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As part of our MHC Life series, we chat to Corporate Governance Associate, Nikki Evans. Nikki tells us about being part of the silver medal winning team at the 2018 Women's Hockey World Cup, people who inspire her and the road to Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

What inspired you to venture on this career path/why did you choose law?

My favourite movie from a young age has been A Few Good Men with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson! Admittedly, defending two US Marines from court martial is slightly different from working in a

corporate law firm but it’s where my interest began.

The law provides a framework for everything we do day-to-day and when I went on to study Business and Law in UCD, I was able to develop my interest. On finishing college I thought that I would have to choose a career in either business or law but having completed internships and gaining experience in large commercial law firms, it made me realise how important the overlap between both fields is. Both areas of my studies have been invaluable tools going forward in my career as a young lawyer.

After graduating from UCD, I was delighted to accept a training contract with Mason Hayes & Curran. After completing all my professional exams and training, I qualified as a lawyer in April 2017.

I am highly self-motivated, extremely competitive and I always strive to achieve the best possible success in everything I do in life. This is the building block in my drive and dedication to perform at my highest level both academically and in sport. I am confident in my ability and understand now how much work is required to perform at the highest level, be it in sport, study or work. I regard these as invaluable traits that would permeate through all performance elements of my life.

I could not have achieved all of this without the continued support of Mason Hayes & Curran, UCD and the Law Society of Ireland.

Talk us through a typical day for you…

Full time squad training Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Recovery session Wednesday, training Thursday and Friday while working Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. The most important day of the week – Saturday – my rest day! The same routines are repeated seven days a week.

A typical day working and training pretty much goes like this – dreading the sounds of my alarm when it goes off around 6 am! First - coffee. Once I am up and have my coffee and overnight oats – I am ready to start the day! My bags would all be packed the night before for the day ahead so I that I am organised and ready to go. After morning routines, I would head to UCD to the gym to get my strength and conditioning session done. I will head into work then where I will have my second breakfast of the day, poached eggs and brown bread toasted. I will make sure to hydrate throughout the day in work and get out for a walk when I am having lunch. Three hours before training, around 4 pm, I will eat a snack at my desk to prepare myself for my next workout. We will have a two hour pitch session in the evening and I will repeat the same routines. After dinner, my leisure time starts which I will spend chilling with my family or friends or watching Netflix.

Career advice I would give?

It’s never too late to try something. Believe that anything is possible. If you want something, go get it. There are no barriers, there are no excuses. Never give up, keep chasing your dreams and do what you love.

People who inspire me……

My number one supporter has been there since the start and encouraged me every step of the way. Supported me, drove me everywhere, trained with me, stood on the side line and never missed a game. Kicked every ball with me, hit every shot. He made me believe that anything is possible if you work hard enough. Through the highs and the lows he is always there for me.

He is my hero, thanks Dad.

One thing most people don’t know about you?

I have 5 metal plates in my jaw having broken my jaw in 3 different places at the last Olympic Qualifiers.

Tokyo 2020 is less than a year away (303 days today!), how are preparations going?

This is the big one. We have never qualified for an Olympic Games. We made history at the World Cup last year but the Olympics have always been the pinnacle, the one we have chased.

We came so close for qualifying for London 2012 and even closer for the Rio 2016 when the width of a post in a sudden death penalty shoot-out was all that separated us from qualifying for the Olympics. We were agonisingly close. It was heart-breaking to lose in that fashion and the lowest point of my sporting career. As a team, it took us months to get over the loss. But now it is just a motivating factor. This will be my third Olympic cycle…so I am hoping for third time lucky!

Essentially we have been training on a full time basis since July. We have already seen some huge improvements as a team from this increased contact time. This has been invaluable and certainly over the next couple of weeks, the programme we have in place will give us our best chance of qualifying for the Olympic Games. Our next and final step for Olympic Qualification takes place on 2 and 3 November 2019 in Energia Stadium, Donnybrook against Canada. We are hungry to create more history and become the first women's team to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

We are always interested in hearing from talented and experienced lawyers at all levels who are looking to relocate to Dublin.

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MHC Life: Alice Murphy

MHC Life: Nicola Brody

MHC Life: Gerard Kelly

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