High Flyers: Maureen has a passion for people and creating memories
In the High Fliers spotlight this week is Maureen Dooher, events planner at The Rabbit Hotel & Retreat, which incorporates Northern Ireland’s newest wedding space, The Loft
What was your first job?
My mummy is a florist, so my first job was helping out in the flower shop on a Saturday. I was maybe only 13 or 14, but I absolutely loved going there and seeing all of the creativity and buzz that happened. Cleaning buckets, cutting flowers and sweeping floors was a far cry from speaking with brides-to-be, but it was a great starting point.
What qualifications do you have?
I worked part time at the Marriott Hotel whilst studying geography at university in Liverpool and quickly began to realise that I had a passion for people and creating memories. I loved working in events, the buzz and social aspect to it all and seeing the outcome of hosting such fabulous occasions. Following my passion, I completed a master’s degree in International Tourism, Hospitality & Events Management at Ulster University. Since then, I have worked in various roles within 4 and 5 star luxury hotels in Ireland. Being part of the events team at one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic hotels is a dream come true. I’m always eager to keep learning and I’ve also completed a number of online marketing qualifications to develop my skills.
What do you attribute your success to?
My family have always been extremely supportive of my career decisions to date and have instilled a strong ethos of working hard to be successful. I’m still quite junior in my role but I hope that I will eventually reap the rewards of my hard work. I have a hugely supportive team around me at The Rabbit who are a real inspiration. Every day I’m being challenged and supported to further develop my management skills and progress up the ladder.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I would say I am a very bubbly, warm and considerate person. I am also known to be very giggly – it can be a nervous trait sometimes! I tend to laugh a lot.
Who do you look up to in business?
Hospitality can be a demanding industry and sometimes involves long hours of the day and night, so at times it can be hard to juggle a healthy work life balance. Since joining Galgorm Collection, I’m continually impressed at how the senior management team, led by Colin Johnston, has created a fantastic culture across a team of more than 880 staff. We really do feel like family and the management team offer so much support and encouragement to staff to succeed, all whilst promoting a healthy work/life balance.
How do you get the best out of the people who work with you?
Respect is earned, not given, and so I firmly believe you should always treat people and colleagues the way you would like to be treated.
What website or app could you not do without?
I am a bit of a shopaholic so it would have to be the clothing store, Zara. Not a week goes by where I don’t scope out their new arrivals.
What was the last book you read?
I’ve never been a big book lover, but I do find lifting The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and reading whatever page I open it on every once in a while is great for getting into a positive mindset.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I love adventure and would say I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. Every time I go on holidays or travel to a new country, I want to try something new and exciting. I have always wanted to skydive but haven’t managed it just yet. It is definitely something on my bucket list though.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
I have a beautiful Saint Bernard puppy called who has just turned one and is now 10 stone! He was a surprise from my boyfriend and my first ever dog but I am absolutely obsessed and love nothing more than taking him for walks and getting lots of snuggles from him! I also love socialising…a glass of wine, getting dressed up and heading out with friends and family is one of my favourite things to do.