Business Person of the Month January 2020: Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland

Business Person of the Month | Mon 10 Feb | Author – Business & Finance
Pictured: Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland

In her role as Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, Cathriona Hallahan has prioritised the future-proofing of younger generations by offering students access to DreamSpace, a purpose-built area in Microsoft’s €134M campus in Sandyford, County Dublin

Dublin native Cathriona Hallahan is Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland. She has prioritised the future-proofing of younger generations by offering students access to DreamSpace, a purpose-built area in Microsoft’s €134M campus in Sandyford, County Dublin, where students can learn how technology is currently being used in areas of their interest, including sport, music, art, and design. The idea is to help students understand what the technology is, and how they can embrace it, particularly as they start looking at potential career fields. 

Hallahan’s determination to foster the right skills and passion for technology in young people is aligned with the company’s ethos of growth and the need to use technology for good. 

“With digital transformation bringing changes to our personal and professional worlds, it is important that our young people understand the role that technology can play in shaping their lives. That’s why we’ve created DreamSpace, a digital skills experience that will equip our primary and secondary school students with the tools to shape, change, protect and improve our world and our society for generations to come,” Hallahan says. 

Teachers are also invited to visit an education suite where they will learn about a variety of relevant technological developments. This ties-in with Hallahan’s vision of an education curriculum which organically includes technology rather than people being ‘sent off to the computer room’. 

Hallahan grew up in Stillorgan, County Dublin where interests included competing on the European Youth Team for Ireland as a ten-pin bowler. On leaving school, Hallahan completed a secretarial course and in 1986, she applied for a job as an accounts clerk with a start-up called Microsoft, located close to home in Sandyford, where she became employee number 24. Hallahan credits her then manager with encouraging her to take accountancy exams. Over the years, she worked her way up through the financial and then operational departments to become Managing Director, which she has described as “one of the best jobs in the company.”

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Cathriona Hallahan