‘but the tutor Barry was a great person to work with and the group worked very well together’.

Even though Pat is not new to adult education, having completed a certificate in Personnel Management Practice three years ago, Pat describes doing the Digital Photography course as ‘a new lease of life’ for him.  He says it gave him a new interest, ‘the chance to go to places I had never gone to before and it made me look at life from a different angle’.   Pat also feels the course made him realise things about himself which he had forgotten.  It was only when he began taking course photographs that a family member pointed out how he used to love taking photographs when he was young.

Pat is now studying a full-time FETAC Level 5 course in Photography with Limerick College of Further Education.  Pat says the part-time course was invaluable preparation for the full-time course he is on now.  It was a ‘great stepping stone’ and ‘gave a great idea as to the work load and the standard expected’.  The part-time Digital Photography course he completed with LCAES has given him an exemption for one module of his full-time course.

Reflecting on his return to full-time education, Pat says ‘it is challenging but I have the support of my wife and children’.  He believes that focusing on what one has to do early in the programme and asking for help when needed, has benefited him greatly.  Pat hopes to complete a second year in Photography and to get a Level 6 qualification.  ‘I will always do photography’, Pat concludes, ‘and hopefully I will make it my job for the rest of my life’.

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