Alex Todd is brands manager with MCL Insurance, the operator of online insurance brands its4women.ie and BoxyMo.ie. Here, she takes the Business & Finance 60-second challenge.
Q. What was your first job?
As I grew up on a seaside resort, at 12 years old I began working at an amusement arcade during my school holidays.
I loved the job and throughout the years I became a pro at making popcorn and candyfloss on a stick. My favourite duty was working as a ‘token cashier’, giving out passes for the rides in the arcade.
Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?
For the past five years, I have been putting these skills to good use by helping charities organise fundraising events in my spare time.
One of the largest events was a white collar sparring event that raised over £30,000 for the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland Trust.
This trust aims to give children with long-term and terminal illnesses the once in a lifetime opportunity to see Santa in Lapland.
I have had the pleasure of accompanying families on the trip and it was truly magical to see the happiness on the children’s faces when they met the man himself.
Helping to deliver such a meaningful experience will forever be one of my greatest achievements.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
One of mum’s best friends once told me “never to settle for anything less than what you truly deserve”.
Unfortunately she passed away a few years ago, but she was a huge influence in my life, and I still refer to her advice in both my personal and professional life.
Q. If you could step into the shoes of one businessperson for the day, who would it be and why?
I have always admired Karren Brady – not just because we share a love for football. She has succeeded from a very young age in male dominated industry, and continues to champion women in business.
Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?
Not in debt.
Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?
I’m a big believer in rewarding hard work, so I try to motivate the team at MCL by using fun incentives during the day.
It may be something as simple as a bar of chocolate or a coffee, but letting people know they are valued is a huge motivator.
I also try to ensure that the atmosphere at the MCL office is fun, so I set little challenges like having to say a certain word on a call. It’s a great way to keep the team alert.
Throughout the year, we also reward the staff with team nights out. We had a casino night last year and this year we plan to host a comedy evening including food and prizes.
Personally, I am kept motivated by the team here who work really hard and always give 110%.
Q. How do you relax?
I like to play word games on my phone. I also enjoy walking when I get the time and I am very competitive.
A few of the MCL staff have recently started a Fitbit challenge, to see who can take the most steps in the week. It gets everyone motivated to stay active, which is definitely the best way for me to unwind.
Q. What’s your motto?
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Q. What are your aspirations for your future in business?
I would like to continue to develop each of our brands’ identities and offerings to really make a difference on Irish roads.
For example, through BoxyMo.ie, we are working to create safer roads in Ireland by using telematic technology to reward responsible drivers. With a telematics box installed we are seeing 25% less accidents. I would love to help educate young people in Ireland on how responsible driving behaviours can help reduce accidents on the road. To be part of something that actually helps save lives would be incredible.
I would love to help educate young people in Ireland on how responsible driving behaviours can help reduce accidents on the road
THE BRANDING EXPERT
With 14 years’ experience with MCL, Alex Todd manages all aspects of the daily running of brands and the day-to-day running of the all customer service and customer supply channels.
She works directly with underwriters and third party suppliers to continually improve service and product to enhance customer experience.