Hello, my name is Garry Kendellen I am an artist, storyteller, photographer and I have a great job at Galway Atlantaquaria.
Tell us about your business.
Galway Atlantaquaria Ireland’s largest native species aquarium is a Zoo & Aquarium located in the Village Salthill beside Galway Bay. Our Zoo & Aquarium offers visitors young and old a truly immersive experience as they wander through our exhibits. Galway Atlantaquaria hosts over 100 marine species over two floors, so there is always something to see. With lots of detailed signage and exhibits all telling a story about the marine history of Galway, education or ocean literacy is very important to us. There are regular tours and interactive feeding times throughout the day and it recommended that you join in on these to get most from the Aquarium experience.
Why did you choose to work in the Aquarium?
About 6 years ago, I was a qualified youth worker and needed extra support in talking to large groups. I saw an ad for the aquarium that were looking for volunteers to talk about the animals to groups so I joined the aquarium as a volunteer tour guide and I loved the experience. I think talking to large groups is intimidating, but the experience and training by the aquarium staff means you are well prepared to speak to large groups without getting nervous. I joined the aquarium team, as it’s a place of interactive education, ocean literacy, they have a strong community ethos and work hard to make Salthill a great experience for Galway people and visitors from around the world.
How has being a member of Galway Chamber helped you?
I LOVE being a member of the Galway Chamber as they offer a dynamic range of training and speakers
What is the biggest challenge, in your opinion, facing businesses in 2018?
Galway is at high risk from continued traffic congestion which could impact on people travelling for family days at the aquarium. I also think that the marine pollution on our beaches and protected areas is very bad for the ‘look’ of Galway. Some of our waterways are very bad with litter and overgrown weeds etc. In short Traffic and Litter (marine litter)!
What changes have you seen in Galway over the last 5 years, with regard to doing business?
In my opinion I think the work of social media bloggers have done some great work in photographing Galway at its best. These bloggers do some great work and should be recognised for their vision of Galway. The increased use of social media is great for business and we have seen more ‘footfall’ because of this.
What one thing do you do every day that makes your work a success?
STOP and think…..every morning before I start I take a moment to prepare myself for the day.
At the end of day I also stop and think as I take small notes of what was done and what needs to be done tomorrow. I think it’s a consistent ritual that seems to work for me. I also practice mindfulness, so I don’t worry about when things go wrong I just write notes to learn from them!
If you could give one piece of advice to someone just getting started in work what would it be?
I think you NEED to have to have a friendly manner and always smile! You never know where a smile can take you, but a frowns destination is already mapped! Learn some form of computer skill, as this adds to your own CV and usefulness. Be thankful for what you have!