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Once again a very successful Trainee of the Year Award evening was held in the Wood Quay venue in Dublin. Seven returned trainees gave individual presentations to an audience of employers, IAESTE trainees past and present, embassy representatives, university staff, academics and friends of the programme.
L-R Neil Boylan, Fionán O Sullivan, Gordon Lai, Ann Boyle (National Secretary, IAESTE Ireland), Jennifer Smith, Cillian O Sullivan, Paul Whitford and Mark Dawnay
The trainees spoke about their experiences in Hungary, Switzerland, United States, Ghana, Belgium and Germany. From working in a City Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana to working on the design of a roller-coaster in Switzerland, all participants had very different but positive experiences.
After much deliberation the judging panel awarded the Trainee of the Year, 2012 to Jennifer Smith who worked as a laboratory and pharmacy assistant in City Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana. Jennifer is in her final year of Biomedical Science in Univeristy College, Dublin. It was felt that she embraced equally her cultural and work experiences.
Jennifer Smith, 1st place being presented with her certificate by Ann Boyle, IAESTE Ireland, National Secretary
Second place went to Mark Dawnay, final year student of Industrial and Environmental Physics in DIT. He did a split traineeship in Switzerland and he worked between two institutions where he developed new and improved scintillator screens for neutron imaging.
L-R : Mark Dawnay, 2nd place; Paul Whitford, 3rd place and Swiss Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Beat Loeliger.
Third place was awarded to Paul Whitford, a final-year student of Manufacturing and Design in DIT. He worked in an Engineering Company doing 3D CAD drawings from 2D drawings for the design of a roller coaster. He was invited back to work with the company when he graduated and is currently back working with them.
Participants in the Trainee of the Year Award 2009, with Léargas staff.
If you have ever wondered what it is like to design a Shanghai teahouse, test people (including yourself) for malaria, or find the vaccine you have been quietly working on suddenly soar in demand due to a flu epidemic - all while still a student - then the eighth annual IAESTE Ireland Trainee of the Year Award was the place to be.
On 25 November, seven students from around the country came together at the National College of Ireland to present their experiences of an IAESTE traineeship, and these were varied indeed. Students of Architecture, Science and Engineering took up traineeships in countries ranging from Serbia to China, and came back with fascinating stories to tell. In addition to the professional benefits of obtaining relevant, practical work experience in their fields of study, the students were introduced to a wide range of cultural practices and made lasting friendships with people of many different backgrounds.
After the presentations, the judging panel of Mr. Eamon Kinch (Chair, Léargas Board), Mr. Nick Leonard (Former Ombudsman, IAESTE A.s.b.l. & former National Secretary, IAESTE Ireland) and Mr. John Kirwan (IAESTE Trainee of the Year Award 2008 prize winner) had some difficult decisions to make.
Their decisions were:
The three Trainees, Karen DeSay, Darren Tighe and Fionnuala Hayes
The next Trainee of the Year Award will be held in November 2010. Participants must have completed an IAESTE traineeship to enter, and all are welcome at the event. For further details please contact the IAESTE office.