High Flyers: Fitness helps Clare keep her spark in the world of utilities
In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Clare McAllister, Northern Ireland residential manager at Electric Ireland.
What was your first job?
In our family we all had to help with the family business growing up, so we had to do everything from unloading deliveries to stacking shelves and cleaning.
I had a student job at one point later in a jewellery shop which allowed me to indulge my love of sparkly things, but I later got what I would consider a proper job in AVX in Coleraine working shifts and that enabled to me study around work.
What qualifications do you have?
I have an HNC in Chemistry and a BSc in Applied Chemical Sciences, both from UUJ which I obtained whilst working and studying part time. I also have an Executive MBA from QUB.
What do you attribute your success to?
Hard work and never giving up, even when it feels like everything is going wrong. Because it does for all of us at some point! Also taking every opportunity you can as often it can lead you down a different path or introduce you to different people.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I would say I am a hard-working, people person who is very determined but also very loyal and I believe in doing the right thing.
Who do you look up to in business?
I have been lucky in many ways that I have worked for many managers who have impressed me, and I have aspired to be more like them or have the knowledge base they have. I would probably embarrass them by naming them!
In the outside world, it’s people in business who have worked hard, gone against the odds and not given up or who have been able to change direction successfully.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
My team are like my family. I want them to do well, and I try to support them to do the best they can by giving them the tools or freedom that will enable them to achieve this.
I feel proud of them when I see the achievements they have made either academically or professionally.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
We need to believe in ourselves. We are small but mighty and when we put our mind to things we can really deliver. We shouldn’t let our small size as a place hold us back.
What website or app could you not do without?
Oh, tough one here, I am a big fan or apps - I have apps for everything! My fitness or reading app are probably my two main ones. I love my kindle app and I train online a lot, so there’s a few there I can recommend.
What was the last book you read?
l enjoy escaping in a book so nothing too serious. I love a good thriller or an action book, but I can equally happily kill a few hours reading ‘chick lit’. I finished Michael Connelly, The Law of Innocence and now I am onto Sheila O’Flanagan and The Women Who Ran Away.
What car do you drive?
A nice practical Audi A6 Quattro estate.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I didn’t learn to swim until my 30’s because I was scared of water!
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Fitness is my ‘me time’ and right now I am enjoying feeling strong by training at the gym and running when I can.
I have always been passionate about fitness and even though at times in my life it has maybe fallen by the wayside, or I have had less time, I always come back to it.