THIS week’s High Flyer is Alison Currie, operations manager, trade programmes at InterTradeIreland
What was your first job?
As a student, I had a variety of part time jobs ranging from a hospital cleaner to home help to bar work. My first ‘proper’ job was as a marketing assistant in a publishing company that printed B2B technical directories for the construction / landscaping sector.
What qualifications do you have?
BA Hons Business Studies with French (I spent my 3rd year studying at University in Strasbourg) and a Post Graduate degree in Local Economic Development
What do you attribute your success to?
Bringing focus, commitment, energy and a ‘can do’ attitude to achieve my work and life goals. I’m open to trying new ways of working and pushing out of my comfort zone but also making sure I have a good work/life balance.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I’m a positive person, the glass is always half full. I’m approachable, engaging and always interested in meeting new people.
Who do you look up to in business?
I look up to strong females who achieve success, whether that is entrepreneurs like Jo Malone or Liz Earle or someone who is successful in their own particular field or area of expertise, like Laura Kuenssberg. I’m also really impressed by the large numbers of local entrepreneurial females setting up and running SMEs in NI and recently heard an inspirational presentation from Maeve Monaghan of the NOW Group.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I think it’s imperative to keep communicating and sharing information so that everyone understands how their role contributes to a task. I believe it is also important to treat people fairly and to be flexible, always keeping in mind that different people learn and approach things in different ways.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
Solving the key issues that affect day to day trade and commerce need significant focus and I would urge all the political parties to continue to collaborate to ensure that our businesses are not disadvantaged in any way.
What website or app could you not do without?
What was the last book you read?
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
What car do you drive?
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I took up jogging for my 40th birthday and within a year completed the Causeway Coast 10k and Belfast half marathon.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Family life is my biggest priority outside of work and my two kids keep me busy with lifts to various sporting events at the weekends. I enjoy a good gin and tonic and try to get in as much travel and holidays as possible.