Gutsy Genius Thinker

It’s not about showing up; it’s what you do when you are there that makes the difference.

CAIT NOONE – Vice President, International Engagement and Galway International Hotel School, GMIT, Galway

Cait Noone

Galway, Ireland

Cait is known in her community as a powerhouse promoter of Travel, Tourism, Hospitality, and the Arts. Prior to arriving in Galway, she was the Dean of Les Roches Jin Jiang International, the first international hotel management school in China, with stints at Les Roches, Switzerland, and other educational institutions around the world. Like many of our GGTs, she gives back to her community and represents the University on the Galway 2020 Steering Committee and the Galway European Region of Gastronomy Steering Committee. With her participation, Galway earned the European Capital of Culture in 2020 designation. She also volunteers her time towards tackling homelessness.

We checked in with Cait recently and learned that her university, in conjunction with the Irish government, is adapting its curriculum to accelerate technical skills training and form partnerships with countries such as South Africa to develop international reciprocal programs. This approach is also being applied, in conjunction with Irish business leaders, to accelerate training and adapt academic curricula to match the seismic change occurring as a result of C-19.

In a recent interview with the Irish Times, recalling her early days as a hotel receptionist, Noone says, “I liked the industry, but I found aspects of it quite difficult. In the late 1980s in Ireland, the industry was very male dominated at managerial level, and I didn’t see many opportunities available for young women to progress their careers.” Fast-forward, and approximately 51 percent in the Travel space are female, but with a continued imbalance on Boards and in senior leadership roles. Cait and many others are driving the space to evolve rapidly.

Cait’s Adapters Tips

  • Educators must be innovation nurturers.
  • Diversity matters—Be a change Leader to ensure that your teams represent the make-up of your community and customer base.
  • Social and communication skills must evolve faster to thrive—hunt and find mentors to help develop those skills.
  • Be a lifelong learner or become extinct.
  • Business leadership, both style and skills, will have to change dramatically to adapt to the C-19 aftermath.
  • Every level in a business must influence the culture—workplace culture reflects the effort of all employees.