CA and CA student profiles

Find out about studying to become a chartered accountant from current CA students and what advice CAs would give to those thinking of studying  the CA qualification.

Sally Reid CA, Finance Director, Canon Middle East

Sally Reid CAJob Title: Finance Director, Emerging Markets, Dubai, UAE

University: University of Strathclyde

Degree: Accounting and French

What made you want to become a Chartered Accountant?

At university, I knew that I wanted to keep my options open career wise. Although I had always enjoyed maths and finance, I also studied French at university and I love travelling.  The chance to work for one of the big multinational firms and obtain such a respected qualification really appealed to me.

I knew that I wanted to obtain a broad business education and working with PwC and studying for the ICAS qualification fit the bill!

How did you find studying for the CA qualification?

It was tough but really rewarding.

In some ways it was a good continuation of studies post university in that we were a large group of ambitious, like-minded individuals.  The block release classes were a good opportunity to focus fully on studies away from daily work pressures.

The courses and exams are really well structured and the office was a very supportive environment.

Where did you train to become a CA and what was it like training in that company?

I trained with Coopers and Lybrand (now PwC) in Glasgow and that was a great place to work. (I still keep in touch with some of my ex- colleagues even though I have lived overseas for 15 years).

The office had a really nice mix of people and it was a very supportive environment, both in terms of the ICAS exams but also more generally from a personal development point of view. They really do a great job in moulding young graduates into well rounded business people. We had a number of different business training courses and senior colleagues were happy to coach and mentor ICAS students when exam time approached. There was also a diverse portfolio of clients which gave exposure to many different industries. It was a really professional environment but also a lot of fun.

Why did you choose to work abroad and how did this opportunity arise?

After qualification, I knew that I was keen to work in industry and i initially worked for British Airways looking after the UK Domestic market. However, I had itchy feet and felt I wanted to explore my career outside of the UK.  If I was leaving Glasgow I wanted to go somewhere non-western and totally different in terms of culture and lifestyle.

One of the Partners at PwC mentioned that a colleague had relocated to Dubai to head up the PwC Business Advisory Practice and was looking for staff with airline experience to support their major client, Emirates Airlines. I rented out my flat, packed up my bags and was in Dubai 8 weeks later.

Initially, I planned to try working in the UAE for 6 months to a year but 15 years later I am still here. After working with PwC, I worked with Sony for a few years. I currently work for Canon where I handle strategic projects across the Middle East and Africa region.

How does working abroad as a CA differ to being a CA in the UK?

It is very different, particularly when you work in emerging markets where there is less regulation but the pace of business and decision making can sometimes be very fast. Here in Dubai around 85% of the population are expatriates from all over the world. This means that you are exposed to many different cultures and perspectives on a daily basis.

Working in such an environment has made me more adaptable and open minded. Very often, business is not carried out in the way we expect in the UK so as a CA working in a commercial environment, it can be a delicate balancing act. We need to remain true to our values and ethics whilst enabling and supporting business growth. Sometimes this can be a challenge and difficult decisions need to be made. However, I believe that working in such markets has given me such a great breadth of experience and confidence.

Describe your current role and the type of work you are involved with?

My current role is very varied. Like many companies, Canon is focusing heavily on emerging markets for growth. I was previously the Finance Director for Middle East and Africa for 8 years and that background enabled me to move into my current more project based role.

Today I work with the Emerging Markets team in Canon Europe working on strategic projects. Such projects can be acquisitions, process improvement or setting up new entities in key markets. This can mean travelling to many interesting countries across the region.

On a daily basis, I work with colleagues across the organisation from sales and marketing to legal and finance. This means that we learn from each other and share best practice to solve commercial issues.

I have continued to work with Canon for more than 10 years as it is a very empowering collaborative organisation. I look forward to going to work every day as I have a great group of colleagues and no 2 days are ever the same.

Do you have any advice or inspiring words for prospective CAs?

CA is a wonderful qualification and highly respected worldwide. I believe it is an excellent foundation for a business career and opens up so many possibilities in today's global marketplace.

In terms of developing your career the best advice I can give is to keep an open mind, make the most of any opportunities you have to work in different industries, practice areas or countries. It is important to have courage and take some risks by trying new experiences. It sounds like a terrible cliche but moving out of your comfort zone is when you grow and develop the most!

Networking is also very important as the world is much smaller in the 21st century. It is always good to keep in touch with your former classmates and colleagues as you will undoubtedly come across some of them in your business life in later years.

