Ireland can be full of opportunities, but it can also be lacking. When the latter is true, many head further afield for work. But sometimes, they return to the Emerald Isle.
Brian Mulligan is the director of technology strategy and architecture at Deloitte. More than 20 years ago, he left Ireland to look for better opportunities and has only recently returned to his home country.
Where are you from?
Cootehill, Co Cavan.
When did you decide to emigrate?
I decided to emigrate in 1993. There were few opportunities in the early ’90s, no such thing as a Celtic Tiger, just Riverdance.
Where did you emigrate to and for how long were you gone?
I moved to New York City, initially on a ‘try before you buy’ trip for six months, and stayed overseas for 23 years.
What made you decide to come back?
I loved living in the US, but it never truly felt like home. There was something missing for me and I could never quite place it.
I have holidayed in Ireland every other year and always said I would move back eventually. During the Celtic Tiger years, I was tempted to move home, but then the financial crisis hit and I put those plans on hold.
Having witnessed from afar how things have begun to improve here, I felt now was a good time to finally come home.
How did your current role come about?
With 23 years’ experience in IT, I have built some strong relationships with people in the industry. It was through one of those contacts I initially got talking to Deloitte about the opportunity I am in now.
After interviewing over the phone, I felt confident in the role and in the prospects for Ireland, so I flew home and met with them in person and accepted the position shortly after that.
What work do you do?
I work in Deloitte’s Technology Consulting Practice, focused on strategy and architecture.
My role is as a trusted adviser to clients who are looking to the future, and to make sure they are positioned for the types of technology that are known as ‘disrupters’ to traditional business, cloud, analytics, bots technology and whatever comes next.
What do you like most about your job?
The term ‘trusted adviser’ is commonplace within our industry. The difference at Deloitte is that we are a socially aware company, with a framework built around doing the right thing first.
That comes through in what we do every day. It’s more than a tagline and that has been obvious from my first interview with Deloitte until today.
How did Deloitte make it easier for you to move back?
After interviewing with Deloitte over the phone and hearing their plans for the future in Ireland, it was their growth strategy and confidence in their brand that gave me the confidence to move. So, just the incentive to get off the fence.
How did your time working abroad make you better suited for your job?
Working in the US exposes you to many different personalities – Ireland is a microcosm of that.
We have the same business issues here that exist in the US, and, with the confidence I built up over the years there helping clients through some very difficult years and some very good years, I feel that experience will help me here also.
What is the best thing about being back in Ireland?
Hiking. There are few places in the world that compare to this than Ireland. It doesn’t matter if it’s Kerry, Donegal, Armagh, Wicklow or Cavan – hiking in Ireland is one of the best experiences you can have. But you do need to be fit.
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