Celebrating International Women’s Day through a week of Inspiring Stories
To mark International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8th March, we’ll be publishing a blog every day this week to celebrate just some of the inspiring women in our workplace.
While putting this feature together, we came across so many inspiring stories that we wanted to celebrate IWD for more than just one day. So throughout this week, we’ll be posting and sharing stories from just some of the people who inspire the way we work every day. Let the stories begin…
Our first article is from Project Manager, Nadine O’Keeffe, who has been with Abtran for eleven years. Nadine was nominated by her colleagues for being an inspiring leader for her unwavering commitment to her goals and never taking ‘No’ for an answer. Nadine’s story is accompanied by a video showcasing her role as Project Manager and as part of Abtran’s Consulting offering in this space.
There have been many special moments during my eleven-year career at Abtran. My journey has taken me from Customer Service Advisor to managing the front desk and meeting and greeting clients, including an official visit from the then Taoiseach, Brian Cowen.
In 2011, I applied for the role of Project Co-Ordinator at Abtran and was successful. Since then, I’ve progressed to Project Manager and have had the opportunity to work on a number of successful project management programmes and as part of Abtran’s Consulting team, which has been a great learning curve and extremely rewarding.
Another career highlight that comes to mind is my award for ‘Abtran Employee of the Year’ in 2007. The plaque, presented by our CEO, is still nicely polished and sitting on my Grandmother’s mantelpiece.
One of my more recent career highlights, is a little more personal. I have a fear of public speaking. The final straw came a few years ago when I was asked to deliver a class presentation as part of a Business Management degree I was taking at night. Somehow I managed to deliver three minutes of project material in less than 50 seconds (it’s recorded!). So I took myself off to ‘Toast Masters’ where I built up confidence by speaking in front of large groups of people. Since then, public speaking has become easier and I subsequently became Public Relations Officer for the club. While the fear of public speaking that I had five years ago is still very much with me, today it’s a lot smaller and thankfully, I’m a lot better. I just keep challenging myself, seeking feedback and always looking for ways to improve.
I have a lot of great influencers in my life and people who I look up to both professionally and personally. Of course, one huge influence is my 7 1/2-year-old son, Odhran. He gave me the motivation to go back to College by night to obtain my Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Management and the drive to continuously work towards my career goals. He’s known as the ‘little Emperor’ in our house as he influences the whole family every day. He’d also like to be known for his own influence on the GAA and soccer pitch (thought I’d give him his own shout-out here too).
Bring out the best in others
What particularly inspires me are people who focus on bringing out the best in others to help them reach their goals. I see a lot of this here in Abtran and the great thing is this opportunity is open to all employees in the company and there’s a lot of great talent here. I really enjoy the variety of work at Abtran and the vast amount of opportunities available in the company.
Becoming a Mum and educating myself through 3rd level education by night is something I am very proud of. I’m also very proud to be related to Michael Collins (I’m a great-great-grandniece). He had a goal and a belief in something perceived to be impossible by most at the time. He didn’t stop until he reached a goal he was satisfied with and died trying to convince the rest of the country.
Make the Impossible, Possible
Looking back, if I had a single piece of advice, it’s this: never pass up a good opportunity because you might be afraid of the outcome. Keep pursuing what you want until you get it. If you get knocked back on the first attempt, keep trying. Stay true to your goals. Make your impossible, possible.