This week in our MHC Life series, we speak to Charities & Not-for-Profit Partner, Alice Murphy. Alice tells us about her journey to MHC, her typical day working from home and her love of cycling.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
During my school days, I loved English, debating and languages so I was encouraged to opt for Law & French as my undergraduate degree. I already knew I loved French and I discovered quickly that law was also very interesting and challenging. With the benefit of a Law and French degree I was eligible to go on to do a bilingual master's degree in the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. From there, I moved on to a legal internship at global law firm White & Case in Brussels, which was my first real taste of the private practice world. It was an incredible early career experience. Following my return to Ireland I qualified as a solicitor, during the dark days of the last recession. My inspiration to move over to the charity and not-for-profit world was driven by a hope that I could help others to do good in the world and make a difference to society in Ireland, using my legal skills.
While I’m proud of the role I play in maintaining MHC’s position as the pre-eminent advisor to the charity sector in Ireland, I’m cognisant that my charity clients make such a difference to society in this country. My main role is facilitative, ensuring charities get the legal assistance they need to deliver their services to the most vulnerable in society.
Given our focus on good governance within the Charities & Not-for-Profit team, I am always delighted to see my charity clients recognised for excellence in governance.
Talk us through a typical day for you during the COVID-19 pandemic…
My day starts at 6am as we have an active one year old who is very much an early bird. It’s wonderful to spend time with him before the rest of the world wakes. I’m very fortunate to have a dedicated workspace in our garden (indoors!) and I usually do my 10 step commute at about 8am, taking a wee break at 8.45am if I am doing the crèche run that day. Like so many of us, my days are punctuated by Zoom calls. We do very regular catch ups and meetings within the team. A big plus of the work from home world has been sitting down for lunch with my husband, which was a previously a rarity, but I do miss my MHC colleagues as the canteen was a great social outlet during a busy day.
What has been your biggest learning so far WFH?
One of the most important things I have learned is that we humans really do have an incredible ability to evolve and adapt to the unexpected. None of us expected this pandemic and I am so proud of our team and MHC colleagues who have risen to the challenge of WFH.
One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye
(On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.)
Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, 1943
What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?
I think I hold the award for having the heaviest bike in MHC but I really enjoy cycling. Although I can’t match our hero MHC triathletes, the commute was an integral part of clearing my thoughts, so I still try to get out on the bike as often as I can. I am a big fan of the Irish Sea too, walking alongside it at least, if not diving in!