ICAS is a truly global organisation these days and I would highly recommend the CA qualification to anyone looking for a career in professional practice or business.

Bradley Johnston, Corporate Tax Associate, PwC

Bradley Johnston CA Student Job Title: Corporate Tax Associate

University: University of Dundee

Degree: Mathematics

What made you want to pursue a career in accountancy?

I have always really enjoyed working with numbers but did not know what career I wanted to pursue whilst at secondary school. I chose to study mathematics at university as I really enjoyed this subject at school and felt it kept my options open for the future. I did my father's bookkeeping in the family business throughout my time at university and had regular conversations with his accountant who is a partner in a Dundee based firm of accountants. I found her inspiring and she encouraged me to pursue a career in accountancy and study towards the CA qualification.

Why did you choose to study the CA qualification?

I specifically chose to study the CA qualification due to the worldwide recognition it receives. The ability to travel the world with the qualification and practice in any country really appealed to me as did the fact that no matter where in the world you are there is always a network of qualified CA colleagues around you. I also enjoyed the dual nature of being able to carry out further study towards a professional qualification whilst gaining work experience.

How do you find studying for the CA qualification?

Studying for the CA qualification is unlike anything I have undertaken before. The fact you are working in a full time job whilst trying to study in the evenings can be challenging at times. Having said that the CA qualification is also extremely rewarding especially the feeling when you find out you have passed your examinations. The support the ICAS staff offer is second to none and you are encouraged to ask questions throughout classes. The volume of material you have to learn can be overwhelming at times but I think it is important to be disciplined and create a study plan to ensure you do not fall behind. I am now preparing to study towards the final Test of Professional Expertise examination which I will sit in November.

How do you think being ICAS trained will help with your future job prospects?

ICAS is a world class organisation and held in high esteem by all in the accountancy industry. I think employers recognise that obtaining the CA qualification has meant hard work, self-discipline and dedication throughout your training contract and this proves invaluable in respect of future job prospects. In addition, the ICAS examinations team cover a broad range of technical subjects and I think employers value that CA qualified individuals are not only chartered accountants but also all round business advisors. This is something I feel is extremely important in the ever changing business environment.

Would you recommend the CA qualification to others?

I would thoroughly recommend the CA qualification to others. I have been in my training contract for approximately 20 months now and have found it hard work but also incredibly rewarding. The technical skills which ICAS teach you as well as the on the job learning mean that you become a true business advisor. ICAS convey the importance of integrity and ethics from day one and I believe it is these core values which ensure ICAS receives world class recognition, making the CA qualification invaluable in terms of future job prospects.

Please describe your current role.

My current role is as a corporate tax advisor. I have a portfolio of clients and deal with tax advisory, compliance, provisioning and structuring work on a daily basis. I am also involved in business development and actively assist with the targeting of new markets for the firm to enter.

What do you like about training in PwC?

I really value the support PwC offer to graduates throughout their training contract. During our ICAS classes we are given a block of time out of the office to concentrate on studies as well as dedicated study time in the period leading up to examinations. In addition, PwC are always focused on our development within the firm and, in particular, how they can enhance our experience such as the opportunity to go on the secondments I have discussed below.

Do you get to travel a lot within your role?

Yes, although I am predominantly office based I have been on a 12 week secondment to the PwC St. Albans office just outside London to learn about the firm's corporate compliance process and I am currently on another 12 week secondment working across the PwC Glasgow and Edinburgh offices to learn more about the firm's private business and private client tax offerings.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve been involved with?

I have been involved in a lot of interesting work since starting my training contract, however a highlight for me would be a recent simplification project I worked on where a group of companies were looking to simplify their corporate structure and we were involved in analysing the tax impact of the restructuring.

Do you have any interesting hobbies or activities outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy curling and recently played with a team from PwC Aberdeen in the ICAS networking event at Curl Aberdeen. We are hoping to enter a team in the Aberdeen finance league this September. I am also captaining the PwC team in the Corporate Decathlon in Aberdeen this year and go along to the events when they are taking place. I also enjoy playing the piano and socialising with friends and family.

Jonathan Mills, Senior Associate, Deloitte

Jonathan Mills CA StudentJob Title: Senior Associate, Banking & Capital Markets

University: Durham University

Degree: Economics

What made you want to pursue a career in accountancy?

I was primarily attracted to the technical demands of accountancy. I was keen to study for the qualification which suited my numerical and analytical skills and wanted to work in teams with like-minded people. I also wanted to learn about different businesses, how they operate and to gain significant client exposure.

Why did you specifically choose to study the CA qualification?

