LIFT Ireland is a not-for-profit organisation that works to build positive leadership skills in communities across Ireland. It created an awards initiative to recognise strong leadership at all levels of Irish society from grassroots organisations to corporate boardrooms. Midlands Science Business Development Executive, Pauline Nally, was recently shortlisted for one of these awards. We caught up with her to find out more…
Pauline, you are Business Development Executive for Midlands Science. Can you tell us a little bit about what that work involves?
My role can be quite varied depending on the needs of Midlands Science and the particular time of year but in the main, it is my job to fundraise, to produce high quality pitches and presentations, to identify and speak with relevant business and academic contacts who may be interested in collaborating with Midlands Science and track those leads. Building business relationships with existing clients and sponsors is also essential. I have a passion for bringing value to non-profits and sourcing new opportunities and partners for the organisation is the key aspect of my role.
You have recently been shortlisted for an award in Dedication & Determination, having participated in LIFT Ireland’s programme over the past 12 months. Congratulations!
Can you tell us about your experience of availing of this programme and why leadership skills are now more important than ever?
I am truly honoured to have been shortlisted for a LIFT Ireland leadership award in dedication and determination. LIFT aims to get the people of Ireland talking about values and leadership and to grow our self-awareness which then informs both our decision-making and determination in our professional roles. The wonderful training that I experienced with LIFT has helped me to really understand where I need to focus attention in order to improve the quality of how I approach both my work and my life in general. I believe that when you are really aware of your values, you will not only increase your chances of success but will also encourage and bring others along with you towards achieving your collective corporate goals.
The values of LIFT impact our homes, our families, our friendships, our communities and our workplaces. What are some of the most important skills you feel you have acquired that you can take into your professional role going forward?
I am really looking forward to the practical day-to-day application of this facilitator training and to focusing on the core values including customer service excellence, innovation and continuous learning. Excellent communication skills are so important in my role as I interact with a diverse range of individuals and organisations at all levels of business on a daily basis. It is also so important that I have a positive and proactive attitude to driving new business and partnerships for Midlands Science so that involves building my knowledge about science education and promotion and being willing to learn about the sector and how it is developing all the time. As the escalating Covid-19 crisis is forcing the cancellation of many physical events, those of us involved in fundraising really need to think fast and strategically in order to prepare for the times ahead and one of the critical things that this training has taught me is to keep communicating and at all times in the most considerate and empathetic way.
What did you enjoy most about the training with LIFT and would you recommend it to others?
It was really great to engage and connect with people across all levels of the others organisations who partook in the training. During a time which is increasingly challenging for everyone, it provided a lovely opportunity to reflect on my work and think about some small changes I could quite easily make. There was something very reassuring about networking with others and realising that everyone has their difficult days but it is all about taking note and then having the tools to keep pressing forward to the next opportunity in a positive and confident way. I am delighted that I got involved and am very pleased to be nominated for this important award.