A headshot of Anthony Day, COO EMEA blockchain lab at Deloitte
Anthony Day, COO, Deloitte EMEA blockchain lab. Image: Deloitte

How many clichés about Ireland are actually true?

15 May 2018

Anthony Day, the COO of the EMEA blockchain lab at Deloitte, came over to Ireland two-and-a-half years ago and has since become totally enamoured with his new home.

Even when you haven’t too far to go, making the decision to up sticks and move your life somewhere further afield for the sake of your career is quite a large decision.

Future Human

For Anthony Day, the COO of the EMEA blockchain lab at Deloitte, moving to Ireland from the UK (in what he calls a ‘Brexit’) was a no-brainer. Beguiled by the emerald fields that can be seen when touching down on Irish soil, and wanting to move closer to his wife’s Irish family, coming to Ireland felt like a natural move.

We spoke to Day about making the transition from London to Dublin, the allure of his native Norfolk, whether the Guinness really does taste better in Ireland (it does), and the challenges and excitement of a career in blockchain with Deloitte.

Where are you from and what’s it like there?

Norfolk, England. Norfolk is a relaxed, rural, coastal county, which is a wonderful place to be from but, if you’re seeking adventure or the bright city lights, it might not be for you.

The countryside, seafood and rural accent are mesmerising and Norfolk has a very relaxed pace of life. It’s always nice to go home and slow down a bit.

How long have you been in Ireland?

Two-and-a-half years.

What prompted your decision to move here?

I met my wife on my first ever visit to Ireland (a wedding at Dromoland Castle in Co Clare) and immediately fell in love. We shared a life in Belfast and London and, two beautiful children later, we decided to ‘Brexit’ and move to be closer to the Irish half of the family.

What’s your role in Deloitte?

I’m the chief operating officer (COO) of Deloitte’s EMEA blockchain lab. As COO, I look after the EMEA strategy for blockchain, relationships with our clients, our people, our ‘products’ (the lab has built a wide range of blockchain solutions for clients and Deloitte as a firm) and how we innovate in the work we do every day.

How would you describe your working environment?

Exciting, diverse, fast-paced and global.

What do you like most about your job?

The EMEA blockchain lab supports clients across a huge number of countries, industries and business domains. We have to constantly learn, listen, show empathy to our clients’ challenges, and design innovative ways to transform their businesses and industries. I’ve never in my whole career had to think more or engage more with my work, and it’s never been more rewarding.

Was it difficult to adjust to living and working in Ireland?

Not at all. We had the fortune of having family here to help us transition but, on top of that, Dublin and Ireland have a very welcoming and fun culture.

Dublin is a small city, so it’s relatively easy to get your bearings. If I ever feel in need of a piece of (Norfolk) home, I can ride five minutes on my motorbike and I’m staring out at the ocean and breathing in the sea air.

What surprised you about moving to Ireland, if anything?

A number of the clichés are undoubtedly true. Guinness does taste far better. You can find music in almost any pub you walk into. From the air, the country looks like an endless canvas of emerald green (this was my first memory of Ireland as I flew into Shannon Airport all those years ago).

However, the most surprising thing I found was how quickly Dublin became home. There’s very little of London or England that I miss. (Except my family and friends, and maybe Ethiopian restaurants. A business opportunity for someone, I hope.)

How does your working life help to make you feel at home here?

Deloitte has a very welcoming culture. It’s easy to meet fun, inspiring people, and there is a genuine sense of collaboration and community, whichever part of the business you work in.

Flexibility is also a major benefit. Although there will always be ‘fire drills’ once in a while, you can have a great work-life balance and manage your time to fit in the things that matter most to you.

What do you like most about your adopted home?

The ability to have a global career in a small, seaside city, surrounded by people I love.

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