THIS week’s High Flyer is Cara Macklin, director of Milesian Manor Lifestyle Care Home in Magherafelt.
What was your first job?
At 14 I started my first business with my brother, running coaches to local nightclubs. My first paid job was as a kitchen porter.
What qualifications do you have?
I studied Consumer Studies at the University of Ulster, which is a business degree specialising in the food industry. In 2015 I was really lucky to get a scholarship to attend one of the top MBAs in the world at Cass Business School London. During this year I got to work with people from over 40 different countries, carried out projects in Iceland, South Africa and China and worked with world class companies such as the Doyle Hotel Group.
What do you attribute your success to?
Surrounding myself with great people in my professional and personal life. It’s so important to have amazing people who support, and work with me that truly believe in my goals. I’m really passionate about innovation, and creating things that are truly unique and make a real difference to people’s lives. Combined with this, having a genuine interest in everyone I meet creates long term relationships, which is essential for any success. Finally keep it simple. There is so much information today, you need to cut through all the noise and focus on what’s important.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
Passionate, ambitious and fun with a warm heart.
Who do you look up to in business?
There are so many amazing leaders in Northern Ireland. But if I had to choose one person globally I’d like to meet it would be Richard Branson.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I really get to know people properly, understanding each one individually and what they are passionate about. It’s essential to give people the best environment to grow, through instilling confidence and belief in them, along with a trusting and supportive environment to thrive. Finally noticing the small things they do, and recognizing these.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
Obviously at the moment, not having a working government in Northern Ireland is doing huge damage to the business community. With Brexit next year and other key decisions to be made locally, now more than ever we need politicians back in Stormont.
What website or app could you not do without?
Headspace meditation app. This year we opened Lifestyle Care Home Milesian Manor so life is pretty busy. My meditation app has helped me deal with the busyness and stress that life throws at you.
What was the last book you read?
Conversational intelligence by Judith Glaser
What car do you drive?
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
In my spare time I love millinery, making hats and fascinators for a day out at the races or a wedding.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
I love travelling and being able to experience new things and cultures. I’ve climbed the Great Wall of China, rode a tandem bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and stood on the top of Europe at Jungfraujoch in Switzerland. My bucket list just gets longer every year.