As part of our MHC Intern Life series, Kate Noone tells us about her experience at MHC, studying at Maynooth University and why she chose to study law.
What inspired you to venture on this career path/why did you choose law?
Like most students at the age of 18 after finishing the Leaving Certificate, I was rather unsure of what career path I wanted to choose. Throughout school I had been a keen debater, enjoying building upon arguments and formulating strategies in order to undermine the other team’s arguments. Law had always appealed to me and I enjoyed keeping up with the bigger cases in the news. I also knew that I wanted to do something that was challenging and diverse, with options to explore different areas of expertise. In the end I chose to do a Business and Law degree, as I was intrigued by the interchanging nature of these subjects, and noted that the combination would be useful in an increasingly commercialised Irish economy.
What was your journey to MHC?
As part of the undergraduate Law Programme in Maynooth University, students are offered the opportunity to complete a placement in one of Ireland’s leading law firms. I decided to apply for the programme, as I believed that the practical knowledge and experience I would gain would be of great benefit to my studies, as well as my professional development.One of the firms included was MHC, and from listening to the testimonials of many trainees, who highlighted the firm’s open, collegial atmosphere, I thought that it would be the best fit for me. Throughout my placement I experienced a continuous approach to learning, which was facilitated, amongst other things, by the open plan layout. This sustained approach was one of the main reasons I decided to apply for the Summer Internship Programme, as it is huge importance to me, as a recent graduate looking to develop my skills.
First impressions of MHC?
Upon starting in MHC, I noted the friendly, interactive atmosphere straight away. Everyone was only too happy to help and share their knowledge and expertise. It didn’t take me long to settle in and quickly discover that this was the attitude throughout the firm, at all levels. From the start, the open-plan setting encouraged me to ask questions and enabled me to experience all aspects of MHC working life. It was clear that the collaborative work ethic resonated throughout all areas of the firm. We experienced this throughout our projects, where we received a wide variety of support from a range of different people including the library, marketing team and partners and associates.
What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?
I have always been a big fan of music. I’ve played the violin for years and I love to sing. I enjoyed taking part in any musicals, choirs and orchestras I could throughout school and college. Apart from music, I love to keep active, with hiking, cycling and running being some of my favourite ways to keep fit. I also love swimming and surfing, primarily due to the fact that I spent most of my summers on the beaches of Belmullet in Co Mayo, where there was no shortage of towering waves!
What was your first job?
Throughout college I worked as an activity leader in a summer camp in UCD for international students learning English. The camp took place during the summer months in various universities throughout Dublin. The job was above all fun and always exciting, with different excursions and activities every day. However, it also came with a lot of responsibility, as we were in charge of ensuring the safety and welfare of the children and teens that were in our care. It was also essential to continuously engage with students and facilitate the development of their English language skills through the activities we led. It required a little bit of imagination but that’s what made it interesting and rarely ever boring. Although the task of being in charge of a large group of students was at first daunting, I learned a lot from working in this social, collaborative environment, most notably the importance of communication and teamwork.
What's your idea of a perfect holiday/favourite place you've ever visited?
This summer I went to Thailand with a few of my friends to mark the end of our time in college. We went for a month in total, and despite a few minor bumps along the way (bugs being the main issue), it was a great experience. We started off in Chiang Mai, which was one of my favourite places. We did everything from meeting the elephants, to learning how to cook traditional Thai dishes. From there we went on to the islands, where we spent nearly every day at one of Thailand’s famous white sand beaches, or taking boat trips to the surrounding islands. The fact that we could go to one of the numerous food markets every day and keep ourselves fed with Pad Thai and sticky rice was also another bonus. I would definitely love to go back again someday, maybe minus the backpack though!