Cathal McNamara is a 2008 LCC alumnus, who came from Ireland to pursue a degree in Business Administration. During his time at LCC, Cathal was an active student, spending two years serving as the Student Council President, setting an example to his peers. He has worked in multiple business development roles before going on to establish his businesses in IT Consulting & Financial Services. Now, Cathal is a successful CEO at Webpartners.ie & Director at SMEaccounting.ie. Cathal shares about his experience at LCC, giving words of wisdom about courage, and piece to future generations of advice on finding the right path.
Cathal came to LCC International University in 2004 and was the first Irish student on campus. He first heard out about Lithuania in high school, by visiting the heart of Europe through an exchange program. McNamara enjoyed Lithuania so much that he decided to come back for another visit, eventually challenging himself and choosing LCC International University for his academic growth. “I was taking a bit of an unusual route, but at that time it felt the right path, and many years later still know it was the correct path,” shared Cathal. Reflecting on his time at LCC, and the liberal arts education, this Business Administration alumnus expressed pride in his accomplishment and degree. Having the ability to major in one specific program, and take additional classes as concentrations made a huge difference, providing space to explore beyond your primary degree focus. “I stand by the four-year liberal arts education model 100%. You have time to explore, grow, and find your specialty.”
While Cathal was studying at LCC, he was also working in an Irish Real Estate Investment Company in Klaipeda. Even though he enjoyed the workplace, Cathal felt it was time to move back to his homeland and ended up working in education, promoting an Irish College to students abroad. After some time, an opportunity to establish an online education business in Ireland presented itself, and McNamara went for it. But after a few years, he did not feel completely fulfilled in terms of his career. After feedback from numerous big companies that couldn’t find where Cathal fit best, he decided to create his business consulting agency. The beginning was hard, but hard work paid off. “You start day one with zero clients and it’s a risky move, but in the end, it pays off,” commented McNamara. These are the success stories behind the Webpartners.ie & SMEaccounting.ie. In 2020, Cathal worked with a business partner and he helped them understand their business, the structure, and received insights into the sector of Personal Insolvency. This sector specializes in returning financial solvency to people who are not able to pay off debts, mortgage, loans, and credit card bills, and helps them to function as stronger economic citizens. “I was enlightened by understanding that there is a way to help people,” said Cathal. This was a great opportunity for him to get insights and continue working with the clients.
Besides the liberal arts education, the CEO emphasized the importance of servant leadership and the values that LCC equips students with, for a lifetime. Cathal spent his student years involved in many leadership positions, organizing events, and bringing joy to others. “Having empathy and understanding that everything you do will impact someone including yourself, makes you have to make the right ethical choice, that’s important,” he shared.
Reminiscing about his time at LCC, Cathal McNamara shared a piece of advice with the future students. “It's important to tailor your expectations. Put your time in your CV, looking for the right opportunity. You’re a ball of energy, and a ball of knowledge, but not a ball of experience. Look for jobs that will complement what you’ve studied, and what you’ve done already. Keep an open mind. Even though you start on one path, you might end up on another, and that’s okay. Look for mentors, and take in every possible experience.”
If you missed the Coffee with Alumni discussion with Cathal McNamara, click the link to learn more about his experience -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChZ1b8NZ57I&t=1810s