This week on “Get to know the MiM team“, we chatted with Kerry O’Boyle, our Operations Excellence Consultant. Kerry keeps us all in check and makes sure we’re sticking to deadlines, but who is she outside of MiM?
1. If you could be anyone who would you be?
I’ve always been in awe of writers, I wanted to be Kate Adie growing up and my dissertation was on Virginia Woolf. These days I really admire JK Rowling; she’s created a magical universe which has captivated millions and she was the first person to lose her billionaire status due to charitable donations. She’s someone who seems to care very much about the community around her, I loved that her latest book had illustrations from children who submitted their pictures online. I wrote to her once and got a reply from her office, and the envelope had a Harry Potter stamp!
2. You can live anywhere in the world, in any type of accommodation – where would you like to live?
In days gone by, I would have said a fantastic loft apartment in New York but these days I’d love an old farmhouse with plenty of period features and outside space in Norfolk so I could be close to my family who I haven’t been able to see much recently, in fact my mum has just been up to visit and it was the first time I’d seen her in 18 months. I do love living in Edinburgh, but I’d be delighted if it had slightly less wind and rain if I’m really honest! I’ve lived in London, Hong Kong and Brussels but Edinburgh is my favourite city.
3. If you could have any profession (other than working with MiM!) what would it be and why?
I genuinely love my job and I’m not sure what else I would enjoy as much! I really enjoy problem solving so this role is perfect. But, in my youth I always dreamt of being a writer. I don’t have the skills unfortunately, and I’m old enough now to realise that the dream I had probably doesn’t match up to reality but I love the idea of having a ‘room of one’s own’ and being left to be creative. More recently I’ve taken up sewing and really enjoy the process of taking something from an idea into a fully formed, and practical, creation so if I was a teenager now I think I would look at more practical and creative qualifications rather than academic ones.
4. What is your favourite TV show just now?
Last year I really enjoyed Normal People, I got completely lost in the story and couldn’t wait for the next episode. The other programme that really gripped me last year was The Queen’s Gambit. During the first lockdown I started and finished Parks and Recreation which was perfect for a stressful world! I also absolutely loved The Good Place, more easy going fun but with a sharp wit too.
5. You’re stuck on a desert island, what three books would you want with you?
My favourite book of last year was Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (another Edinburgh resident!). It is a novel about the life of Shakespeare’s family, one of his children dies and the book explores how grief affects the family. While it is a novel the basic facts of the story are true. It was so powerful and moving that I still think about it nearly a year later.
An Irish for Beginners book, if I’m going to be stuck on a desert island I might as well learn something while I’m there and this would be something I could learn without any tools or anything else needed.
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes is a retelling of the Trojan War from the perspective of all the women involved. I’m half way through it so I’d have to take it to the island so I get to finish it! I’ve recently read Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller which were retelling the same story from different perspectives as well and so far all three books have been phenomenal, even though they’re telling the same story, and one that has been told for hundreds of years, they have all brought a fresh perspective and managed to keep me gripped throughout.
Want to know more about Kerry?
You can find out more about Kerry in our updated “Our Team” section of the website.
Stay tuned for more Get to know the MiM team posts over the coming weeks and months!