Staff Spotlight: Onora Gill-Fitch

Office Manager


Onora manages the office at Irish Gap Year. Having worked in the UK as a ceramicist and later as an art technician she has a love for all things Art and Design.

In her downtime, Onora can be found spending time at home with her husband and four children.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory has to be a trip that I took in my twenties with my now-husband. We spent a month cycling around France with nothing but a backpack, our bikes, and a two-man tent. Eating smelly camembert cheese on a crusty baguette and having no plans or agendas. We just followed an old paper map and cycled a little every day until we decided to stop and pitch the tent.

We have since brought our children back to the places we visited, but a bit more planning had to go into that trip!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Yes, I have definitely changed since working with Irish Gap Year, having taken a break in my career when our children were small, it was a nervous time starting back at work. Irish Gap Year helped make the transition back to work simple and I felt encouraged all the way. My confidence has grown immensely over the years.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

We stay in touch with a lot of our students and I guess just hearing from them all from time to time and hearing how their lives are going is so great.

Also, I give the students some cooking lessons to teach them a few basic home-cooked meals that they can do when they go to college or for their family, I love it when the once reluctant chefs send me photos months after their return of the dishes that they are still creating.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would definitely choose the Irish Arts and Culture program. Having studied art in college and later working as a ceramicist and then an Art technician in a college it would be a dream of mine to immerse myself for 12 weeks in all the fantastic workshops and cultural trips of the Arts and Culture program.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I feel our company is unique because we are a small, really close team and we all truly care about the job at hand and the well-being of our students. As a team, we are all really good friends and that shows through in the students who regularly comment on how close we all are.

I am always proud of the staff of Irish Gap Year, everyone gives 100% but the proudest days are when we are saying goodbye to tearful students who have loved their time with IGY and we know that we have delivered a great program and given some kids from America memories to cherish.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe the biggest factor in a company being successful is having a great team. I feel that everyone in Irish Gap Year truly loves what they do. Loving your job and always striving to do your best will inevitably make a company more successful and make the experience for the students one to remember for the rest of their lives.