In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Mags Dolan, director and project manager at Cowen (www.cowen.com)
What was your first job?
My family owned a grocery shop when I was growing up, so I worked there in the evenings, weekends and holidays.
What qualifications do you have?
I hold a masters in programming and a BSc honours degree in social policy from the University of Ulster. Also, a Cisco networking certification.
What do you attribute your success to?
My own motivation to succeed. Having the values of respect, integrity and courage instilled in me by my parents. They taught me to always treat people with respect regardless of my personal feelings, which has been a key contributing factor to the success of my projects and establishing long lasting work relationships. Convincing people of my integrity thereby gaining credibility in a project contributed directly to my success. Courage has helped me personally to take on new challenges and to break through some glass ceilings along the way. I owe it to my husband. For all the times I was working long hours, he has been supportive in helping me strike the right balance with our home life and project commitments.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
Honest, friendly, practical, thoughtful person with a good sense of humour and positive outlook. Shorter than I’d prefer.
Who do you look up to in business?
Bill Gates, because although being the richest person in the world he started the biggest charity in the world funding projects focusing on public health and education programmes. He balances being an Entrepreneur, with being a philanthropist/humanitarian.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I always make an effort to listen to the people I work with to understand what motivates them so that I can consider their needs while we work towards a common goal. A friend who had served in the US military once told me ‘Mission first, people always’. I have tried to adopt this motto into practice.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
I would like to see more cultural diversity, encourage more people into our community through improved transportation. Adding more direct international flights from/to Belfast and higher speed direct train services from/to Dublin.
What website or app could you not do without?
For outside the office I need email to stay connected and Google for instant information. For relaxing I couldn’t live without Spotify.
What was the last book you read?
The Wisdom of Wolves by Elli Radinger. She is calmly persuasive in this part memoir, part natural history analysis on the wolves of Yellowstone park, demonstrating their compatibility with traditional human values. I admire her conviction, stepping away from her profession as a lawyer to a life dedicated to writing and working with wolves.
What car do you drive?
Audi A5. I love driving it because it has throttle, before it I had been driving a Corsa for eight years and wondering which hill would finally defeat us!
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I love exploring new places and living abroad. So far, I’ve lived abroad in London and New York. I hope to have the opportunity to live abroad again.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Creativity, whether it’s an art exhibition, a new book, show, or concert and I usually enjoy going with a friend.