Patrick McAndrew is Vice President of Sales for North America at BriteVenue, the leading venue management software for wedding venues in the U.S. Hailing from Galway, Patrick has been in New York for three years and is passionate about food and cooking, so much so, he started up a podcast called Why Food?, now in its fourth season.
Tell us about what you do and how you got there
I am the VP of Sales in North America for BriteVenue, the leading venue management software for wedding venues in the U.S. My journey to working with BriteVenue has definitely been a circuitous one. I moved to New York shortly after graduating from Corporate Law to pursue my passion for food. I was the general manager of Genuine, a restaurant and cocktail bar in SoHo for more than a year and during that time I started Why Food? which is a podcast on the Heritage Radio Network and is currently in its fourth season. Along this journey I met Eamon Crosby, the CEO of BriteVenue, who had just expanded to the U.S. market at the time. I knew how devoid the events industry is of good quality tech products, and the opportunity to modernize venues by moving away from paper and filing cabinets to having everything on the cloud excited me.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy the challenge of interacting with different groups of people everyday, when you are speaking with someone from Alabama in the morning and Alaska in the afternoon you have to develop an ability to connect with them and understand how they communicate. There is also an incredible energy at BriteVenue because we are creating something new — we are not following the playbook of a company that came before us because no-one has served the market that we provide for. It is very exciting to work for a company in that position.
What advice would you give to Irish professionals moving to the U.S. for work?
I became very disillusioned with applying for jobs online when I arrived in New York, it’s a lengthy process and can be frustrating when you get through a couple of rounds of interviews and don’t get the job because you are on a visa. Pick out your dream companies before moving out here and go to as many networking events as possible to find a way to speak directly with the CEO or an executive in the department that you want to work in. There was a large organic food distribution company that I wanted to work for when I first arrived in New York, I applied for jobs on their website every day for one week but never got a response. I saw on their website that the CEO was a blackbelt in the Japanese Martial Art, Aikido, so I bought him a gift from one of their schools in Manhattan and arrived at the office looking for an opportunity to speak with him. They went out of their way to create a job for me and I feel many other companies would do the same, chase after what you want first and if it doesn’t work out then turn to what’s available in the marketplace.
Who was the biggest influence on your career?
Definitely my mother, she is a born entrepreneur, constant motivator, and always has some words of wisdom at the perfect time.
If you had one piece of advice for yourself earlier in your career, what would it be?
Hone in on what you are good at and build yourself around that skill set.
What are your passions outside of work?
Food is a constant passion in my life, I do a lot of cooking and my girlfriend is an amazing baker so we are always looking for excuses to cook for friends. I have also been reading a lot about Irish food over the past few months which has been so interesting because Ireland has a great culinary history, but a lot of those traditions were lost during the famine. For anyone who is interested in learning more, I would start by reading The Land of Milk and Honey by Bríd Mahon.