Siobhan Swann, one of our two supervisors in our Ballincollig café, has been both blessed and cursed. Still in her twenties, she has already had her dream job. We’d like to say it’s working at BiteSize. But while that is a close second, her dream job was running a Naíonra in Wilton.
“I got the job right out of college. In fact, I got the job while I was still in college. It was everything I was looking for, having studied Early Year Education,” Siobhan says.
She’d always planned to travel to Australia. So with a semi-heavy heart, she left the job after a year and set off Down Under. “It was brilliant. The most amazing experience. We were in Darwin for seven months and then in Melbourne at the end. As a small-town girl, I loved Darwin. You knew most of the people you saw walking down the street,” she says.
It reminded her of Ballincollig, her hometown. Just with much hotter weather. Eventually, the call of home became too strong and Siobhan returned to Ireland.
Even though early years education is where her heart is, the opportunities to make a decent living in the sector are limited. That was one of the reasons the job in Wilton was so satisfying. But those kind of jobs are few and far between. Instead Siobhan, who has plenty of customer-facing experience from college jobs and bar work in Australia, landed with us when she came back. We’re delighted. She was recently promoted to supervisor.
“I love it. The girls and the lads who work here are amazing. Kasia is the best manager you’d have anywhere you’d work. I love that it’s in the middle of Ballincollig. The regulars who come in every day become part of your family. I just love working with people,” she says.
Maybe it’s not surprising then that her favourite BiteSize treats look like people: gingerbread men. She says they are small, so you don’t feel guilty after you’ve eaten one.
Her coffee of choice is Americano, with a twist. She doesn’t like it piping hot, so she cools it down with a dash of cold water or, even better, some ice cubes. She never adds milk to her coffee. “I haven’t drunk a glass of milk since I was about 8. I was a vegan for a little while. I never felt so good. I was into fitness and my performance improved,” she says.
Having already had her dream job, what plans could she possibly have for her career now? Siobhan would like to go back to CIT to get a Master’s degree in early years education. “I’ve found that I also really enjoy café work. I suppose my new dream job would be to own a complex with a preschool, afterschool, café and a restaurant with a bar,” she says with a laugh.