A coffee with Mairea Doyle Balfe, director of hotel, tourism and leisure services at Crowe
This is the last installment of our 2019 series celebrating our employees and the careers they are building with Crowe. In total we interviewed 16 staff from all areas of the firm about what it is like to work with the practice and build an extraordinary career with Crowe.
What was your primary degree?
B Sc. Mgmt Science, H-Dip Hotel and Catering Management.
Before working at Crowe, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I worked in a number of hotels and hospitality properties. While that is not unusual in itself, often it led to a number of unusual experiences! In one hotel that I worked in we regularly went ‘above and beyond’ for the guest. I decided to mind a guest’s Rottweiler puppy for a weekend while the guest was staying in our hotel. He was very cute and very entertaining (the puppy that is) until he decided to eat through the phone cord while I was on it!
What is it about a career in HTL (hotel, tourism and leisure) advisory that appeals to you?
HTL lets me work in an industry that I love and advisory gives me the opportunity to work on varied projects that are constantly challenging. It is very satisfying to be able to help clients achieve their goals.
What does your job entail?
I am an advisor to the hotel tourism and leisure industry. I have a range of clients and the projects are very strategic from both a financial and business perspective.
Describe a typical day.
There is no typical day. Today I worked on a number of projects: Preparation of budgets/projections for a Dublin hotel for the next five years; researching trends on the industry and working with a client on their bank loan application for extending their hotel.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
Varied, busy, challenging
What is the most challenging thing about your job?
I am working on several projects at any one time – it can be challenging to always meet deadlines.
What do you like most about your job?
My team and my clients. The hospitality industry is all about the people, whether you are in operations or in advisory. Even though I don’t work directly in hotel operations anymore, I am glad that the work I do is definitely team work. I like that it is a team effort for all assignments and while we have different roles, every person contributes to the project.
What is different about working at Crowe?
For a hospitality person, Horwath HTL (as a part of Crowe) is the brand to work for.
What are 3 words to describe Crowe?
THE hospitality advisory experts (that’s four words!)
Crowe’s values are Agility, Curiosity, Affinity and Clarity.
What personal values define you?
Integrity and quality
Favourite memory from work?
Most recently helping a client improve the long-term performance of their hotel asset. While results are not always immediate, we reached a turning point where we are confident of the performance going forward.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
“Your health is your wealth” – from my octogenarian dad.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
It’s quite simple – anything with family and friends.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I have none. If you enjoy something you shouldn’t feel guilty!
What is your hidden talent?
Hiding my many hidden talents!
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Early bird. With two teenage kids, it’s a guaranteed quiet time in the house.