In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Lydia McClelland, head of W5 in Belfast
What was your first job?
My first job while I was a student at Queen’s University Belfast was as a sales assistant for Winemark. Once I had graduated I started a role as a market executive for Enterprise Ireland which gave me a strong business grounding and allowed me to make some good connections.
What qualifications do you have?
I started off with a BA Hons in Spanish, before completing a masters in business studies. Since then I have taken on a postgraduate diploma in marketing, a practitioner diploma in executive coaching and many other certificates in management, leadership, digital marketing and mobile marketing. I think I am addicted to learning.
What do you attribute your success to?
A lot of hard work and delivering what I’ll say I’ll deliver. I’m a realist and take a practical approach to everything I do.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I’m an action-orientated realist. I like to make things happen and make a difference in the organisation I work for. I have joined W5 at the right time. W5 is now undergoing a £4.5 million capital refurbishment programme which will be completed by May 2020. In line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy to encourage more young people to consider science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers, the investment is enabling W5 to reinvigorate our visitor experience. We have many exciting things to come.
Who do you look up to in business?
All self-employed and small business owners out there who are doing it for themselves. I admire their hard work and dedication.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
Seeking out the team’s view on things, involving them in decision making and ensuring there’s an open culture of communication. I appreciate honest and frank discussions. Our team is very creative and at the moment we are preparing for the Halloween Monster Manor which is our current exhibition, running until November 4.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
I think we’re very enterprising in Northern Ireland and I’d like to see more support for companies to reach their growth potential.
What website or app could you not do without?
Google and Parkmobile
What was the last book you read?
I’m really into audio books at the moment as I can listen to these on the move, if I’m walking or cycling to meetings in Belfast. I’ve recently listened to Ariana Huffington’s Thrive.
What car do you drive?
Honda CRV. However, since moving to W5 I use the Belfast Bikes to get to and from meetings in the city.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I have my motorbike licence and I used to ride a motorbike to work before having children.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Holidays and travel – I just love planning the next trip.