In a twist to our normal MHC Life series, our next few interviews will focus on WFH & life during the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, we chat to Marion Gammell from our HR team. Marion talks us through her daily WFH routine and who inspires her during these times.
Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career?
I actually started third level studying science in UCD. I enjoyed it but knew that it wasn't the career for me so I began working in a recruitment agency and this gave me my first taste of HR.
I moved on to Paddy Power and spent 6 years working in the HR department there. The first year cemented my decision to pursue a career in HR so I did my HR Management degree while working full time and once I finished my 4 years, I decided to do some travelling. I really learned my trade in PP and met some very interesting individuals.
After travelling for a couple of months, I settled in Melbourne and worked in the HR department of a construction business for nearly 2 years. Australia was amazing but homesickness was not. So here I am, almost 6 years in MHC and the time has flown.
Favourite thing about your role?
I really enjoy learning and I get to do that every day in MHC. Whether it's listening to someone subtly influencing others or talking to a colleague about how to improve processes, it definitely keeps me interested. There is so much experience here and I notice myself regularly thinking "oh, that's good. I'll use that in the future".
There are opportunities for learning everywhere. While things are difficult at the moment with COVID-19 and everyone is understandably stressed adapting to new ways of working, I try to make the most of the situation I find myself in. I am lucky that I can work from home and while I would enjoy more interaction with people, I'm learning about new technologies that make WFH easier. Though I do slightly regret introducing my nieces and nephews to Zoom. Did you know you can draw a picture while Zooming and everyone on the call can contribute? It's bedlam!
Talk us through a typical day for you during the COVID-19 pandemic…
I get up around 8 and do 3 laps of Ringsend park. I get back home, shower etc and grab my muesli as I read the headlines.
HR have a group zoom at 9.30 every morning so it's a good opportunity to say hello and catch up on work. Talking on the phone is great but seeing people is more human!
The WFH bumps are mostly ironed out now. I miss our printer as I'm a "ticking off lists" person but excel is a pretty good substitute.
We're dealing with a lot of queries in HR at the moment but the days are going by pretty quickly. The weather has been beautiful so I try to do another few laps of the park at lunchtime or just after work once there aren't too many people around.
Evenings are spent chatting with family and friends, reviewing the various memes my cocooning mother has figured out how to send and watching some TV. Not very exciting but I am enjoying the simplicity of it all.
What tv shows have you binge watched during lockdown?
I love my movies and TV. I have given in and purchased Disney+ just so I can watch the Mandalorian with baby yoda. He is adorable!
I've convinced my flatmate that now is a good time for her to get into the Wire. Even though I've watched it before, I look forward to the evenings so we can get a couple of episodes in. The Wire is a slow burner but after a few episodes you can't stop. There are 5 seasons and it's considered to be one of the best, if not THE best TV show of all time. If you haven't seen it, you really should.
I'd also recommend Succession – Brian cox is awesome in it.
Who is inspiring you during this pandemic?
I have a sister and a lot of friends working as nurses and they inspire me with the sacrifices they make all the time. They have such an important role in society but their value is often overlooked.
They are carers, they are counselors, they are coaches, they are parents, they are healers, they are a comforting word during a difficult time. They provide so many important services to their patients and during this crisis they are finally being recognised for the work they do.
They spend their days making other people's lives better – it's as simple and inspiring as that. #notallheroeswearcapes