Senior Product Manager – Hubspot
How have you come to live in Ireland South East?
I was born and raised in Waterford City. At 18 I left the region for college in Limerick, then worked in Dublin and following that, spent the guts of 10 years in Vancouver, Canada. We moved back to my husband’s home turf of Kilkenny in 2016, with some extra baggage, in the form of two small children. We wanted our boys to grow up near family, and spend their childhood in the South East.
What do you like best about Ireland South East?
When I first moved to Kilkenny I joined the local CoderDojo, [inlinetweet]as a mentor[/inlinetweet], and a year later submitted a proposal to host the global CoderDojo conference, DojoCon, on behalf of the club. Starting from zero, we managed to pull together an army of help and support, to put together a four day event with major global sponsors, along with huge support from every part of the region and attendees from 14 different countries. The event blew every previous DojoCon out of the water and this was down to the people of the region. The can-do attitude and the magnitude of talent in this region is phenomenal. There is huge opportunity to tap into the wealth of the creativity in the region.
“The can-do attitude and the magnitude of talent in this region is phenomenal. There is huge opportunity to tap into the wealth of the creativity in the region.”
Tell us about your career?
I’ve been working in tech my entire career. I recently joined HubSpot’s business enablement team, in Dublin, as a product manager on their billing platform. Before HubSpot I worked for Expedia for over eight years in various product type roles. The more recent projects focussed on innovation and customer delight for the more stressful travel experiences, such as flight delays, finding the cheapest fares etc. It was a lot of fun to work on these types of projects, and also gave me a lot of insight in financial tech, specifically in the e-commerce space.
I’m a huge advocate for women in tech, and also creating more flexible working conditions specifically around remote working.
What are the benefits of living in Ireland South East?
I love the feeling of living in a smaller place, with a strong sense of community. I’m never further than 10 minutes away from anywhere in Kilkenny. We have a wonderful neighbourhood, everything is so easily accessed. We are less than an hour from the sea, the mountains, the City. We have it all.
Can you tell us a secret about ISE or a favourite place that people might not know?
I grew up in Waterford, but spent much of my childhood in Clonmel with my cousins. And I obviously love living in Kilkenny now, so I have a few.
In Waterford there’s nothing better than a walk on the cliffs in Dunmore East during a wild winter’s day – it’s the best place in the world to clear the cobwebs. For later in the day Downes’ pub on Thomas Street is one of those pubs that only locals know about, and if you’re feeling energetic you can even play some squash out the back of the pub. Many an evening was spent there in my early 20’s.
In Clonmel my favourite memories were the walks in Slievenamon with all my cousins on Stephens Day. As for Kilkenny, I love the Dunmore Caves, which shows a different history to Kilkenny, which we don’t usually see. It’s quite incredible to see what’s there, and a total mystery as to what’s been undiscovered. The other place I love in Kilkenny is the antique auction out in Goresbridge, where you can pick up treasures and also great bargains.
What would be your top tip for people looking to move back from abroad?
My biggest recommendation is to be present. Don’t be constantly comparing everything to how it was where you were before. Take a step back from constantly seeing what’s happening where you left, from a social media and general media perspective. It’s not helpful and remember that social media is not a true reflection.
From the practical standpoint, gather all your documentation before you leave. This is a lot easier than having to go back after the fact – proof of no claims for insurance, credit checks, work references, house references etc.