Meet the team – Orlaith O’Connor

NBI CEO Peter Hendrick speaks with Orlaith O’Connor in our meet the team blog series.

Meet the Team Delivering Your National Broadband Plan
The last year or so has been incredibly tough on everyone and like the majority of businesses, at NBI we’ve had to adapt to empower large parts of our workforce to work remotely. It’s one thing making that transformation, but in the process, we’ve also grown our team to over 200 employees from a starting base of around 30 people back at the start of 2020.

Whilst the obvious barriers of remote working might prevent us from our usual socialising that we so often take for granted, nothing has given me greater pride than speaking with the talented people who have joined our team. Maybe we’re moving so fast at times that it’s easy to forget, we’re one of the fastest growing companies in the country and our success is truly collective. We’re in it together.

As the most ambitious infrastructure project Ireland has ever undertaken, the National Broadband Plan has attracted the very best and brightest minds. Each and every day, I’m reminded of that fact. No more so than in our build team – responsible for building this transformational network which spans over 96% of Ireland’s land mass. It’s an incredible feat, and so I met up with Orlaith O’Connor, a Network Delivery Project Manager in NBI Deployment to find out a little bit more about her role and responsibilities and what attracted her to this project.

Meet the team Orlaith O Connor

Hi Orlaith, great to meet you. Can I ask, when did you start at NBI and what attracted you to the company?
I joined at the end of April 2020, which was when the country (& the world) was seemingly thrown into a world of shock after the first national lockdown. I’ve had a career in telecoms working on international projects and I recognised the extreme challenge that the National Broadband Plan represents and couldn’t resist being part of that, so I was very excited to join.

What was your background prior to joining NBI?
My career has been primarily telco based. I spent the last seven years working for a company called Service Stream in Melbourne, Australia. I spent most of this time working in the Wireless space on LTE and Blackspot programs. Most recently, I spent some time working on a National Broadband Network program, providing broadband infrastructure to Australian businesses across metro and regional Victoria and New South Wales. I’m coming up for almost 10 years in telecoms now, which has just made me feel very old…

Not as old as me, that’s for sure! Tell us a little bit about your role here at NBI:
I manage the relationship between network build contractors, ultimately working to ensure the timely delivery of the National Broadband Plan. Liaising with internal and external stakeholders, we’re focussed on timely and accurate reporting, developing new processes and implementing process improvement techniques throughout the construction program.

How has working from home impacted your day-to-day job?
It has made it more difficult to connect with different stakeholders across the business and have visibility of what is going on in different departments. This is just naturally much easier if all you have to do is walk 10 feet from your desk in the office. However, the team at NBI has adapted really well and our weekly company call has helped with this.

What do you think are some of the challenges you face in your role?
Managing a construction program whilst working from home three days a week is a major challenge, but fortunately I’m supported by some amazing people around me. With limited opportunity to meet contractors and various stakeholders in person it will make it more difficult to resolve issues, but this is a challenge that’s being met across all infrastructure builds and I can’t think of an organisation better equipped to think innovatively than NBI.

What are you most looking forward to in the rollout of the National Broadband Plan?
I am looking forward to being part of a company that is providing a brighter future for Ireland’s rural areas. Creating new possibilities and equal opportunities for the entire country is what gets us all out of bed in the morning with a real purpose.

As a young and fast growing what do you make of the values that we have here at NBI?
I love all of the company values. However, if I had to pick one that really speaks to me it would be “courage to innovate”. We have hired people from such diverse backgrounds with a wealth of knowledge. Being a start-up company, we are all encouraged to share and learn from each other to build the framework for a successful future.

Tell us something that we wouldn’t know about you from your CV:
I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the globe having made it to almost 50 countries and to all 7 continents

WE’RE HIRING!  If you would like to find out more about career opportunities at NBI, please visit our job openings here