60 Seconds With

“You never really have anything to lose,” — 60 Seconds With Íde O’Brien of Samsung Electronics Ireland

By Business & Finance
11 July 2023
Photo: Steve Weldon Photography

Íde O’Brien is Head of Marketing at Samsung Electronics Ireland where she is involved in leading all marketing activities for the Irish business including strategy and planning, brand development and PR. O’Brien joined Samsung Ireland in 2013 from Microsoft and prior to joining the company, held the position of Marketing Executive at Microsoft Ireland where she managed many national campaigns and products launches.

What was your first job? 

My very first part time job was in my local Dunnes Stores in the homewares department. Working in retail at a young age really does help develop your communication skills!

After I finished my undergraduate degree and subsequent Masters, my first role was with Irish Distillers as part of the then IBEC Programme. I worked as a Brand Ambassador where I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to work abroad in Austria.

This role was my first taster of working in a marketing environment and ultimately led me on to my future role in Microsoft and then in Samsung where I remain today!

What pushed you to pursue a career in this field?

In the first instance, from early in my career I always had a keen interest in marketing as a business area.

I undertook a Bachelor of Business Studies for my undergraduate and within that I received exposure to a number of business disciplines where I was able to hone in specifically on marketing.

It was here I began to realise that I had huge interest in pursuing a career in this area.  One of the perks of working in marketing is the exposure to working on really interesting campaigns with broader business teams.

Marketing really is a broad church with many opportunities to specialise in so many niche industries and is inherently an ever-changing field, it keeps you on your toes!

What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

In terms of my career to date, getting to where I am today in my current role as Head of Marketing MX with Samsung Electronics.

Samsung is one of the true innovators in the technology sector and the opportunity to play an active role in their offering is a real privilege.

With this role there is so much variety day to day as well as working with an amazing team & some of the best agencies in the country. Bringing campaigns to life for the Irish consumers has definitely been a highlight. 

Career wise, would you do anything differently?

To be honest I really wouldn’t. Every move I’ve made in the professional sense has got me to where I am today. 

As with any situation, there has been some ups and downs, but they have all helped me to progress, learn & continue to move forward positively in my career.

At the same time, it can be useful to look back at past decisions to try and take away the learnings to help better inform future decision making. 

In one sentence, how would you define success?

Success for me is finding your passion & being content with what you do – be it in your work life or personal life.

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

That you never really have anything to lose. There really is everything to gain if you just apply yourself to the task at hand, always trying your best. Some tasks can seem stressful at times, but it is always important to stay calm and remember to have fun! It is important that your work gives you joy in some form also. 

How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

The fact that I enjoy what I do I hope reflects onto my staff! I’m very open and honest with my team. By creating that open and honest atmosphere I aim to create an environment where staff are confident in approaching me with any issue. By creating that kind of environment, I hope I instil a sense of comfort in them, where they are free to express themselves and reach their potential.

Seeing people excel in their roles gives me the motivation to continue to do the best in my role. I am also in favour of imposing a good work life balance, ensuring the team can manage workloads and ultimately enjoy what they do. 

How do you handle adversity? 

Challenges are almost a given in any work environment so it’s a matter of embracing them and taking what learning’s you can from them. By taking those learnings you ultimately inform future decision making which in an ever-changing marketplace is critical.

It is important not to get bogged down in issues and to remain future focused at all times. 

How do you relax?

I really love being outdoors. A walk in a forest or nature trail is a great way to clear the head and switch off for a few hours. Catching up with friends and family over a meal and for a few drinks is always important too.

When time allows, I also love to travel. Experiencing new destinations and embracing new cultures is something everybody should prioritize in their lives. 

What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

Growth is key and within Samsung we are keen to embrace this. I’ve seen a lot of launches and changes in my 10 years in Samsung – breaking into the wearable market as well as being the first to market in Ireland with a foldable phone are just some of the highlights of my time here. The future growth of foldables in the Irish market is something I am really excited about.

In an ever-changing marketplace it is encouraging to see Samsung continue to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, creating high tech devices that are highly intuitive, customer friendly and customizable. All the while we are continuing to ensure that we embrace sustainability in our product offering. 

Overall, I am confident that Samsung’s commitment to providing the best offering to customers will continue to evolve and prosper. 


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