Hello everyone! My name is Declan McGivern, and I’m designRoom’s new Client Relationship Manager. This post is about my long and somewhat unorthodox path to Cleveland and designRoom — a journey I wouldn’t change for the world.
I come from a small village on the outskirts of a modest industrial town, Huddersfield, in England. Though I feel immensely proud of my hometown, I’ve always had the urge to see the world. It’s a curiosity I attribute to my three older sisters, each of whom took bold steps to new places.
My oldest sister moved to London immediately after graduating from University. The second eldest moved to Sydney, Australia and, after living there for eight years, is now a dual citizen. And my youngest sister hopped on a train with a friend and comprehensively traveled the continent of Europe (it’s known as an inter-railing trip).
I grew up an aspiring soccer player (not an aspiring client relationship manager) dreaming every English boy’s dream of becoming a professional. In England, high school graduation comes at the age of 16. Upon graduation I was selected for a full-time apprenticeship with Bradford City FC, a member of the 3rd tier of professional soccer in England. I played for two years, and studied most evenings.
A professional contract was not guaranteed, so studying was important — I wanted to attend university if I didn’t get a contract.
When judgement day came at age 18, I was released. Devastated, I wondered what to do next. I knew I had to move forward. That’s when I heard about the possibility of continuing to play while pursuing my studies in the U.S.
Work and play in the U.S.A.
Long story short, I followed a former Bradford teammate to a charming school near Cleveland — Notre Dame College. Filled with people from all over the world, the school was small enough to build relationships but close enough to the city to make it exciting. I studied Business Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and captained the men’s soccer team. It was the perfect path.
Since then, I have lived in Cleveland, Seattle, Chicago, and up north in Canada. I have travelled to more than 20 states and been fortunate enough to see a lot of what this magnificent country has to offer. Despite my travels, Cleveland called me back.
Why designRoom? I interned here. My experience included several marketing projects, a lot of market research, and getting to see great work being made. With a close-up view, I could see how and why the work turned out so impeccably good. Perhaps that was my audition — seeing all sides of the healthy branding and marketing process and helping wherever I could. I learned a lot about what our clients need, expect, and how to help. I loved it then and I still do — the team, the energy, and the passion.
I’m very excited to be dR’s Client Relationship Manager, and look forward to helping all of our clients achieve rousing, sustainable success. Here’s to more adventures!