What advice would you offer to students and alumni of NUI Galway?
To students, make the very most of every minute you have – the years really do fly by. There is so much available to you at NUI Galway. Take the opportunity to get involved in societies and clubs along the way. There really is something for everyone and you meet so many students from other disciplines.
Tell us about your personal and educational journey
In truth, starting out, I didn’t have a clear career objective in place, but I knew I wanted to go to NUI Galway. I studied the Bachelor of Civil Law (2004-2007) and it was a wonderful foundational degree. Initiatives such as the clinical placement offered in 3rd year were excellent and a great opportunity. While I didn’t end up pursuing a legal career, it gave me excellent training and combined with my involvement in volunteer groups and societies on campus, shaped my experiences and career. I moved to Dublin for a few years to work with Ashoka, which works with global social entrepreneurs and then moved to Australia to undertake my postgraduate studies in Human Rights at the University of Sydney as part of the Australian government’s Endeavour award programme. On completion of my studies, I started working with IDA Ireland and had the opportunity to return to Australia as director of IDA for Australia and New Zealand.
What does your job entail?
The role involves working with companies from across Australia and New Zealand to encourage them to invest in Ireland. We work with companies from across all sectors to help them consider Ireland as a location to establish European operations. Companies that are investing are interested in talent, track record, infrastructure, access and connectivity, and proximity to third-level educational institutes such as NUI Galway.
We help companies by providing information for their evaluation, organising bespoke visits to help them understand and evaluate the location, meet some of the other businesses in the area and develop a business plan for Ireland. Once the company establishes, we continue to work very closely with them in both Ireland and Australia to help them grow and build their presence in Ireland. We work closely with the Irish Embassy, Enterprise Ireland, and Tourism Ireland as team Ireland in Australia.