This week in our MHC Life Series, we hear from Áine Quigley, a Partner in our Real Estate team, specialising in commercial real estate. Áine chats about everything from her eclectic taste in books to her love of Monaghan GAA.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
I decided as a teenager that I wanted to be a lawyer and never really wavered in my decision. While I can’t fully recall the initial rationale for my choice, I am sure it had nothing to do with the exciting lifestyle portrayed in American legal dramas.
After studying law at UCD, I started out life in general practice. I really enjoyed the property transactions I worked on, primarily as I got good exposure to the clients. I still remember the buzz of giving our clients the keys to their new home for the first time. The other aspects of general practice didn’t appeal and I decided that a career in real estate was for me. I joined the real estate team in MHC almost seven years ago.
Favourite thing about your role?
I work in commercial real estate and really enjoy the challenges that it brings. Commercial real estate is a technical area where deals are constantly evolving and becoming more complex, which means that I am always learning. I enjoy the thrill of negotiating transactions, coming up with creative solutions and ultimately the buzz of completing transactions. The almost tangible nature of our work is another draw, in that I can literally see buildings/sites around the city, or the country for that matter, where I have had involvement in purchasing, selling, leasing or financing.
Talk us through a typical day for you
My days have a similar pattern whether I’m working from home or in the office. I start work at 8am, usually after a 6am wake up call courtesy of an energetic toddler. My daily workload will depend on the transactions active at that time, but generally involves drafting, reviewing and negotiating documents, engaging with clients to take instructions, provide advice and liaising with junior team members. When working from home I take our dog for a walk over lunch, and if I'm in the office I try to squeeze in a quick lunch or walk in with a colleague.
I break at 5pm to do the creche run and have dinner as a family before picking up where I left off after 7pm. I finish my work day by finalising my to-do list for the following day.
What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?
Being from Monaghan, with a GAA mad family, it was inevitable that I would support Monaghan GAA. I’m a fair-weather supporter, albeit not in the typical sense, I won’t turn my back if things aren’t going well, but I definitely prefer to go to matches when the weather is good. Not all of our outings to Croke Park to support the men’s, women’s and underage teams have ended in celebrations, but being a Monaghan supporter is a worthwhile hobby, particularly for an optimist like me. There have been lots of great games, tense finishes and intense post-match discussions over the past few years and we know our day is coming.
What books have you read recently?
I have an eclectic taste in books and often read a number at one time, an audio book for walking, a serious book on a topic I am interested in, and easy read for before bed. I love to cook and tend to read new cookbooks cover to cover – rather than dipping in and out to read specific recipes only. Nigella Lawson’s books are great for this and I really enjoyed Cook, Eat, Repeat. I have just finished reading State of Terror by Hilary Clinton and Louise Penny, which was an entertaining read. Next on my list is A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham; it has received great reviews and I’m actively planning to set a few hours aside to read it.
What's your idea of a perfect holiday/favourite place you've ever visited?
My ideal holiday is an active one, spent with family and friends, but with some downtime, and of course, really great food. Skiing ticks all the boxes as does a hiking holiday. Choosing my favourite place to visit is a tough one, but Yosemite is probably the highlight so far. As we were there in the middle of the summer we hiked before dawn each morning, to avoid the heat and the crowds, returning to the valley by lunch to picnic by the river. Afternoons were spent paddling in the river, reading and watching the world go by. Seeing the incredible waterfalls, giant sequoias and great views made the early starts worthwhile but I’m definitely a hiker rather than climber and didn’t chance El Capitan!
Interested in joining our Real Estate team? There are a wide variety of opportunities, with a Senior Associate (Commercial Real Estate) position open now.