MHC Life: Eimear O’Brien
14 August 2020
This week in our MHC Life series, we speak to Senior Associate Eimear O'Brien from our Intellectual Property team. Eimear talks to us about her upcoming nuptials and ringing the NASDAQ bell.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
Having been involved in debating and public speaking in school, a career in law was often suggested to me. As part of my transition year work experience, I spent a week in the Four Courts shadowing a number of barristers and I loved the experience. The following summer I started work as an intern in a private practice in Limerick and continued to work there each summer while studying Law in Trinity.
I started an internship with MHC in April 2013 and I have been here ever since. In my second round interview, Declan Black asked me whether I was aware of anything significant and tax-related in the news that day. I spent the journey home searching online but I'm still not quite sure what the answer was. Thankfully, it mustn't have been too important.
What was your first job?
My very first job was running the Tayto shop in primary school when I was 11. It was a much sought after position which meant that you could leave class when the Tayto delivery arrived each month. A team of us would then sell crisps to the other students during the break. We did a good trade with Wheelies and Snaps just 10p each at the time. Unfortunately, my team was ultimately fired for locking another team member in the store room. I like to think I have matured since then.
Talk us through a typical day for you during the COVID-19 pandemic…
Before WFH, I would usually get an early train into the office and be at my desk at 7.30am. Without the need for a commute, I find myself with a little extra time to sleep, which is always welcome. Luckily, I have the apartment to myself during the day and have adopted my fiancé's desk and PC as my own workstation. It turns out that a gaming monitor is excellent for reviewing large documents. We have a team workflow call every day at 9am. I try to keep to my standard working routine during the day with the odd distraction to collect the latest post or courier delivery. The greatest difference for me is the flexibility in the evenings. I can break to have dinner a little earlier and then jump back online. This is great particularly as we often work with US-based clients who come online later in the day.
What are you most looking forward to when normality prevails?
I am most looking forward to getting married in September, having had to postpone our original date in March. The night before the wedding will be the first time I will stay at my parents' house since February of this year. I've made quite a few 4/5 hour round trips to Clare now and I'm definitely looking forward to being able to relax for an evening in front of the fire. It probably won't be normality as we knew it but having our family and close friends around us on the day will be amazing after so much time apart.
What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?
I am never too far from my Kindle. I love reading in my spare time and most recently read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. When I get an opportunity to meet up with friends, I love arranging walks. Walking and talking is the perfect blend of fun and exercise, which is something I find I'm getting less of despite the multiple trips from the desk to the kettle.
One thing most people don't know about you?
On 10 July 2006, I took part in the ringing of the opening bell for NASDAQ in Times Square alongside the author Frank McCourt and the Concern Worldwide (US) chairman at the time, Thomas Moran. The invitation was part of a two week trip to Haiti via New York, which itself was a team prize for winning the national Concern Debating competition that year.