'I took a chance to do this job, but it paid off'
Q & A: Aodhan Connolly
Q: What's the best piece of business (or life) advice you've ever been given?
A: In business: "Relationships are the only thing that matters." In life: "Put that phone down and be here now", which is my partner's favourite saying to me.
Q: What piece of advice would you pass on to someone starting out in business?
A: It is nice to be nice. Remember to thank every PA that organised a meeting or brought in a coffee and every journalist and cameraman who do interviews with you.
Q: What was your best business decision?
A: Taking the chance to do this job, something untried and untested which ended up hugely rewarding.
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Q: If you weren't doing this job, what would be your other career?
A:I am a political nerd so something in politics... maybe front line.
Q: What was your last holiday? Where are you going next?
A: My last big holiday was a city break to Berlin with my son, who is 13 and amazing fun. The next break will probably be a weekend away in Ireland to relax.
Q: What are your hobbies/interest?
A: I read constantly, play music, love languages, cook and love history and quizzes.
Q: What is your favourite sport and team?
A: I am a huge Ulster Rugby fan and support Armagh in Gaelic football and Antrim in hurling.
Q: And have you ever played any sports?
A: Many years ago I played Gaelic, did a bit of kickboxing, and only hung up my rugby boots a few years back.
Q: If you enjoy reading, can you recommend a book?
A: Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch about how it is a human trait to want to believe conspiracy theories and how some of the greatest have been debunked.
Q: How would you describe your early life?
A: Strict but a lot of fun. My parents gave me language, culture, drama, music, a sense of fun, a strong sense of self and my work ethic.
Q: Have you any economic predictions?
A: I think no matter what type of Brexit we have, things will get tighter here in Northern Ireland, but no deal would be a disaster.
Q: How would you assess your time with the NIRC?
A: Very hard work but extremely rewarding.
Q: How do you sum up working in the retail sector?
A: No two days are ever the same. "Every day is a school day."