60 seconds with: Cathy Burke

Business, Interviews | Tue 14 Feb | Author – Business & Finance
Cathy Burke

Travel Counsellors’ Cathy Burke takes the Business & Finance 60-second challenge.

Q. What was your first job?

I worked in a solicitors’ office as a PA/secretary for a year. I learned a huge amount there that followed me throughout my career, particularly when it comes to attention to detail.

I was offered my first job in travel the same week with a position in Dublin Corporation. I chose travel – and my mother nearly had apoplexy as she thought I was walking away from a pensionable job for life. Thank goodness I didn’t see it that way and dug my heels in!

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

Setting up Travel Counsellors Ireland in 2005 and growing the business to where it is today. My mother had to finally admit I made the right choice way back then. I wish both my mother and father were here to see me now.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

It has to be ‘hang out with winners’. It’s all about attitude and negative people just drag you down. I made a conscious decision to lean towards people who lift me up and vice versa.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one businessperson for the day, who would it be and why?

Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg. I imagine her job is very diverse and interesting. Also, I’d be younger!

Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?

Positivity. Determination. Happiness.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

I’m motivated by seeing others succeed and knowing I’ve played a part in their success. For my staff, it’s not difficult to motivate them. I’ve the best team in the world who believe in what we do.

Q. How do you relax?

That’s rare for me. When I get the chance, it’s on a beach with my Kindle, and my husband of course! I love spending time with friends and family, picking up where we left off after a long absence.

Q. What’s your motto?

It would have to be the advice I mentioned earlier that I received many years ago. The motto ‘hang out with winners’ has always served me well.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?

To continue to ensure Travel Counsellors is a leading travel company in Ireland, providing the highest level of customer care.

I also want to make a positive impact on the business globally, supporting the network of business development executives worldwide, and strengthening the Travel Counsellors brand in new and innovative ways.

I’m motivated by seeing others succeed and knowing I’ve played a part in their success


Since establishing the Irish Travel Counsellors operation in 2005, Cathy has built a business that supports 65 highly motivated travel franchisees across the country. She is focused on driving the Travel Counsellors brand, ensuring a consistent quality of service is supplied.

Cathy’s success as general manager at Travel Counsellors Ireland saw her appointed director of International Business Development in 2015.

Travel Counsellors is a leading multi-national company, established in 1994 with over 1,500 travel franchisees across the globe. The company’s UK headquarters are located in Manchester and it has six overseas offices in Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Australia and Dubai.

Get in touch with Cathy on LinkedIn here.