Name: Eibhlish Scannell.
Lives: Mayfield, Cork.
Job Title: Lighting Consultant, Lightplan.
Educational Background: St Angela’s Secondary School, BSC Degree Interior Architecture in CIT.
Hobbies: Adventures, markets, running and shopping.
Describe yourself in five words: Energetic, passionate, ambitious, considerate, happy.
Personality needed for this kind of work: As I am dealing with clients and customers on a daily basis, I think it is very important to be outgoing and personable. Good organisation skills are definitely required as I would have numerous projects on the go, and the most important would be passion for the industry!
How did you get this job?
After completing my degree in Interior Architecture in CIT, I was lucky to secure a job in a lighting design consultancy in Cork city where I caught the lighting bug! I trained as a junior lighting designer there for two years, enhancing my skills from my degree working on very interesting commercial and domestic projects. When the recession hit, myself and my now husband decided to take time out and travel. Our six months travelling ending up being six years in Melbourne, Australia, where I was very lucky to continue working in the lighting industry, gaining another six years’ experience.
When I came back to Cork I sent my CV to Lightplan and I was delighted to get a meeting with Larry and John which led to me working in Lightplan, the rest you can say is history!
Do you need a particular qualification or experience? I think having a design or technical background is definitely an advantage in the lighting industry. Lighting is much more than aesthetics, it is an industry which is continuously evolving in technology so it is very important to keep up to date.
As the role is sales-based, sales experience is very important as you are dealing with the public on a daily basis, we are continuously building relationships with our clients.
Describe a day at work: Every day in Lightplan can be different, which makes it interesting! The day would start with following up of emails and orders in the morning when the showroom is quiet — which is not for long. The juggling of the workload would depend on the foot-fall of traffic coming in during the day, customers always come first!
Our client base is not just in the showroom, we deal with customers over the phone, via email and on site, so every day would tell a different story.
I manage the company’s social media accounts and we also supply the service of drafting lighting plans.
It is very important to be as organised as possible to keep up to date with all orders and projects and to keep up to date with new suppliers, trends and fittings. It is like the fashion industry as it is always changing!
We are just after opening our new commercial showroom downstairs, which is an additional tool for our commercial clients, it’s very exciting as there is nothing else like it in Cork. It gives architects/designers a base to bring in their clients and for us to show the products that we have been specifying and supplying. There are amazing products in the new showroom and it’s great to be involved in such an exciting expansion!
How many hours do you work a week?
I work 40 hours a week.
Is your industry male or female dominated?
It is a mix, the technical side can be very male dominated and the design side can be more female dominated.
Does this affect you in any particular way?
As I deal with many different trades, it is very important to be assertive, it is something I have learned through experience.
Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10: I would rate my job 8/10 on the very busy days, I work best under pressure and enjoy the busy nature of the job. The days go really fast and there is always something new popping up to keep me busy!
Do you work with others or on your own? I am very lucky to work with a great team in Lightplan, there are seven of us in total and we get on like a house on fire! Larry, John and Joan have an extensive knowledge of lighting and I am constantly learning from them. John has over 27 years’ experience in the industry and has lit up nearly all of Cork’s commercial and domestic premises!
When do you plan to retire or give up working? Ask me again in another 10 years!
Best bits: Working in an industry that I love, discovering new innovative products/suppliers, seeing a completed project come to life, meeting interesting people on a daily basis and being part of a strong team.
Worst bits: When issues occur that are out of my control such as lead-times that do not go to plan, i.e. courier delays, supplier delays, it is rare but unavoidable.
Advice to those who want to work in the lighting industry: Like everything, it is a learning process, while studying interior architecture in college lighting was not a focus of the course. What my course gave me was a base and tools of the trade. I learned from experience working in the lighting industry itself and found a niche I loved working in. If you are interested in working in lighting sales or alternative interior sales, I would recommend getting into a good company who will enhance your skills and knowledge and go from there!
Lightplan are based at Unit 5, Kinsale Road Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork, 021 4971110, open Monday-Friday 8.30-5pm, Saturday 10-2pm. See www.lightplan.ie