Tony Hughes’ Learner Experiences

In this blog, Tony Hughes, a former student of our QQI Level 5 Computer Application for the Workplace course and now part time Assistant Administrator here at MEC, will share his experiences in adult education and discovering his career path. Tony didn’t know what area he wanted to study in college, so he decided to take our year long full time course  to gain experience in the IT field. The locality of our centre and the wide range of skills to be gained from the course were the largest benefits to him, and he now feels like that he has gained skills and experience which will help him find the right job, depending on which path he chooses to take. His story, along with many others, was included in a book published in December 2016 by AONTAS.


Tony Hughes


“I had no idea what I wanted to do in college”

“Initially, when I was doing the Leaving Certificate, it was very stressful. We were studying multiple subjects every day. Our teachers told us that we needed to do very well in order to progress to college. The only career paths that guidance councillors in our school were interested in telling us about was going to third level directly after the Leaving Cert. I had no idea what I wanted to do in college, so rather than drop out of a course I didn’t want to do, I opted not to go to third level, at least for a year or so anyway.”

“I decided to take a chance”

“I returned to education because I heard about the QQI Level 5 course in Computer Applications for the Workplace in Mohill Enterprise Centre, through INTREO in Carrick-on-Shannon. I decided to take a chance and participate in the course, and I was extremely happy that I did. The tutors and staff were very caring and helpful, I bonded with the rest of the group on the course and I developed a multitude of useful practical and personal skills.”

Education and Experience

“I graduated my QQI Level 5 course with an overall Distinction, which is equivalent to 400 CAO points. My plan was to go to college and study IT, however, Mohill Enterprise Centre offered me the chance to apply for a 9 month internship in the centre. I applied for the internship and managed to get selected for it. The internship was IT based and I did a certain amount of tutoring with students in the current courses. I also had one-to-one meetings with customers of the centre who look for specific computing or IT solutions, such as repairs or short periods of teaching and assistance with computers or devices that people have. The internship gave me great practical experience of working in an IT environment. After my internship ended, I got the chance to apply for a part time role at Mohill Enterprise Centre and, much to my surprise, I managed to successfully get into the position of Assistant Administrator and IT Support. My experiences on the QQI Level 5 full time course, the internship and now this part time job have given clarity to the idea of having a career in general IT or IT Training.”

I'm An Adult Learner Photo With Education Minister

Anyone who wishes to read the full story of Tony Hughes and his learner experiences here at MEC, or to read any of the other learner stories featured in the AONTAS book, I’m an Adult Learner 2016, that was published at the end of last year, you can read the book online here.

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