60 Seconds With

“Days are filled with new challenges, and with that comes responsibility and excitement,” — 60 seconds with Conor McGinn of EDC

By Business & Finance
30 August 2022
Pictured from left to right: Sara Steele, Cork Executive Director; Eamonn Drummond, London Executive Director; Richard O’Farrell, MD; Robert Higgins, London Executive Director; and Conor McGinn, Dublin Executive Director.

Conor McGinn was recently appointed as Executive Director of EDC‘s Dublin office, an engineering consultancy that offers services within a range of construction sectors. Conor is a Chartered M&E Design Engineer with over 18 years of working as an engineer in the construction industry in Ireland, the UK and Canada.

What was your first job?

My first job was working for Mercury Engineer at Pfizer Grange Castle as an M&E Quantity Surveyor.

What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?

When I was working for an M&E contracting firm, I was inspired by some of the consulting engineers that I worked with. I subsequently aspired to join a consulting firm. When I moved to Canada in 2012, I became a Mechanical Design Engineer with a large consultancy firm, Smith + Andersen.

What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

I am delighted that I completed an MSc in Management at Smurfit Business School. Having come from an engineering background, I was nervous about business and accounting subjects. However, I loved the course and am very proud that I took the time to complete it.

Career-wise, would you do anything differently?

Not particularly, I have been tempted to change direction from time to time. Many past colleagues have moved to contracting or to work for multinationals or have joined the public sector. All of which have their own merits; however, I find the balance of working for an SME is unrivalled. Days are filled with new challenges; you must wear many hats, and with that comes responsibility and excitement. 

In one sentence, how would you define success?

Success is a journey, not a destination. It is infinite; when I overcome a challenge, a new one has long since taken its place.

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

Never give someone a task that you are not willing to do yourself; lead by example and let others follow.

How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

For myself: I am motivated by the contribution that I and EDC can and do make to the betterment of people’s lives, quality of living, the environment, and the economy.

For my colleagues: I trust in my colleagues, I give them full autonomy of their tasks, I encourage them to make decisions, I give them credit for their work, I do not chastise them for mistakes, and I make sure that they are always working as part of a team so that they are not isolated.

How do you handle adversity?

I try to consider all opinions and put myself in others’ shoes to be more empathetic. I listen, and I draw on previous experiences to de-escalate the situation.

How do you relax?

With three kids, I don’t tend to relax much… I unwind by staying active and spending time with my family and friends. Cycling, Rugby, and Golf are 3 of my favourite pastimes.

What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

EDC has had a strong growth record over the last five years. I feel fortunate to have come into the business at this time to support the continued delivery of this growth while maintaining our excellent reputation for customer satisfaction.

We are ambitious, and being part of an Executive team that has a clear strategy to become the best in the business is energising. I will be driving this strategy from our Dublin office to ensure consistent execution with the rest of the regional offices.

Our industry is evolving, and EDC will stay at the front by making sure that technology developments are integrated faster and better than our competition.

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