We sat down with Aisling Goff who is a business unit Quality Assurance (QA) Manager with Mercury. Mercury is a well-known European contractor building and managing complex engineering projects that transform how people work and live. Aisling never imagined a career in the construction industry and always wanted to be a teacher. A decade on and loving her career, she is wanting to inspire women to join this ever exciting and evolving industry. The impression Aisling gave us is that you may never want to leave.
Dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s
Aisling plays a critical role in ensuring Mercury’s ISO compliance and ensuring regional compliance with clients and legal bodies. An ISO certification is a seal of approval from a third-party body that a company runs to one of the international standards developed and published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). As engineering and construction are heavily regulated, Aisling ensures everything is executed to the highest standards.
“I accidentally fell into Quality Assurance. After completing my arts degree, I wanted to become a teacher. In the interim, I took an entry-level job at Mercury as a QA Administrator in Ireland in the semiconductor manufacturing plant. I took this job because I needed something in the short-term but wasn’t yet thinking of a career in construction. I was also a kayak instructor in the summer on the side and I wanted the flexibility to do this. I interviewed for Mercury the day after my 21st birthday, so fast forward to now, I have essentially grown up with Mercury!”
What started as a job to just get by turned out to be the best career decision ever. A decade on there is no stopping Aisling. Her career has gone from strength to strength thanks to the supportive leadership team and continuous investment in her development.
“The great thing about Mercury is that they’ve always given me the opportunity to progress. I wanted to complete higher education and the company paid for my Master’s Degree in Business Management. I had to go to college 2 days a month and the company supported me in giving me flexibility. There was great buy-in from Management.”
The sky is the limit
A career at Mercury has seen Aisling jet-set around Europe to work on exciting projects and roles.
“I got the opportunity to go to Sweden to look at a data center facility just outside Stockholm. Following on from that was Amsterdam where at the start of 2018 my role changed to a business unit role as opposed to project-specific. Since then, I have been involved in projects in London, Hamburg, Frankfurt and the Netherlands.”
Every two years, Mercury brings together 25 high performing employees from around the world for a leadership development program. In 2019, she was selected as a participant. The event focuses on networking and peer-to-peer learning. Participants are given the opportunity to deliver a presentation on a chosen topic. Since Aisling is passionate about her people, she shared her insights and tactics on staff retention.
Aisling feels excited and honored to be part of Mercury’s growth.
“While Mercury has grown substantially, it still has the feel of a smaller organization. When I joined, it was about 250 million Euro in turnover. It is now about 1 billion Euro. It’s all been organic growth. A lot of the leadership team have been with Mercury from apprenticeship or entry level”.
For many organizations, growing pains are expected — but not at Mercury. They have a different story because of the consistent focus on its people.
“Mercury has always strongly supported the organic growth of its people within the company and this can be seen from the director level right down through the organization. Mercury has always supported ambition. Whether it be through doing a master’s program or leadership programs there is always a strong backing.”
Aisling’s career has blossomed because she is not afraid to ask for help. She regularly seeks the guidance of mentors.
“Mercury has always mentored its employees and a lot of people have dedicated time and effort into me and my career development.”
Diversity drives quality outcomes
Mercury has a truly diverse and global team. This has enabled innovative solutions for its clients which is why Mercury is a leader in the industry! Aisling enjoys learning from and being challenged when working with peers and team members from all over the world.
“I’m from Ireland. We have people who come from all over the world — from Brazil, Germany, Russia, Italy and Sweden. When I started it was uncommon to someone who wasn’t Irish and now, there are people of over 43 nationalities from every section of the world. The percentage of women has increased at Mercury!”
We ended our chat with Aisling sharing her top career tips. She says:
- Stick with it and keep going: “The engineering and construction industry is changing a lot. Give it a go. Don’t let anyone’s opinion deter you away from a career in engineering and construction.”
- Don’t be afraid to share ideas: “You’ll be surprised how responsive people will be. There is no such thing as a bad idea.”
- Look after yourself: “I would recommend working on maintaining a work-life balance where you can. Make sure to switch off every now and then and take a breather.”
It was such a pleasure to hear about Aisling’s ‘accidental’ career journey. Her drive for quality outcomes and leadership is something we truly admire.