Mine was the first year that Deloitte offered the intensive CA course, where the vast majority of your exams are taken in the first year. I chose this route because I wanted to be able to focus on my studies and minimise disruption to my future client project work. Passing my exams early in my training contract also allowed me to embark on a three month secondment to our Jersey office to work on a large offshore private equity client which was invaluable experience.

How do you find studying for the CA qualification?

It is no secret that qualifying as a CA is challenging. There is a huge amount of information to learn and limited time in which to process it, particularly on the intensive course. However, the material is clearly presented, well taught and studying alongside colleagues in the same position makes the process more bearable.

How do you think being ICAS trained will help with your future job prospects?

Primarily my training will enable me to continue my career at Deloitte. That said, the course helps develop a broad range of transferable skills which will no doubt present other opportunities in future. I am particularly interested in taking advantage of the international recognition of the CA qualification and working abroad.

Would you recommend the CA qualification to others?

The CA qualification provides a good foundation on which to base a career. Whilst it involves significant technical, theoretical training it also provides relevant industry skills and an insight into how businesses operate. The nature of the work also lends itself to working in teams and interacting with clients. Finally, qualification comes with membership of an invaluable network of intelligent and motivated people.

What is it like training in Deloitte?

Deloitte has been an encouraging and supportive environment in which to train. It has a strong relationship with ICAS and colleagues who understand the demands of studying alongside working. You are also amongst large numbers of other trainees with whom you can learn and socialise. Whilst high standards are expected of project work, my teams have always been willing to explain tasks and help me solve problems.

Please describe your current role.

My most recent role has been field managing the audit of an offshore private equity fund. This involves managing people locally and overseas, challenging the client and coordinating with Deloitte management. I hope to use the skills gained during this engagement on large London-based banking clients in future.

Do you get to travel a lot within your role?

I regularly travel nationally to client offices and spent 3 months working offshore in our Jersey office. However, no jet-setting has come my way just yet.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve been involved with?

My main client is a boutique stockbroker and asset management firm. It is an interesting client because they engage in a range of revenue-generating activities and are regularly involved in unusual transactions and investments. This provides opportunities for learning and challenging the client on areas of judgement.

Daniel Griffiths, Senior Associate, Deloitte

Daniel Griffiths CA Student Job Title: Senior Associate

University: University of Nottingham

Degree: Psychology

What made you want to pursue a career in accountancy?

I enjoy understanding how things work, and a career in accountancy provides an opportunity to develop an understanding of how different businesses work. Accountancy also has a wide range of applications, which means I will be opening myself up to a wide range of job options both within and outside my Firm upon qualification.

Why did you choose to study the CA qualification?

Prior to joining Deloitte, I was given the opportunity to study the ACA or CA. I elected for the CA qualification as the two are considered equivalent in both stature and reputation, however the CA qualification had (in my opinion) a better exam schedule; in particular, a better separation of exams and work. I was also interested to discover that ICAS is the oldest Institute of Chartered Accountants in the world, and the number of influential and interesting people who were qualified with ICAS.

How do you find studying for the CA qualification?

The course is very informative. We learn about accountancy, audit, tax, business management and law, so there is plenty of variety in what we study. The exams are quite challenging, but also very rewarding once completed.

There is a strong sense of camaraderie both with my peers and also within my Firm, as everyone understands how difficult the exams can be and what it takes to complete them. The syllabus is also focused on ensuring a wide range of understanding, rather than a few specific topics. This has helped me become much more well rounded in my understanding of the economy, businesses and  how everything fits together than many of my friends who work in specific industries.

Do you think being ICAS trained will help with your future job prospects?

Being ICAS trained should help my future job prospects significantly. As part of my training I have now come into contact with several senior members of ICAS who have outlined the options available to me when I qualify. They made clear the breadth of professions which will become open to me and how being ICAS trained can help me access them. They also discussed with us examples of ICAS trained individuals who have gone on to become CFOs, CEOs and so forth in a wide variety of industries, which goes to show how well regarded the CA qualification is.

Would you recommend the CA qualification to others?

I would recommend the qualification for a number of reasons. Firstly, the Institute itself is interesting as it is the first Institute of Chartered Accountants, which lends a certain grandeur and history.

The course itself has been well managed with a clear separation of work and study/exams which I found particularly helpful. Whilst some of the exams are individually longer than those on the ACA course, they are fewer in number which is a bonus.

As part of the course we have also met several senior figures within ICAS which makes the qualification seem very personal; this is completely different to my colleagues who have studied for the ACA who have had little (if any) contact with senior figures in ICAEW.

