McGraw Hill Blended Podcast

In conversation with McGraw Hill about my book ‘Surviving your first year at University – A student toolkit’

Blended with Catherine O’Connor – Preparing for your first year at University |

Release of Grief & Fatigue: Families & the Pandemic: Stories of Struggle and Hope

I am delighted to be a contributor to this publication, Grief & Fatigue: Families & the Pandemic – Stores of Struggle & Hope.

Advice and stories from renowned mediators and related professionals,
artists, and others affected by the Pandemic from around the world.
 Created & edited by Michael Lang and Peter Nicholson. 
Editorial assistance by Georgia Daniels & Laurel Amaya. (Proceeds from sales go to Ukranian refugees)

Reflecting and Recalibrating post-pandemic

The journey of COVID 19

Catherine O’Connor, Education Consultant, Motivational speaker and Author, explores the experience and challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic and draws on her poetry anthology ‘COVID voices’ which unfolds the story of pain, suffering, rejection, loneliness, confusion and despair leading to the appreciation of the minutiae of life and the value of relationships.

  • What matters to us post-pandemic?
  • What life lessons have we drawn?
  • Are we ready for the new normal?
  • Can we balance the old with the new?
  • Risk and resilience – do we need both?
  • What does the future hold?
  • Can this be a fresh start?
  • Where do we begin?


Delighted to announce my new book

Surviving Your First Year at University – A Student Toolkit

“Going to University is an exciting time but it can also feel scary and overwhelming. This excellent guide helps demystify some of the technicalities, so students can easily navigate the system…  Recommended reading for anyone keen to make the most of this brilliant life opportunity.”Lynda Brady, Pro Vice Chancellor (Student Experience), Edge Hill University, UK.


Available at: McGraw Hill  and on Amazon

My New Book: ‘Grief Is’

Delighted to announce my book ‘Grief Is’ which takes its readers through a journey, expressed in poetic form, to a place which finds light and hope in the heart.

Available worldwide.on multiple book sites including Amazon ISBN 9781788233293

Kindle edition also available. You might purchase – you might review!

Are you getting ready for an online job interview?

Most job interviews today are conducted through zoom or a similar type of platform.

You will need to put your best face forward so dress for where you want to be, not for where you are. 

Practice using the platform and become familiar with the various functions such as: sound, video, screen sharing and chat boxes.

Conduct the interview in a quiet and uncluttered space. Keep your desk clear. Your background should portray a professional image.  

Slow down your speech. The interview panel is getting used to your voice and accent.   

Practice looking into the camera.

Avoid any note taking.  The interviewers want to see you not the top of your head!

Similarly, don’t be tempted to read or consult notes – this looks very obvious using this platform.  Would you read or consult notes if the interview was conducted person to person?

Check technology, broadband speed and signal well in advance of the interview.

Log on in good time, at least 10 minutes ahead of the interview time.  Treat the waiting time as the time you would normally spend in the reception area of a building, waiting to be called. 

Once admitted, check that you can be heard and seen.

Remember to smile when greeted!

Never assume that your microphone is silent or your camera is in the off position.

No matter what checks you have done before the interview, do not assume the computer will remember the changes – you must check that all is in order with both sound and camera.

As in the face to face interview situation, the interview is not over until you have left the building.  Treat the laptop as you would do the building, ensuring that all applications are fully shut down. How many times have you heard mutterings when a caller assumed a call was finished?

Remember that you have been called for interview so the panel wants to hear you tell your story. Make it a memorable one for them.

Never miss a Monday

An evening motivational talk for parent groups delivered nationwide

This follows the success of the high demand for motivational talks on making a successful transition to college and a rising demand from parent groups concerned about their sons and daughters preparing for the uncertainties of the world ahead.

  • What does the world of work look like for the next generation?
  • Seeking and recognising opportunity.
  • The importance of values, choice and consequence.
  • Risk and resilience and dealing with life’s stresses.
  • Managing self – Is anxiety a new epidemic?
  • How the new generation can manage change, face and embrace new challenges?
  • The value of further and higher education.
  • Preparing a generation for mobility, employability and citizenship.

What can I come away with from this talk?

You will come away with different ways of looking at the world as we try to help our young people understand some of the challenges of the future of work and how to deal with these challenges in a world of great uncertainty.

Cracking The College Code

A motivational talk for parent and/or student groups delivered nationwide

This talk was developed in response to addressing the findings that up to 7,000 students drop out of our third level system every year.

Dropping out of college brings financial strain and also brings a mental, physical and emotional cost which is distressing for the individuals and their families.

Covid19 is placing unforeseen pressures on this community of learners. Tuition and learning routines will be different and students need to adapt.

What can I come away with from this talk?

Students are motivated to take ownership of their own learning journeys and to develop this conversation with parents and influencers.

Both parents and students will come away with lots of insights and practical tips on how students can make informed choices, key to making the most of the college experience.

Parents leave with a quiet confidence to let go and facilitate their students to take control, having identified and maybe even discussed some of the challenges of going to college together by looking at:

  • Covid19 pressures, tuition and study routines
  • Choice and consequence
  • Life before and after the CAO
  • Making informed choices 
  • Getting to know how the third level system works
  • Dealing with the fast pace of change
  • What makes students successful at college
  • Day to day life at college
  • Socialising and the law
  • Study and part-time work – getting the balance right
  • What parents and students expect from each other
  • How to communicate with college offices and staff
  • Preparing for an uncertain future


“I have attended many talks in the school over the years but this by far outshines the rest. Her presentation and delivery was clear, informative and interesting. It is great to get the insight from the third level view from Catherine. All parents came away so much more knowledgeable”

Parent from St. Colmcille’s School, Knocklyon, Dublin

Price dependent on location and available on request – call 086 601 70 36

Online presentations available