Mairead Ferris is the founder and owner of Mairead Ferris and Company Solicitors and a proud external Ambassador for Business Women Can.
What is your background?
I am a past pupil of St. John’s Primary School Swatragh and St. Patrick’s College Maghera. I studied Law and Business Studies at the University of Ulster and graduated with First Class Honours in 2002. After graduating, I completed my solicitor training at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies Queens University Belfast and have been practicing as a Solicitor since qualifying in 2004. In 2008, I was awarded a Masters Degree in Human Rights and Criminal Justice from Queens University and I was accredited with membership of the Law Society of Northern Ireland Children Order Solicitor Panel in 2012. In 2009, I established Mairead Ferris & Company Solicitors which is based in Cookstown County Tyrone. Day to day, I advise and represent private and business clients across the practice’s broad range of legal services. In addition to my work as a Solicitor, I am a Law Lecturer at the University of Ulster and have been teaching law at the University of Ulster since 2004. I was awarded a Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice by the University of Ulster in 2012. In addition, I sit on the Board of Governors of St. Patrick’s Bilateral Co-Educational College Maghera. In my free time, I am keen musician and enjoy sport, socialising and travel.
Why did you start your business?
I wanted to establish a modern professional practice where clients could access advice and representation in a comfortable environment, delivered in a friendly straightforward manner. Starting a business from scratch was a daunting prospect, but I was very lucky to have an enormous amount of support and encouragement for which I am eternally grateful.
What did you learn?
Opening my practice has been the richest learning opportunity of my professional life so far. While it may sound like a cliché, the opportunities to learn are non-stop; and for me, that is one of the greatest attractions of running a business. I have learned that being in business can be a bumpy journey with ups and downs but it is filled with rewarding challenges. I also learned that it is only when you are pushed out of your comfort zone that you realise what you are truly capable of.
What tip would you give another entrepreneur?
Be patient. When you meet a challenge whatever it is, step back from it and gain perspective; that’s when the correct solution and way forward will most clearly present itself. Keep focused on the positive even when things are tough and reward yourself for the little achievements along the way.
Visit her website; www.maireadferris.com