I was particularly looking forward to hearing from Donal Mulryan, and was curious to know why he chooses to support Patchwork and in turn individuals like myself. I was worried that because it was virtual, we were missing out on the whole interpersonal experience, but little did I know what was about to come would be so much more.
When I asked him about how he was dealing with the pandemic situation and how he remains consistent, Mr Mulryan said, “Nothing has changed!”. He mentioned how Covid was another obstacle amongst so many he has faced over the years and that they will overcome it. Come what may, he said, remain passionate about your dreams.
The talk and all the responses from him had one main theme and I truly think Mr Mulryan does live by this ethos: passion, perseverance and pride. He shared with us his experiences, his journey and why he chose to become an entrepreneur. As the founder of Rockwell Property, he has achieved significant success, but his perception of success is not only limited to financial profits. He believes in leaving behind a legacy, creating jobs and improving the community around the building.
I can never look at a building as a few bricks and mortar anymore, it is so much more.
Overall, this session not only cemented my views of facing difficult situations, it has also reminded me of how important being truly passionate towards something really is. It also displays that whatever happens in life one should not lose sight of their passion and how important resilience is. The session has truly inspired myself and, I am, sure all the other Patchworkers that joined.
I could not have imagined the session going any better. I would really like to thank Mr Mulryan for taking out the time to speak to us and special thanks to fellow Patchworker Nick for his excellent chairing.
Written by Shaikh Asnain
2020 Masterclass Programme Participant
Before the masterclass even started, it was told that last year’s cohort particularly praised the session led by Donal Mulryan. Given that he is also a patron of Patchwork Foundation, I was quite eager to hear what he had to say given the sector he works for. Patchwork is all about making politics and democracy more accessible to marginalised groups of society and considering Mr Mulryan works in construction and property development, it wasn’t an immediate connection most people think of.
We began the masterclass like all of the others; preparation beforehand. This meant research. I was thoroughly impressed with how Rockwell, a construction and property development company, exhibited social responsibility and community engagement. What sets aside Mr Mulryan’s company was the ethics and values behind the company’s founding. Each project is followed up by creating sustainable relationships with the immediate community and engaging stakeholders at all levels. This is regularly followed up and the company constantly “reinvests” into the local communities that they are based in. Naturally, I was quite keen to understand how Mr Mulryan came to this position given the industry that he’s in.
Reflecting back, I think one of the reasons this masterclass has left a lasting mark for me, and in some ways was made more impactful, is because of Mr Mulryan’s articulation of his journey. It didn’t feel like a Q&A session or a tutor speaking to us. It was simply an honest account of Mr Mulryan’s humble beginnings to how he got to where he was.
One thing he emphasised repeatedly was the concept of leaving a legacy behind. He explained that each of us are able to do so and we need to figure out how it is we want this to manifest in our lives. For him, he enjoyed architecture and wanted to leave behind a tangible, physical legacy which meant that the pathway into property was a no-brainer to him.
Given his vision from a young age, the questions we asked really supplemented his points. We asked him about setbacks he faced and how he dealt with them. Most answers seemed really simple. Things like you don’t know how to deal with a situation until you’ve faced it,and when you face challenges, you learn from them and can use the lessons learnt to adapt in the next situation. He compared the previous recessions to the current COVID-19 pandemic and explained how there were elements from his past experiences which had helped him steer his company during this time, along with new unprecedented challenges that he will learn from and be more prepared for in the future.
I didn’t get to ask my question which I was quite gutted about. I wanted to ask what he would change if he were to start all over again with the knowledge he has now. For someone with a vision like his, I suspect there are lots of things he would prioritise differently to realise his vision. Nonetheless, the questions he answered eluded to what I think his advice would be. Learn from challenges whilst constantly working towards a clear goal and don’t be afraid to take risks.
I think this masterclass will resonate with me for a long time because of Mr Mulryan taking us all on a journey through his past to where he is now, rather than a lecture. If anything, this felt like an advice session with someone who is mentoring you rather than a tutor and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Written by Redwan Shahid
2020 Masterclass Programme Participant