Please describe your current role.

I am in my second year of a three year graduate scheme at Deloitte in audit. I assist on the audits of banking and capital market clients. This includes understanding internal controls, testing of financial statements and reporting our conclusions to shareholders.

What do you like about training in your current company?

We have a nice mix of technical and soft skill training which helps a great deal in our written work, as well as our interactions with client staff and colleagues.

Do you get to travel a lot within your role?

There is a lot of scope for travel within my role. Although I have elected not to apply so far, there are secondments offered at regular intervals to other Deloitte offices and locations. In addition, many of the clients we serve have offices throughout the UK and abroad, which means we often have to travel in these cases.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve been involved with?

So far I would say that working on the audit of Santander UK plc has been the most interesting project I've been involved in.

Annabel Rose Collet, Assistant Tax Advisor, EY

Annabel Rose ColletDegree: Natural Sciences (Mathematics and Economics)

Annabel has always enjoyed working with numbers and problem solving, when it came to deciding on a career path, accountancy was a natural choice. Annabel is a CA student with EY in London and believes the CA qualification has prepared her with relevant skills for the workplace and expand her professional network.

How have you found the studying for the CA qualification?

"While the volume of information for each exam can seem intimidating, the tutors help you break it down and we sit numerous progress tests so you can check you are on track and get extra help if needed. It has also been interesting to meet like-minded people who are going into other areas of accountancy in EY and at other firms. Many areas of the exams directly relate to work I do on a daily basis, which has allowed me to perform tasks efficiently. As well as a thorough accounting knowledge, the CA qualification is a broad qualification which has provided me with a good overall knowledge of the world of business.

Describe your role at EY?

I currently work in the International Tax Services team for EY in London. The team helps clients with restructuring, entity rationalisations and financing transactions. My role is split into two elements: UK tax technical analysis and project management with our overseas offices. On a daily basis I complete tasks such as researching discrete technical points, preparing memos for clients, speaking with EY colleagues in other countries and raising invoices.

My current role is mostly based in the office in London, although sometimes we travel to a client's office for a meeting. However, on my internship I was lucky enough to spend five weeks in America, including three weeks in the San Francisco office, an opportunity that arose through working for a large global accountancy firm. Given the nature of the role, over the next few years there are secondment opportunities to other places too, such as New York and Singapore.

Why would you recommend the CA qualification to others?

The CA qualification is well-respected all around the world and the exams are known for being rigorous and thorough in examining our knowledge. This means employers recognise that CAs would be assets to their workforce and this is why it is such a sought after career."

Jack MacAulay, Trainee Accountant, Standard Life

Jack MacAulayDegree: Accountancy

Growing up through school Jack always wanted to work in finance; he saw accountancy as a good route into the finance sector. Jack is currently on the ICAS TOPPS scheme with Standard Life. Working in industry provides more variety, which was key in Jack's decision to train outside of practice.  Over the duration of the Standard Life training Jack will do 6 different secondments, covering anything from tax, audit, finance, strategy in any of the business units.

How have you found the studying for the CA qualification?

"The exams are tough but I'm well supported, both by ICAS and by Standard Life.  There's a strong network of trainees, newly qualified CAs and not-so-newly qualified CAs that are always happy to provide help and advice.

I think that the high-esteem in which ICAS is held will mean that the training will always open doors to future career moves.  Even for those who want to work outside of practice, the CA qualification is a mark of capability and expertise that is widely recognised.

Describe your current role?

In my current role I'm working in the Financial Performance team within our Group Finance Function.  This involves creating monthly scorecards that are presented to the Group Board and also working on some of our external reporting, for example the strategic report in our half year and full year accounts.

In my current role I'm based entirely within our headquarters in Edinburgh, but my previous role in our Internal Audit function involved travelling between our different offices, including a few weeks in London.

Why would you recommend the CA qualification to others?

I'd recommend the CA qualification as it's a win-win. For those that want to work as accountants; it's a sign that you're the best in the industry and for those who are considering other things too; it's a great way to get ahead.  The CAs in our business go way beyond the finance function, for example our IT & Commercial Director and our Chief Executive are both qualified CAs.

Gillian Lauren Dobbin CA, Senior Associate, PwC

Gillian Lauren DobbinDegree: Mathematics, Statistics and Accountancy

The opportunity to work in different industries and countries was Gillian's reason for becoming a CA. This is evident from her position as Senior Associate at PwC San Francisco. Becoming a CA has allowed Gillian to travel to different countries and face new challenges every day.

