Nóirín Mosley (Halligan) was born in Dublin, Ireland. Having worked in the insurance and disability sectors in Ireland, she took off for sunny Thailand to work with Sony Asia in product marketing in 1996. From there, she made her way to Melbourne Australia via Papua New Guinea and Sydney.
In 2019 she started Educate to Elevate, an online learning business, with her good friend and business partner Jenny Boymal. Educate to Elevate specialises in visually engaging online onboarding programmes for all industries.
1. What was your UCD experience like – the social scene, classes, lecturers?
The UCD restaurant, the lake and the bar were all the circular haunts of my era. I loved my experience at UCD and the BComm course. I think from the start we realised we had a special cohort. The same sections of the lecture theatres were occupied by the same groups each day. All you ever had to do was look around to know you were in the right lecture. We had great entertainers and comedians within our class too, and the lecturers didn’t disappoint either. Desi Norton, Niamh Brennan and Pearse Colbert were just a few who provided great memories and taught us a thing or two along the way.
2. How did you end up in your current area of work?
There has always been a training and learning angle to all of the career phases and roles in my life, so online learning was a natural extension of that. I had started Educate to Elevate with my business partner in mid-2019 initially as a complement to all the corporate training work I was doing at my entertainment business, Race Party, but then Covid changed everything and I had to put Race Party on hold indefinitely. My primary focus is on Educate to Elevate now.
3. You are based in Melbourne, Australia – what brought you down under?
I was working with Sony in Thailand when I met my husband Hugh, who was also working there and originally from Melbourne. Our inevitable journey back to Melbourne has been via Papua New Guinea and Sydney. It’s been fun and I do love Melbourne – it’s a great city.
4. You are a Director of Educate to Elevate and Project Optimism – can you tell us a bit more about the work that the organisation does?
Educate to Elevate produces bespoke online learning management platforms for businesses by either creating a full suite of employee learning content or/and hosting it on a platform too. We specialise in the induction or onboarding of employees in industries where there are safety risks, or where English is a second language. We use customised animation, videos, interactive video and other training offerings together with learning measurement tools.
We want to encourage and foster a love of adult learning in the workplace. We were also able to use the tools of Educate to Elevate to produce Project Optimism, our not-for-profit which teaches people to become a little more optimistic in their world.
5. Are people still optimistic overall, do you think?
Yes, I believe people are. When we reflect on world history and how humankind somehow keeps going, despite wars, disasters, struggles and the challenges we still face, it gives us a sense of hope for the future.
6. Has the work you do with Project Optimism impacted the way in which you see the world?
My work with Project Optimism has enormously impacted how I now see the world.
I’ve learnt that there is always something you can do if you really want to make things better. Doesn’t matter how big or small, just do it – someone will always be glad you did.
I’ve also learned that illuminating the good things in life doesn’t mean we don’t see the bad things. It just reminds us to keep going, knowing that things will somehow work out in the end.
7. What is the proudest moment of your career to date?
When I worked at the Centre for Independent Living in Dublin and we secured Irish Government core funding for its work with people with significant physical disabilities. It really opened up choices and freedoms that people with disabilities didn’t have before that time. Of course, there is still much work to be done in this area.
Also of course creating Project Optimism during the lockdown in 2020, it was so rewarding to help others keep going and stay optimistic at a time that was so difficult.
8. What have been the most challenging aspects of your career?
I think the tyranny of distance – leaving close family and great friends in Ireland has been the most challenging, as has being so far away at a time when my parents’ health was declining and dealing with their sad loss. There are certainly benefits and unbelievable life experiences to be had from living and working in different parts of the world, but it does come with a price.
9. What advice would you give to someone who is just beginning their career?
You are young and you have time. Try things you like and change if you don’t like what you are doing. If you find something you like – become the best at it. Challenge yourself – you learn so much when you do and don’t give up, have a rest perhaps, but keep going.
10. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
When you risk nothing, sometimes you risk so much more. Also, my brother used to say ‘people may forget what you said or did, but they will never forget how you made them feel’. I really like that piece of advice.
11. What is your favourite place in the world to visit and why?
Dublin and the west coast of Ireland are my favourite places, as I don’t spend enough time there and it’s where I grew up.
12. How important is your UCD alumni community to you?
The UCD Alumni community is exceptionally well run (true fact!) and facilitates the enduring relationships that have been made at college. I know and feel lucky that my BComm cohort is particularly special, and those people remain important to me. It’s been extra special in the last few years too, with reunions and the alumni arranging the fantastic ‘UCD Business Alumni Challenge’ during Covid.
13. If a visitor to Melbourne had just one day in the city – how would you recommend they spend it?
If it’s summer and January, I would suggest morning coffee beside the Yarra river at Richmond or Toorak and then make your way walking slowly to the city along the Yarra, watching the boats and seeing the sporting stadiums as you head into the city. Have lunch or afternoon tea at Southbank, wander around the shops and galleries and then back to the Rod Laver Arena to watch some of the Australian Open tennis in the evening.
14. What are you personally optimistic about?
I am personally optimistic that it’s never too late to learn something new or to be enlightened in the life that you live.
If you want to find out more about the work of Project Optimism – check out their website here