All aboard in Kildare

Uncategorized - Mar 31, 2014

Elizabeth Urell, Guidance Counsellor in Kildare Town CS talks about her role in The Schools’ Business Partnership and the benefits it brings to her, the students and all involved.


Photo (L-R): Liz Urell, guidance Counsellor Kildare Town Community School, Deirdre Shanahan, HR Director, Kildave Village Outlet, Maureen Bergin, Retail Director, Kildare Village Outlet.  Picture taken by student Katie Lynch.

Q. Tell us about your contribution to the The Schools’ Business Partnership
A. I was involved throughout the process, initially liaising with the School Completion Personnel and School management to select students for the programme, then preparing students – ensuring they fulfilled their responsibilities, debriefing students after each session, reinforcing what they have learned and incorporating the programme into the school Guidance curriculum for the benefit of all students in the school.

Q. What does this mean for your school?
A. The benefits generated were clearly tangible. The students were thrilled to be part of such a practical, careers-focussed programme. Many of the participants do not associate traditional learning methods with positive feedback so when presented with an opportunity to practice soft skills of hospitality, event management, social and communication skills, it was particularly enlightening and empowering for them. Several teachers commented on the new confidence and self-belief that was evident in many of the students contributing hugely to teaching, engagement and learning in the school.

Q. What does it mean to you as an individual?
A. The outward focus of Skills @ Work is of tremendous benefit from a Career Guidance perspective. The opportunity to meet with so many people who openly shared non-traditional career pathways is hugely exciting and insightful for both students and teachers. The real-life engaging approach provides a powerful augmentation to the traditional, academic approaches to career Guidance. A new world of career possibilities was opened to students outside the traditional areas to which they are commonly exposed i.e. Nursing, Teaching, Army, and Garda. From my observations, I identified similar characteristics in many of the professionals we met to those in some of my students and this brought vibrancy and excitement to the project. Finally, the overall message expressed so eloquently from everyone we met, to seize the opportunity that comes your way, is a much needed wonderful message of encouragement, hope and optimism: is féidir linn..!

Q. If you could have one hope/wish for your company and school in the future what would it be?
A. To build on the positive relationship we have and hopefully develop an even more interactive, mentoring programme.