"I’m passionate about using whatever skills I have, to do something for the world that is bigger than my own life."
Name: Avril Kennan
Company: Health Research Charities Ireland
Programme and year attended: Meridian, 2015/16
Hometown (City, Country): Dublin, Ireland
What are you most passionate about? I’m passionate about using whatever skills I have, to do something for the world that is bigger than my own life. I’m lucky to be in a role that allows me to work towards improving lives through health research and to support the role of many health charities in that endeavour.
What/who inspires you? People who get excited about things inspire me. I love to have my eyes opened to something through someone else’s excitement for a topic. Personal stories are also very powerful and have had an impact on my work many times. A person who has inspired me in recent years is Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN under Barack Obama. She used personal stories and passion to make an impact in her work. Incidentally, I caught a glimpse of her in a café, just before I sat down to write this, but restrained myself from trying to befriend her!
What was your biggest learning from the programme? That leaders come in all personality types. I used to think that leaders were loud and fearless. Now I know that there are different ways to lead and that even people like me, who can’t be heard across the table in an Irish pub, can make an impact, through passion, hard work and persistence.