Talks Timetable

Talks Moderators

Carl O’Brien:

Education Editor of The Irish Times

Brian Mooney

Career Guidance Expert and Irish Times Columnist

Ciara O’Brien

Business and Technology Journalist at The Irish Times

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Irish Language Editor (Eagarthóir Gaeilge) at The Irish Times and Editor of The Irish Times Student Hub

Talks and Lectures Timetable

Wed 13th October

12pm - 12:30pm

Applying to CAO

Eileen Keleghan
Communications Officer for the Central Applications Office (CAO)
12:35pm - 12:55pm


Brian Mooney
Career Guidance Expert and Irish Times Columnist
1pm - 1:20pm

Welcome to Higher Options

1.25pm - 1:45pm

I Don’t Know what I want to do 

Brian Mooney
Career Guidance Expert and Irish Times Columnist
1:50pm - 2:20pm

Careers in Tourism & Hospitality

Cait Noone 
VP for Intl. Engagement and Head of the College of Tourism and Arts GMIT

2:15pm - 2:55pm

Studying in Europe

Guy Flouch
CEO, Eunicas

3pm - 3:30pm

Careers with a Business Degree

Valerie McTaggart

Lecturer, Sligo IT

3:35pm - 4:05pm

Careers in Engineering 

Professor John Breslin

Personal Professor in Electronic Engineering at the College of Science and Engineering, NUIG

Aoife Prendergast

Quality and Hardware Systems Engineer

4:10pm - 4:40pm 


4:45pm - 5:15pm


SOLAS Representative TBA

5:20pm - 5:50pm 

Carrers in Agri Science 

Damien Dempsey
Communications and Student Recruitment Manager, UCD

5:55pm - 6:25pm 

Careers in Sport & Exercise 

Thursday 14th October 

12:30 - 1pm

Sustainability and Environmental Science

Joe Codd
Director of Business Development, VEON Ltd.

1:05pm -1:35pm

Mapping a Career in Bio & Medical Science 

Dr. Linda Mulligan
Chief State Pathologist
1:40pm - 2:10pm 

Careers in Law 

Dearbhla O'Gorman
Associate Solicitor, Tax Group at Arthur Co
2:15pm - 2:45pm 

Careers with an Arts Degree

Olga Barry 
Director, Kilkenny Arts Festival
Lucy Masterson,
Director, Irish Youth Foundation
2:50pm - 3:20pm

Careers in Tech 

3:25pm - 3:55pm  

Careers in Media 

Aoife Moore
Political Correspondent, The Irish Examiner
4pm - 4:30pm  

Careers in Creative Media 

Cecilia Munro
Political Correspondent, The Irish Examiner
Fabian Erlinghäuser
Head of Animation, Cartoon Saloon
4:35pm - 5:05pm

Science Foundation Ireland

5:10pm - 5:40pm 

Apprenticeship Experiences 

Careers in the Construction Industry

5:45pm - 6:15pm

Event Close

Brian Mooney
Career Guidance Expert and Irish Times Columnist
Carl O'Brien
Education Editor, The Irish Times
1.15pm - 1:45pm

How to Choose Your Career

Brian Mooney
Career Guidance Expert and Irish Times Columnist
2.25pm - 2:55pm

Applying to CAO

Eileen Keleghan
Communications Officer for the Central Applications Office (CAO)

3:00pm - 3:30pm

Studying in Europe

Guy Flouch
Founder of EUNICAS

4:10pm - 4:40pm

Careers in Agri-Food

Damien Dempsey
Communications and Student Recruitment Manager at the School of Agriculture and Food Science at University College Dublin

John Heslin
Ruminant Product Manager for MSD Animal Health
Edel Cocoman
Sr Development & Application Technologist
4:45pm - 5:15pm

Working in a Media Organisation

Jack Power
Reporter with The Irish Times
Aisling Geraghty
E-Commerce Executive at the Irish Times
Aoife Moore
Political Correspondent at the Irish Examiner
5:20pm – 6:00pm

Science Foundation Ireland

Miceal O’Donnell
Professional Development Programme- Abbott Ireland

Thursday 5th November


Careers in the Construction industry

Alan Barnes
Project Manager at Collen Construction
Colin Butterly
Site Manager at Collen Construction

Thursday 5th November

1.15pm- 1:45pm

Opportunities for building a Tech career

Anne Kiely
EMEA HR Lead in Twitter

Mapping a Career in Science

Dr Orla Donoghue
Science Outreach Manager, UCD and Conall Heussaff, Climate Science Graduate
Conall Heussaff
Climate Science Graduate

Recent Graduates in Nursing and Midwifery Share Their Stories

Kieran Johnson
Registered General Nurse
Aisling Khuwais
Registered Midwife
Gwen Regan
NMPDU Project Officer / Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist
Lorraine Clarke Bishop
Clinical Placement Coordinator (CPC), for the RCSI Louth Hospital group and Elected Representative on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

The Future of Business

Lory Kehoe
Adjunct Assistant Professor in Technology Trends, Trinity College Dublin
Valerie McTaggart

Lecturer in Global Business Services, at the Institute of Technology, Sligo


Careers with a Law Degree

Asim Sheikh
Barrister-at-Law, CEDR Accredited Mediator Four Courts, Dublin and Assistant Professor, Legal Medicine, UCD School of Medicine
Dearbhla O'Gorman
Associate Solicitor, Tax Group at Arthur Cox.

