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

Networking/Job Hunting in NYC

Quite possibly the most valuable thing you can do if looking for a job here in New York is networking. We Irish are a bunch that tend to look out for each other and have quite an already established network of connections here. Whether it be Irish American or born and bred Irish, we’re here and there are several organizations and continuous events to help you get yourself out there and start conversations that will get you on your way to securing a job in NYC!

You cant afford to be shy when networking in NYC. You have to really put yourself out there at events. Walk up to strangers, introduce yourself. Strike up conversations. Be politely direct and tailor the conversation around looking for work and in the particular industry/role you need. The following organizations/events don’t do the work for you. They are merely a starting point for you to get in contact with people that more than likely have been in your position at some stage in their career and may be able to point you in the right direction or know someone who knows someone. Its good practice to bring a copy of your resume, just incase and be prepared to get numbers/emails.

Digital Irish

Digital Irish recognizes the difficulty of getting started and finding employment in the city and aims to shortlist a network of highly qualified, motivated Irish graduates and notify them, via our email blasts, of great companies that are currently hiring in the USA. Typical positions in which recent graduates find employment include; sales, business development, social media management, marketing, finance / accounting, and IT.

While we will facilitate making introductions to companies everything else will be your sole responsibility. We do not charge a fee, this is a voluntary service to help you find work.

Join our mailing List for job announcements and get in contact with some of the team here: http://digital.irish/team/

We also host regular networking sessions and quick-pitch events where startups present to our community and ask for support and feedback. This is a good opportunity to show up and mingle with other professionals in New York mainly from Irish backgrounds and strike up conversations about jobs, advice and connections. Keep updated on our upcoming events by joining or social media pages and mailing list.

IIBN- Irish International Business Network

IIBN is the leading network of Irish entrepreneurs and business professionals.  The objective of IIBN is to facilitate greater communication and connectivity between successful Irish business people all over the world with a view to identifying and exploiting new business opportunities.

Keep up to date with their events here: http://iibn.com/events/categories/new-york-events/

IIBN also operates a number of mentor programs across each of its chapters.  The purpose of these is to harness potential, enhance skills, develop leadership, provide knowledge, guidance and connections.

The mentorship programmes available are quite distinct so please have a look to see if one will suit you. Information and application details are available. If you need clarification with any particular aspects of the programmes please get in touch at info@iibn.com.

Check out the different programs here: http://iibn.com/mentorship/

IBO- Irish Business Organization

The IBO is a not-for-profit, non-denominational organization which seeks to promote, foster and advance the business interests of Irish and Irish American business people in the tri-state area and beyond.

The IBO provides a unique forum for Irish and Irish-American business people via its regular networking meetings and other events and initiatives. Our mission is to Network, Communicate and Reciprocate!

Keep up to date with their events here: http://www.ibonewyork.org/Upcoming-events

And join the IBO Young Professionals here: http://www.ibonewyork.org/IBO-Young-Professionals

It’s vital you get at least a temporary US cell whilst job hunting in the states. You can’t rely on recruiters/ potential employers to just correspond through email. Most will call you without prior warning or at least want to conduct a phone interview at some stage. And if you got no phone or there’s an obstacle they’ll move on. So go into any American cell phone provider and purchase a topup/burner cell and add the cell number to your resume.

Once that is taken care of you can start applying through different websites and forums such as the below:




Linkedin  (Quick tip: Update your location to ‘New York’ on Linkedin so recruiters will find you based on location)

Remember, job applications are great but building connections can be just as good if not better. Reach out to that Facebook friend now in New York you haven’t spoken to in years, send an email to that former colleague just moved to New York you barely knew. They might know someone, their company might be hiring. Believe me, you never know where it leads to.

James Cumiskey is Business Development Manager for KEMP Technologies based in their New York headquarters. Coming from Ireland, he has been through the J1 process before and found his employment through networking and interviewing on the ground here in the city.

Twitter: @jamescumiskey1

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescumiskey1/


MedTech Follow-Up with Havas Health & You

Thanks to everyone who came to our first health-tech event in collaboration with Havas Health And You! A special thanks to our member, Anne Daly, who organized the night!

We really enjoyed the insights to the healthcare agency world by the Havas Health and You, Chief Digital Officer, Dennis Urbaniak, and our panelists Mikki Nasch (Evidation Health) and Karin Hehenberger (Lyfebulb).