How did you get into the industry that you are in now?
At University when I was completing my Masters Degree in Economics and focusing on international trade, I had a lot of opportunities to explore my career options and decide what would be the most suitable role for me. I always knew an office based job wasn’t for me as I like working in lively environments, where every day is different and I can be part of a team. Very quickly I discovered I had an eye for fashion and enjoyed working with clothing. Primark took a chance on me and has given me amazing opportunities to learn and to grow as a manager. I’ve grown to love retail more and more each day and this encourages me to succeed in my career.
If you weren’t in the career you are in now, what else would you be doing?
I was always fascinated by law as it is a very dynamic and diverse profession where every day is different. A career in law would give me the opportunity to help others and change lives. I believe a career in law would be very rewarding and it’s a profession I could succeed in due to my good communication, analytical and research skills.
What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Life is full of surprises and it’s important to see them as opportunities rather than obstacles. Aim high and always follow your dreams even when things don’t always go your way. Don’t give up when first attempts let you down and take control of your future. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t achieve what you are inspired to do. The world is a beautiful place and you need to experience what it has to offer.
What is a skill that you have that not many people know about?
I am a creative person and have a passion for interior design. Recently I bought my first home where I was able to use my interior design skills. On numerous occasions my family and friends have asked me to help them with their interiors and every time I get great feedback on my work. Professionally, one of my strongest skills is team building. It is important to me as a leader to build on people’s strengths and bring out the best in them.
Who is your female role model now and why?
Throughout my life I’ve had the opportunity and the honour to meet some amazing women, who have impacted me as a person and influenced my career, starting with my Mum who I have always looked up to and is my role model in life. My teachers, my professors at the University and more recently, my line managers and my Regional Controller Kari Rodgers at Primark have all had a positive impact on my life and career also. Over the years I have learnt that as a leader I can also positively influence my team and the people I work with. I would love to be the one who inspires young, ambitious women in their career and assure them that there is no reason why they can’t succeed.
For that reason one of my female role models is Breege O’Donoghue, who until recently was a Board Member and Group Director (Business Development & New Markets) in Primark, and played an important role in Primark’s international expansion. Breege is an ambassador for women in business. I had the pleasure of meeting her on numerous occasions and I was inspired by her drive, her determination to succeed and her exceptional leadership skills. She is a real example that you can achieve anything through hard work and determination.