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This week in our MHC Life series, we speak to Investment Funds partner, Sara O'Reilly. Sara talks us through her journey to MHC, her love of yoga and her typical day working from home.

Tell us a bit about you and your career journey to MHC – what inspired you to get into this career

After I left school, I studied Commerce at UCD intending to become an accountant but I much preferred the subjects contract law and company law to my accountancy subjects. When I finished college I decided to study for the Blackhall Place Entrance exams and become a solicitor instead. I successfully passed the exams, but in the early 1990s it was extremely difficult to get an apprenticeship (as it was called in those days). After sending out hundreds of CVs with no success, I took a temporary job at AIB processing letters of credit. From there I landed a graduate role at Goodbody Stockbrokers listing investment funds on the Irish Stock Exchange. The investment funds industry in Ireland was at its infancy back then and now is a thriving industry here in Ireland. I am really proud to have been involved in the funds industry for such a long time and having recently joined MHC as an investment funds partner, I hope I can build on that extensive experience going forward in my new role.

Talk us through a typical day for you during the COVID-19 pandemic…

I joined MHC during the pandemic so I haven't yet met most of my colleagues in person (except virtually) or sat at my desk in the office which has been strange. My typical day starts with getting my three children ready for school and then I log on to the MHC system at 9am to start my working day. Every morning we have a zoom call with the Investment Funds team to discuss current work. As I develop my practice, most of my work at the moment is on the business development side so I usually have two or three business development zoom calls each day and the rest of the time I work on follow ups, fee proposals, pitches, ezines or webinars. It is very busy but I try to build a morning coffee break and lunchtime break into my routine.

A friend at the start of the pandemic reminded me of something Muhammad Ali's once said "Don't count the days, make the days count." I have kept those words in my head throughout the pandemic as it has really helped me to keep motivated by making the most of each day.

What sports/hobbies/pastimes do you enjoy?

During the first lockdown, I started virtual yoga and also sea swimming. I have kept up the yoga twice a week and love the sense of calm and balance it brings me. Unfortunately the sea swimming had to shelved as the cold really got to me when I last swam in November. I am looking forward to getting back into the sea very soon but rest assured I won't be donning a dry robe!

What's your idea of a perfect holiday?

My idea of a perfect holiday is sun, sea and beach. We have a holiday home in Brittas Bay and what I love most is walking on the beach there, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. We also love holidaying in Portugal as the sun always shines, the beaches are glorious and the food delicious. This summer though it will be Brittas Bay for us so let's hope the sun shines.

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