Steven Naismith CA
Steven Naismith CA decided to gain his ICAS qualification as he wanted to pursue a career in business with ample opportunities.
I’m the Senior Commercial Finance Business Partner at Edinburgh Airport. I originally studied Law with Spanish at Glasgow University and then moved onto completing my CA qualification with ICAS while working with Deloitte in Edinburgh.
Why did you become a CA?
The honest answer is I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do as I approached the end of my time at university. I knew I wanted to work in business but didn’t know how to do that. I spoke to a few friends who were studying for their CA qualification and one thing that came across was the breadth of opportunities that the CA opens, in fact it opens doors. That’s why I decided to become a CA.
What makes you proud to be a CA?
The thing that makes me proud to be a CA is the international representation of the qualification. There is a certain level of respect that comes with the CA designation.
Are you involved in any voluntary work as a CA?
I am a Board Trustee and Treasurer at a charity called Waverly Care. I find it really rewarding to bring my skills as a CA to help the charity and allow them to do what they do well for the community.
How do you look after your physical and mental wellbeing?
Well, we all know that it is really important to look after your wellbeing especially at the moment when we are all largely working from home. The real thing that has made a massive difference to me over the last few months is to plan ahead, make sure I prioritise, work it out and stick to it.
What is the most interesting project you have been involved in?
I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to get involved in lots of interesting commercial projects since I qualified. Whether that’s being part of a team exporting beer to Canada or working out how best to use land at an airport. The interesting thing for me is having the opportunity to get involved beyond the numbers.
What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
The best piece of career advice I have ever received was from a partner I worked for when I was training. The advice was that, whenever you get career advice from anyone, to always remember they’re biased. That individual chose a certain route and that will influence how they see the world and advise others. That’s not to say, don’t get career advice from anyone else but it is just to say keep that in mind and ultimately trust your own judgement when making decisions.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to become a CA?
I would give three bits of advice to anyone thinking about becoming a CA. Firstly, do your research and make sure you want it. Becoming a CA involves a lot of hard work and long hours, so you really need to know that you want to do it. Secondly, make the most of any opportunities that come your way in your training contract. Big accountancy firms offer so many opportunities and I would encourage you to say yes to everything. Finally, don’t worry too much about the longer term, it’s hard to know how your career is going to pan out, but just focus on making the right decisions now and it will work out.