NYDI Member Focus: Stephen Mulvey, Gaingels

Stephen Mulvey

A Kildare native, Stephen popped his NY cherry as a student, spending an idyllic, if at times excessive summer in Union Square three years ago. He returned last Fall for a closer look. He works in marketing and investment administration for a private equity/VC group called Gaingels, who invest in companies with at least one LGBT founder or senior leader. Also a writing enthusiast, Stephen pens the occasional column for Inc.com and supports NYDI in the promotion of the group as a believer in its utility to Irish professionals in the city. He is passionate about brunching, the music of U2, spontaneous nights out, and the sultry vocal tones of Amazon’s Alexa.

Stephen, tell us about your role and what you like most about it?

Essentially I have two functions; there’s marketing – very much on the B2B end in our business – which essentially involves creating promo or informational materials as we need them for would-be or current investors. Then there’s the usual stuff – maintaining our online presence and coordinating our regular meetings, be they formal pitches or more informal socials. There’s also more straight up administration work – compiling diligence reports, preparing and filing legal documents, setting up meetings etc. Less exciting perhaps, but then I am one of those strange people who get a kick out of a neat spreadsheet!

You have been in New York for over a year now, what advice would you have for young professionals looking to make a career in NY?

I think it’s important to assess the professional benefit of going to NY in a very clinical way. Forget the bright-lights-big-city romance. Think about what it is you do (or wish to do). Does that industry exist in NY? How competitive is it? How can you gain entry to it? And most importantly, who do you know? Because if the answer is nobody and you’re unwilling to get out there and network aggressively to change that, then don’t go. You can experience fabulous things and pimp out your Instagram in a multitude of cities across the world (and have a far better standard of living!). I only answer that question so bluntly because I believe the organizations overseeing programs for people moving here are biased toward presenting a whitewashed version of NYC life. But it’s not easy. It’s not for everyone. But their view is more ‘we’ll take your money and construct a narrative to convince you this can work regardless’.

What is your ambitions professionally for the next 5 years?

I’m 23 and really just starting out; my job right now – irrespective of where I work – is to learn from people who know better. I have to say my bosses are both excellent mentors. They want me to come away from this role a better, more evolved professional. So short term that’s the goal. In five years I’d like to be a consummate marketer, and hopefully have worked in another country – perhaps the developing world. There’s a lot of interesting things happening there.

“Some people will bitterly reflect that it’s not what you know, but who you know. I think the best advice I’ve been given is to embrace that……”

What was the best piece of career advice that you have received?

Some people will bitterly reflect that it’s not what you know, but who you know. I think the best advice I’ve been given is to embrace that. Really think about how the people you know can help you get to where you want to be. And of course, reciprocate. Help the next person up!

Check out Stephen’s Linked In profile here. Are you a professional working in New York and would like to be featured in our Member Focus Series? Contact us at breiffni@digitalirish.com

James Cumiskey

James Cumiskey is a County Armagh native working in NYC and has been a contributor to the NYDI network. James is passionate about travel, writing, Irish politics, fitness, and technology. He has been collaborating with Digital Irish by writing a series of articles for young professionals wanting to work in NYC.

He currently is the Business Development Manager for KEMP Technologies, who provide application load-balancing solutions for small-to-medium sized businesses, Fortune 1000 enterprises and public sector clients worldwide.

James, tell us about your role and what you like most about it?

As Business Development Manager for KEMP, I currently work to identify genuine leads and opportunities for KEMP. I educate IT End Users on KEMP’s solutions and services and advise how it can be best used in their environment.

The position is an enjoyable one. Being the first point of contact, it’s a personable and an engaging role in which I get to speak with many types of people across North America, about a solution they’re interested in and that I truly believe can fit their needs.

Tell us more about KEMP Technologies. What makes you different?

With over 40,000 worldwide deployments KEMP Technologies’ mission has always been to help customers get the best Return on Investment in our load balancers, receiving all the features of our competitors and more, across all platforms, at cost-effective value.

You have been in New York for over a year now, what advice would you have for young professionals looking to make a career in NY?

As a non-American you have to be ahead of the game. Being prepared and setting yourself apart is key. Know your worth. Be educated about the visa process, not all HR departments will know it. Invest time in a professional network outside of work and keep your options open. Do your work well and efficiently. Become invaluable and your career should follow suit.

What is your ambitions professionally for the next 5 years?

New York has given me great exposure to the US and technology market here. Ideally in a few years I do want to be located back in Ireland. Thankfully KEMP has an office there I can transfer to from which I can continue my experience in the European Arena and expand my career hopefully in a more consultative and leadership role.

What was the best piece of career advice that you have received?

Speak to everyone. Put yourself out there. A simple hello whether it be a stranger or someone you work with. You never know what will come of it or where that conversation leads. Nobody’s going to speak for you, you have to do it yourself. l learnt that from my father.

 Read James’ blog series on his experience and advice on making it in NY here:

http://digital.irish/new-york/2017/04/06/work-in-newyork/

Are you a professional working in New York and would like to be featured in our Member Focus Series? Contact us at breiffni@digitalirish.com