My travel career: Marie McCarthy, Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries passenger manager Marie McCarthy tells Travel Weekly how she climbed the ladder in travel

What was your first job?

West Midlands police cadet.

What was your first job in travel?

Travel consultant Gerry Feeney Travel (Ireland specialist).

How did you climb the career ladder?

I was made redundant from BT and visited Ireland with my payout. When I booked with Gerry Feeney Travel I explained about my passion for the country and was offered a job.

That passion brought me to Irish Ferries and has stood me in good stead ever since.

What does it take to be good at your job?

You have to be passionate about what you do and enjoy your day. Treat your customers with the respect they deserve.

What are the challenges in your job?

Expanding your business in a competitive market and selling the concept of how sailing to Ireland is stress-free compared to flying.

What are the best parts of your job?

Travelling on our modern ferries; meeting our staff; winning awards; and promoting to trade customers.  

And the worst?

I don’t have a worst part of my job. 

What’s the best piece of career advice you have received?

Have confidence in what you sell and in yourself.

If you weren’t working in travel, what would you be doing?

I’d be in cookery.

Marie McCarthy’s CV

  • 2007 to date: In-house promotion to sales manager, Irish Ferries

  • 2000: Business development manager, Irish Ferries

  • 1993: Travel consultant, Gerry Feeney Travel

  • 1980: Police liaison officer, British Telecom

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