Jane Butler is 23 years old and lives in Portlaw with her family. Her mom is Minister of State Mary Butler, so there is never a dull moment in their house! Jane currently works part-time for Emerald Contact Centre. “Emerald is a fantastic place to work. It started off in my hometown of Portlaw in the beautiful Woodlock house, but due to its growth the offices are now in the city. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Gaeilge, which I graduated with last year from Mary Immaculate College. I had four amazing years in Limerick City. After a year out working to decide where I wanted to go next I had a change of heart regarding my career path and am currently undertaking a masters in Local Government Management with the Whitaker School of Government in Dublin.”
Life in a Day
Home for me at the moment is where I work, study and relax! Due to the pandemic I have been working from home since March. I am so lucky to be in a job that facilitated us to go home for our safety but to continue to work, so I worked full time through the lockdown. I work part time now as I am a student again. On the days I am not working I’m studying for my masters in Local Government Management. This is also all online for the foreseeable future. I’m taking modules in Economics, Finance and HR Management, all focused around the public sector so I have plenty of reading and work to keep me on my toes! In between studying and working I like to stay up to date with all the news and current affairs and, truthfully, I spend more time watching Oireachtas TV than Netflix.
Family is huge in my life so I will always find time every day to spend with my Dad and my sister, visit my Nanny or have a catch up phone call with my Mom, if she’s not ‘On another line!’. Another big interest of mine is clothes and fashion so most of my days start with my Dad rolling his eyes at me as one of the delivery men arrives at the front door with a package (oops). On the weekends I try to see my friends for a catch up and go for food and a few drinks. My best friends live in beautiful Tramore so I spend most weekends there. Sunday I will always park the books and spend time with family or else recovering if I’ve had a good Saturday night!
What school did you go to?
I went to St. Declan’s Community College in Kilmacthomas. I had a great time there, especially in 4th year. St. Declan’s does Transition Year so well.
What teacher do you remember most vividly?
This would have to be Ms. Bridget Mitchell who taught me Economics in fifth and sixth year. She had a unique and really effective way of making us remember information and I still hear her voice in my head when I am studying all the graphs in my Economics module.
What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
I would tell her to relax because everything will work itself out. I think at that age every little thing that happens can have a huge impact on you, when realistically looking back they were the most trivial things. I would also tell her to just enjoy being young, because once you hit 18 it honestly just flies.
How do you relax?
Once I’m finished work or college for the day I get into bed with a cup of tea and depending on my mood I’ll watch political commentary like the Tonight Show or Prime Time, or if my head is too melted from the day I’ll watch something mindless like Keeping Up With the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
What is your favourite film and piece of music?
For film it is anything Disney! I love Up, Tangled and The Princess and The Frog, I’m just a big child really. I like a different range of music. At home we grew up listening to classic rock and since I’ve gotten older I’m a fan of hip-hop and techno (to the dismay of my father). My favourite piece of music, however, is the Dark Side of the Moon album by Pink Floyd… genius.
When was the last time you cried?
The last time I cried was actually yesterday! I’m learning how to drive at the moment and someone I came across on the road was not very kind to me and it knocked me a small bit, but I was back in the car today so that didn’t last long at all.
What has been your happiest moment of recent times?
This year has been a difficult one for everyone but I was lucky to have had a few really good moments/ milestones throughout this year. The happiest would have to be when I was accepted to my Masters during the summer. I felt like my life was on track again.
Do you pray?
Not enough! But I do pray to my Grandparents in times of need. When I lost my paternal Grandparents within two years of each other, I definitely found an appreciation for the comfort you can get from faith that I didn’t have before.
What is your biggest fear?
My biggest fear would be losing a family member. Family is everything to me so that is definitely something that scares me as the years go on.
What is your most treasured possession?
Probably my car. I bought my first car recently and I’m so proud of it. Her name is Pixie and she represents a lot of hard work and determination to me.
What is your favourite thing about living in Waterford?
The diversity. It’s great that you can be in a city and within 20 minutes back home in a country town or similarly within 20 minutes of the city you can be at the beach if you wish. We have so much beauty right on our doorstep that we definitely all take for granted! Whenever I’ve had friends of mine I met in Limerick visit they’ve always loved it here.
If you could change one thing about Waterford, what would it be?
Better shopping opportunities would be lovely to see. I’d love to be able to shop strictly local, but our retail offering doesn’t allow for that unfortunately. I try to do it where possible though because keeping our businesses alive is so important and supporting local will be crucial this Christmas.