Belfast Telegraph

'Don't sit back and wait for inspiration to strike'

Q&A: Georgina O’Leary

Anna Burns won the Man Booker Prize last week
Anna Burns won the Man Booker Prize last week

Q: What's the best piece of business (or life) advice you've ever been given?

A: Always challenge yourself. You don't get better if you don't push yourself.

Q: What piece of advice would you pass on to someone starting out in business?

A: Creativity is probably the most important thing in business, but you have to work at it. You can't sit back and wait for inspiration to strike. There is so much innovation and change in the economy, especially in the financial technology sector and creativity is so important to that.

Q: What was your best business decision?

A: Joining Allstate. In Allstate, they really support their staff based on talent and potential.

Q: If you weren't doing this job, what would be your other career?

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A: Maybe I would run my own tech business. I think the Northern Ireland tech sector is so vibrant and that's really appealing to a lot of start-ups.

Q: What was your last holiday? Where are you going next?

A: It's been a while since I got away on holiday, I've got some exciting trips coming up though. I'm going to Barcelona for a symposium and then to the Allstate offices in Northbrook in the US. I'm not sure they count as a holiday though.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests?

A: When I'm not working I like to just relax and spend quality time with my kids.

Q: If you enjoy reading, can you recommend a book?

A: It can be difficult to find time to sit down with a good book. I'm interested in reading Milkman by Anna Burns, who I saw was the first Northern Irish woman to win the Man Booker Prize.

Q: How would you describe your early life?

A: My early life was good, I was interested in technology from a young age, it's a lifelong passion.

Q: Have you any economic predictions?

A: It's always difficult to make predictions with any certainty. But I believe fintech has the potential to revolutionise the Northern Irish economy in the years to come.

Q: How would you assess your time in business with your company Allstate?

A: It's been fantastic. I've been with them now for years and I think a big part of that is because of their willingness to support and nurture talent.

Q: How do you sum up working in the sector?

A: Exciting. Fintech is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK economy and it's relevant to so many businesses. There aren't two days that are the same and I relish that.

Belfast Telegraph

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