CAs and business leaders share advice for their younger self

Professionals meeting
By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

29 June 2017

When starting out in a new career, some sage advice from someone who has followed the same path can be an invaluable resource. 

With this in mind ICAS has announced its CA Career Conversations event on 28 September in Glasgow.

This event provides a unique opportunity for newly qualified CAs to hear from some of the most influential CAs in the country, with the chance to put any questions they have directly to them. 

After the hugely successful events last year we caught up with some of the event speakers, and asked them: if they could speak to their younger self, with the knowledge and experience they have gained over the years, what one piece of advice would the want to impart?

Here is what they said...

Rhona Thomson

Executive Director and Senior Client Manager, Morgan Stanley

Rather than just pass on one piece of advice I am going to chance it and give my younger self two.

Firstly, that it is never too early to start thinking about your network.

Secondly, whilst it is good to look for your next career step and opportunities for the future, don’t forget to make the most of what you are doing in the present. If you do there is a risk that you will miss out on enjoyable and valuable experiences and potentially not notice interesting opportunities available to you that you were not expecting.

Rhona is Executive Director and Senior Client Manager with Morgan Stanley, responsible for managing the Glasgow and London Accounting and Client Service team. Rhona first joined Morgan Stanley in the Finance Division where she managed functions performing P&L controls and calculations for fixed income traders. She then moved to Morgan Stanley Fund Services in 2007. Rhona holds a Bachelor of Accounting from Glasgow University, and qualified as a CA with EY, and now has over twenty years’ experience within the financial services industry.

Amanda McMillan CA

CEO, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton Airports (AGS) Ltd

My gut reaction would be to say push yourself out of your comfort zone; it’s the only way to find the thing you love.

Amanda was appointed CEO of AGS Ltd in 2014 and is also MD of Glasgow Airport. Her success was recognised in 2013 when she received an OBE in recognition of her services to UK business and tourism. Prior to that Amanda worked for worldwide drinks firm Diageo and global accountancy firm KPMG.

Ian Reid CA

Head of Commercial Finance, AG Barr

I would probably say that working in a role or sector you really enjoy or feel passionate about is critical. When you are younger you sometimes make career choices based on money or what you perceive to be the career path you 'should be' taking but you'll enjoy work and probably achieve more if you are working in an environment that means something to you.

Ian is Head of Commercial Finance at Scottish soft drinks manufacturer AG Barr, which produces many of the UK’s best known soft drinks brands including Irn Bru, Strathmore and Tizer. Prior to that Ian was Chief Financial Officer for Glasgow 2014 Ltd - the organisation responsible for the highly successful 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Sandy Manson CA

CEO, Johnston Carmichael

My advice to my younger self – never underestimate the value of building relationships, so become good at it.

Sandy is CEO of Johnston Carmichael, Scotland’s largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants. Joining the firm in 1991 as Partner, he became Managing Partner of the Aberdeen practice in 1997, and CEO in 2007. He has a wealth of experience in audit, corporate accounting and business advisory services, with particular expertise in business strategy.

Chris Molyneaux CA  

MD, Daffy’s Gin

Make sure to stay in touch with all those that you have enjoyed studying and working with. Nothing pays dividends quite like developing and maintaining a great network of people you respect.

Founded by CA and entrepreneur Chris Molyneaux in 2014, Daffy’s Gin has picked up a host of impressive accolades, including World’s Best London Dry Gin at the International Food and Drink awards, plus sponsorship deals with Formula 1 and a national supply deal with Waitrose.

CA Career Conversations

The CA Career Conversations events give newly qualified CAs the chance to learn from the best. We’ve hand-picked an enviable line-up of influential CAs and business leaders to share the secrets of their success.

There will also be plenty of opportunity to network and gain critical insights about your career path.

Sign up via the Glasgow event page for this free event.


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