What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Outside of work I spend a lot of my spare time roller skating. I’ve skated for about eight years, since starting university, and have competed in a number of disciplines, including freestyle slalom and speed skating. I now dedicate most of my spare time to playing roller derby, which I’ve played for two years. Roller derby is a sport played indoors, on a flat, oval track, with two teams of five people. It’s a full contact, high intensity sport, where ‘blockers’ try to stop the opposing ‘jammer’ from scoring points by stopping them skating past them. It’s a great way to stay fit and vent frustration after a hard day! I also really enjoy cycling – both road and mountain biking – and hope to compete in my first cross country race next year.
What was your dream job when you were a child?
As a young child I dreamed of becoming a pilot, but my hopes were dashed when I learnt that the RAF wouldn’t accept someone with eyesight as poor as mine! Nevertheless, I joined the Air Cadets as a teenager where I had the chance to have a number of flying lessons, often including a few aerobatics. I hope to be able to start having flying lessons in the future, with the goal of gaining a private pilot’s licence. At the age of about 11 I began to develop an interest in architecture, and while being an architect may not be quite as exciting as a fighter pilot, I’m sure I made the right decision.
What has been your greatest career achievement?
Upon starting a degree in architecture in 2008, my ultimate goal was to become an architect. I found the training extremely difficult and at times wondered if I could complete the minimum of 7 years necessary to qualify. After completing my degree and masters degree, I joined Maber and started the final year of study whilst working full time. With the support of Maber, I was able to pass my Part 3 exams and qualified as an architect in November 2015. I’m proud to have been able to qualify within 7 years as the majority of architects take longer, so although it was extremely difficult, it was worth the struggle. I think this is the greatest achievement of my career to date, as it will allow many doors to open for my future career and I’m looking forward to working on many exciting projects in the years to come.
Outside work, what are you most proud of?
My proudest achievement outside of work is being selected for the Irish national roller derby training team. Having attended try-outs for the team in early October, I was recently notified that I have made it through selection to become a member of the training team. I’m due to start training with the national squad in November and compete in a European tournament in Cardiff at the end of the month. This will be my first taste of international sport and I’m really looking forward to it. My ultimate aim is to be selected for the final squad and compete in the World Cup, which will take place in December 2017. The World Cup is the highlight of the sport’s calendar, watched by thousands of people across the world, and it would be an honour to represent Ireland at the event.
Thanks to Matthew Anderson for the roller derby photographs