Generation Apprenticeship Talks Hub

Wednesday, November 4th

1:50pm – 2.20pm

Skills and The Apprenticeship Route

Dr Mary-Liz Trant
Executive Director in SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority

Sr Development & Application Technologist
3.35pm – 4:05pm

Opportunities for Female Apprenticeships

Natasha Kinsella
Regional Skills Forum Manager, Dublin
Katie Haverty
Apprentice with the National Gallery of Ireland
Dawn O'Brien
Apprentice in Network Engineering

Thursday, November 5th

3:00pm – 3:30pm

A Guide to Apprenticeship

4:45pm – 5:15pm

The Apprenticeship Experience – Four apprentices in discussion

Eimhin Killilea
Key Account Manager with The City Bin Co
Jake Buckley
Data Analyst, AIB
Ali Miley
Network Technician with the ESB


The lobby - come on in and take a look around, you’ll find the Help Desk and IT Support here if you need it throughout the day

The Auditorium - head to the Auditorium for our live career talks and lectures, including live Q&A sessions

The Exhibitor Hall - explore the stands in the Exhibitor Hall and engage directly with exhibitors, ask questions in real-time through the chat function that will appear in each stand

The Network Hub - this is where Exhibitors and Guidance Counsellors can connect one-on-one or drop in to a group chat

Frequently Asked Questions

Higher Options is the foremost annual education expo for second level students run by The Irish Times in partnership with the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. Our virtual event will provide all the information second level students will need to make good decisions about their further and higher level studies. They will be able to engage directly with representatives from universities, colleges and education institutions from Ireland, the UK, Europe and beyond. With a full programme of talks and live Q&A sessions, students will be able to get information about the greatest range of courses and apprenticeships on offer from the comfort of their classroom or home.
This event is of most interest to senior cycle students in Ireland, their parents, guidance counsellors and those interested in finding out about study, training and further education options after the Leaving Cert exams.
The event will run from 1pm to 6pm on Wednesday, 4th& Thursday, 5th of November, 2020. A ticket will allow access on both days so students can access it at home with parents as well as in school.
This event is of most interest to senior cycle students in Ireland, their parents, guidance counsellors and those interested in finding out about study, training and further education options after the Leaving Cert exams.
Tickets for students cost €10 and can be purchased here
No. You do not need to download or install any software to participate. You only need to have access to the internet.
If you’ve purchased a Higher Options ticket, you will receive an email or text with your log-in information to our virtual platform a few days prior to the event.
A full programme of talks and lectures will take place each day. In addition representatives from the CAO, universities, colleges, further education institutions and educational bodies are available in the virtual exhibition hall to speak with you and answer questions.
Yes, all exhibitors will be able to answer questions in group chats and one-to-one discussions. They will also be able to advise you what material to gather from their stand for further information. The chat function will appear in every booth you visit. Simply type in a message and get the conversation started!
Talk sessions take place throughout the two days of Higher Options. A fully downloadable timetable of talks will appear on the Higher Options site and students are encouraged to consult the timetable in their preparations for the event.
The Talks and Lecture sessions cover a range of Career talks by industry professionals, as well as helpful advice on applying to colleges through the CAO, UCAS and International systems.
Yes. There will be live Q&A sessions with the speaker after each session where any questions you may have can be answered in real time.
All talks and exhibitor material will be available on-demand AFTER the event is over for 30 days. Only ticket holders will be able to access the platform post-event.
  • Higher Options may be different than a live event, but rules of respect remain the same.
  • All chats you engage in must be respectful.
  • No spamming of any kind will be tolerated.
If you still have a question that wasn’t answered above, email us at and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

FAQs for Exhibitors

Our online Platform has created an automated process to create and populate each exhibitor’s stand. Once participation is confirmed, our team will send you a link to begin the process. Exhibitors will be provided with a range of booth templates to choose from. Once completed, institution information, logos, course links, etc. will be uploaded
Each stand includes the following items:
  • Institution profile
  • Contact information
  • Links to Website, Social Media Pages, Career Sites, etc.
  • Video Vignettes (if desired)
  • Upload docs and presentations
Yes – exhibitors will need to be available answer student’s questions when the event is live.
Yes. Exhibitors can chat with students during the virtual event. Exhibitors can do group chat as well as private chat with students.
Yes when the event goes live tech support will be available.
The event is being promoted across our different media outlets, on our site, with social campaign, direct mail to guidance counsellors, exhibitors, editorial in Irish Times and press releases.