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A Conversation with Anthony Mulloy

June, 2011

Congratulations to Anthony Mulloy, our Exchange Visitor of the Month! We caught up with Anthony to learn more about his J-1 experience in the United States.

Tell me a bit about yourself…..

I am a structural engineer and went to university in Ireland.  I have been working as an engineer in London for 3 years, and always had a keen interest in numbers.  At home, I played on the Ireland National Water Polo Team—its great sport because it’s very sociable. No matter where you go, the people who you meet in the sport are all the same—well mannered and fun! It’s easy to socialize around the world if you’re a water polo player.

Describe your training for me….

When I started training they introduced me to all of the different jobs. I went to on-site visits to see many jobs, including the World Trade Center. I’m learning about hoists on the largest building, the freedom tower, it’s going to be the tallest building in the U.S. It’s a pretty exciting experience to be involved in. I’ve never worked on such a large scale—the largest in the UK is only about 5-6 floors high.

What has been your favorite part of your training?

Getting to see the 36th floor of the freedom tower. I got a view of the whole footprint of the city and everything below. Staten Island, the Statue of Liberty— it was a panoramic view…pretty amazing.

What do you think of NYC?

It’s a bit different to what I initially expected before I came over. I came over 7 years before and I said “I’d never live here,” but now I see it as more of a professional city than other cities—people are very work oriented.  From a professional point of view it’s very good, and you can learn a lot more here than in other cities.  Compared to London—from an engineering/construction point of view, NYC is much faster paced, there’s much more to learn.

Do you have any new favorite foods?

I’ve developed a bit of a sweet tooth for the New York Cheesecakes.

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not training?

I really enjoy playing water polo in NYC. There is a huge 50 meter pool and all of the guys are really nice. It’s not only the exercise but the socialization. We go to occasional tournaments on the weekends. If you’re a water polo player, you’re very adjustable around the world.

How have you shared your culture with your co-workers or friends?

On St. Patrick’s Day I told them about the story of St. Patrick. It was pretty overwhelming being from such a small country and seeing that so many people were celebrating. I didn’t really get to experience it in as much detail as I would have liked to—apparently the parade was huge—it was pretty spectacular.  In Ireland people have a day off for the patron saint; it usually just involves people going out.  There’s Fireworks and festival, but I think it’s a bigger celebration here.  

Is there anything else you are hoping to do before your training is over?

I’ve heard about the Jersey Shore. I’m trying to get down there and work on my tan, so I’m not an albino Irish man.

Do you have any J-1 exchange advice?

Have all your ducks in a row.

Last thoughts…..

The people have been very nice, it’s great training experience, and playing in the water polo club has been great. I couldn’t have gotten this far without everyone’s help, including the American Immigration Council.