One Young CA Judge: Natalie Bretherick CA
One Young CA 2016 judge and ICAS Foundation mentor Natalie Bretherick CA spoke to Eleanor O’Neill about 35 CAs under 35 and the benefits of being a Career Connect mentee.
Natalie was a Highly Commended candidate from last year’s One Young CA search due to her passion for international development
She has undertaken extensive work for social enterprises in Swaziland and Uganda and co-founded an NGO which encourages young people in Africa to establish their own businesses.
Currently, Natalie works as an Analyst at corporate finance adviser firm QMPF and advises on financing for education, infrastructure and renewable energy projects.
How did you get involved in One Young CA?
I was nominated in the One Young CA competition last year and after going through the follow-up questions and interview process I was Highly Commended.
Was it a positive experience?
Yes, it was a really positive experience, both professionally to engage more with ICAS and also personally to be inspired by hearing more of the work of the other applicants. I was really encouraged and humbled by the work of other CAs both in their every day work and in the field of international development.
Why did you want to be an One Young CA judge this year?
I thought it was a good opportunity to give back to the One Young CA competition from which I have benefitted immensely. I am also excited about the opportunity to meet the applicants and hear of their inspirational work and understand their motivations.
As the 35 CAs under 35 will be given ICAS Career Connect mentors, can you say how being a mentee has benefitted you?
I have found being a mentee very beneficial, it has given me access to a more senior CA who provides an impartial and honest view on my decisions. Having someone outside my usual employment or peer group to discuss career matters with is really helpful, he offers a fresh perspective and has a wealth of experiences to draw from.
What are your experiences of being an ICAS Foundation mentor?
I have enjoyed being an ICAS Foundation mentor. I have liked being able to use my skills and experience to help my mentee and hopefully provide a useful insight and ongoing support.
What do you value in young CAs?
People who go beyond the normal, who challenge the way things are done and work hard to see change where change is required. I value people who will go to any length to help others and who will always fight against injustice. I value people who will stand up for what they believe in even if this means personal sacrifice. I know I will meet these people through being an One Young CA judge.
How has having the CA qualification been an asset to your career?
Without the CA qualification I wouldn’t have the job I currently have and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be involved in the project I worked on in Africa. The CA qualification has given me the opportunity to use my finance skills to work at QMPF in sectors I find interesting and relevant, namely education, infrastructure and renewable energy. The CA qualification has been an asset to help me acquire the technical skills to enable me to have led financial management and capacity training programmes for rural vets in Uganda and school administrators from Rwanda.
Nominations are still open for the One Young CA 2016 and 35 CAs under 35 competition. The closing date is 27 May 2016.