Cornmarket is delighted to have teamed up with Linda Djougang as part of our SHE Inspires Campaign. Linda is an Irish Women’s Rugby International currently playing for Leinster and Old Belvedere and is also a Nurse. Amongst her many sporting achievements, Linda made her debut for Ireland in 2019 during the Women’s Six Nations and has gone on to win 32 caps for the senior side.

Our 'She Inspires...' campaign celebrates women who go above and beyond both in their day job as a front-line worker but also do extraordinary things outside of work.

Tell us a bit about yourself...

I was born in Cameroon, Douala. I moved to Ireland at the age of 9 years to live my dad and his family in Lusk Co. Dublin. I am fluent in French and English. I went to school in Rush and Luck Educate Together and then moved to St. Joseph’s secondary school before getting the opportunity to study nursing in Trinity College.

When did you become a nurse?

I became a general nurse in 2020 during the pandemic. It was a very tough year to qualify as a nurse due to pandemic. There was a lot of pressure and expectations to know everything but there was always support which at times made everything better.

What made you choose a career as a nurse?

I think I always grew up caring for people. As a child, myself and my family looked after our grand parents and my grandmother told me that I was very caring person. I always knew I wanted a career that would allow me to be a service to people and because I loved it. I have a big heart and I love giving back to others.

What do you enjoy most about being a nurse?

I love working with people, that feeling you get can’t be bought. I love putting a smile on people's faces and just making a small impact in their life.  Throughout my life so many people supported me to get to where I am that I want be able to do that to others and nursing helps me to achieve that.

What age did you get into sport?

I started Rugby when I was 19 years old.

Why did you choose rugby?

I have always enjoyed, playing and watching sport. I didn’t play sport outside of school until I started playing in college. I picked up rugby by accident at an internship job. I just wanted to make friends then, but I didn’t know signing up to a tag rugby team would’ve let me to this journey.

How do you juggle a career in the public sector with sport?

I think the support for me is so important.  It’s important to be able to switch off from rugby when I’m working and vice versa. It really helped me to connect with my colleagues. I think for me it's doing everything early, early communication so that the manager knows of your training days when doing roster shifts. Working along with my manager and bringing my colleagues alongside my rugby journeys has also helped in them understanding my commitment to rugby and nursing.

What are you most proud of in your life?

I think I am mostly proud of my achievements in rugby and nursing.

If you have one piece of advice that you could tell your future self when you were younger what would it be?

I would tell my future self that all the hard work will pay off. I’ll tell her that everything happens for a reason and to not be too hard on herself.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the world of sport?

Enjoy every moment and don’t be to hard on yourself.

Who has been an inspiration to you in your life?

I think a lot of people have shared my journey with me - each had a positive impact in my life. I think I’m an inspiration to myself, as I never dreamed of becoming the person that I am today and for that I owe it to myself and the people around me. It takes a village to raise a child.

Cornmarket is proud to champion female trailblazers in the public sector, like Linda. For over 50 years we’ve been looking after the financial wellbeing of public servants. We’ll continue to safeguard your financial future so you can focus on the things that matter to you, in work and beyond.