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‘At the age of 33, I left my career and decided it was time to start over’

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by Caitlin McBride
21st Jun 2023

Read time: 12 mins

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Photograph: Emily Quinn

Caitlin McBride reflects on a moment in time that changed her entire life and the importance of equal footing for women

Many of us often feel like we disappoint our younger selves with our adult decisions. My child self might be shocked to learn that I am not on course to become the first female president of the United States; my teenage self would be horrified to learn that my makeup regimen no longer plays a starring role in my life and my twenties self would be appalled to learn that I left the career I spent that entire decade building.

In May 2020, I left behind my journalism career. At the age of 33, I decided it was time to start over. I liken that decision to the end of a bad break-up: everything that person (or in this case, job) does suddenly drives you crazy. Things that never bothered you before made you apoplectic with rage.

I knew I would need to return to education and find something that aligned with my new ambitions; something for which I would not see as ‘sacrificing’ my thirties but instead building bricks on the foundation of my career. So, in September 2020, I joined the full-time MBA programme at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and found that purpose being fulfilled.

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