Celebrating Women of Different backgrounds: Amy Dolan–Chiropractor and bikini model Dr. Jenny Li introduces us to inspiring women from different cultural backgrounds who have made Singapore their home. Here we meet Amy Dolan, originally from Ireland.

Please share with us who is Amy.

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My name is Amy Dolan. I’m 26-years old and from Ireland. I’ve been living and working in Singapore as a speech and language therapist since September 2012. I moved here after university to develop my career and to travel. I was originally supposed to move home after 2 years but I fell in love with Singapore and stayed.

What are the challenges while you are working in Singapore?

Initially, when I started working here I found the long hours challenging and trying to establish a balance between work, fitness and social life was very difficult. That continues to be a goal for me. My family and friends still live in Ireland so I do get homesick every now and then.

How do you overcome those challenges?

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I feel that tackling these challenges is an ongoing goal as my work schedule can shift and change. My off days are Sunday and Monday so on those days I try to get everything organized for the coming week. I grocery shop, plan and prep my meals for the week, organise my workout schedule and arrange to see friends. Last year I competed twice in local fitness competitions in figure and bikini categories. This has helped me to learn how to manage my time and schedule really well.

To overcome homesickness is a lot more difficult. I keep in almost daily contact with my family via WhatsApp and Facebook. We also Skype as much as we can. When I’m homesick I do turn to my “adopted family” here – my friends! They are always amazing at taking care of me. I think no matter what it’s always really important to surround yourself with people who will support you.

What did you learn from your experience working abroad?

Working in Singapore has taught me a lot about myself. I’ve learned that no matter what I do once I commit and put my mind to something I will achieve my goals. If you had told me when I first moved that I would have competed twice in 2016 and been promoted to lead therapist at my clinic I would have laughed. I’ve also learned how to turn to others for support. Doing that has allowed me to gain a diverse circle of close, supportive and amazing friends from all parts of my life.

But the most important lesson I’ve learned is how to be patient with others and myself. Not everything is achieved overnight. Often the things that are worth most are worth waiting for.