Why did you choose to work abroad and how did this opportunity arise?

"I really enjoyed working in the PwC Glasgow office, however the time had come to take on a new challenge. I really wanted to stay with PwC and felt that by going abroad I can get the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and experience a new culture and lifestyle which I believe will be beneficial for me in the future.

I was given a lot of support by my manager and partners in the Glasgow office who encouraged me to take on this challenge and who helped open some doors when it came to the move. I chose to work in San Francisco as I felt that it offered a good lifestyle change and also because I have some close friends/family who live in the city therefore I had a good support network around me when it came to settling in.

Describe your role as Senior Associate in the US?

I currently work in the CIP's (Consumer, Industrial Products and Services) department in the San Francisco office. Since coming to the US, I have found that rather than working on a mix of smaller an larger engagements quite often the staff here have very few clients and tend to work on them most of the year. Due to the timing of when I joined I spent my first 3-4 months working on a consulting job for a listed client. During my time working with this client, I worked mainly independently from the firm, reporting to the manager and director of internal audit at the client and I also split my time between San Francisco and Pittsburgh.

Aspiring words for prospective CAs?

Working towards your Chartered Accountancy qualification will be extremely challenging however having this qualification gives you the confidence and opportunity to really develop your career and change your life."

Shaun Lee CA, Co-Founder

Shaun LeeDegree: BSC Accounting and Finance

Shaun decided to become a CA due to the endless opportunities the qualification offers. After training and qualifying as a CA in London, Shaun moved back to his home country of Malaysia and co-founded

How did you find studying for the CA qualification?

The exams were really challenging. However, one thing that I didn't realise when I was studying for the qualification is how applicable the CA syllabus is in the real business-world. Till this day, I am utilizing the knowledge that I have gained in Business Law in  addressing real life business problems.

Describe your current role?

I operate an online Cashback site, based out of Malaysia. We reward our online shopping community by giving them Cashback on their online purchases. We basically get paid by the e-commerce stores/websites every time our users make a purchase via We then give our users a portionas Cashback and keep some as our own revenue.

My role is very varied but my focus is on Operations, Customer Support and Finance. From time to time, I am involved in Business Development work too which could involve pursuing opportunities with bigger brands who want to run campaigns with our online shopping community.

Why would you recommend the CA qualification to others?

I did the CA qualification not really knowing if I will remain in practice or not. Regardless if you decide to be an accountant (or not), your CA qualification will remain invaluable as the training that you receive during your studies and on the job makes you a more rounded professional and/or business person overall.

Amy Higgs, Trainee Chartered Accountant at Standard Life

Amy HiggsDegree studied: Neuroscience

Despite entering the CA qualification from a science degree, Amy was confident that a career as a CA would be one that would play on her strengths and be consistent with the skill set she developed from her degree.  Most influential in Amy's decision to become a CA was the range of global opportunities that would come with achieving the CA qualification.  

Currently on the ICAS TOPPs scheme with Standard Life, Amy feels confident that after qualifying she will have a solid understanding of how businesses work and have a broad network of contacts. 

How have you found studying for the CA qualification?

"The structure offered by ICAS for studying and sitting exams works really well. The route I chose means I am out of the office for a few weeks of class, and I sit exams at the end of each block of classes. I like the fact that I can concentrate solely on ICAS without worrying about having to balance studies with my day-to-day job. I've also been lucky to have some great teachers, which makes studying for the CA qualification easier!

There is also lots of support available from both ICAS and my employer to ensure I succeed in my qualification.

Describe your current role?

I am currently working in the UK Business Decision Support Team. My role is to provide evidence-based analysis and insight in order to support Business Performance management.  I am really enjoying this placement as I have been involved in a huge variety of work, I am given responsibility and ownership over tasks and I get the opportunity to meet and work with colleagues in different areas of business.

As I work for a global company, there are increasing opportunities to travel. So far, I have spent three months on secondment in the German branch, whilst other accountancy graduates have given presentations in our office in The Gherkin in London and a recently qualified CA spent a year working in Hong Kong.

What are your plans after qualifying?

After qualifying I am hoping to secure a full time job in a commercially focussed role that will allow me to make use of the strong financial and business knowledge I have gained from my ICAS training.  As ICAS is the world's first professional body for accountants and the qualification is renowned internationally, I am confident that being ICAS trained will open up a number of exciting opportunities to me and provide me with a great foundation for a fulfilling career."

Daniel Drury, Finance Graduate Trainee at Stagecoach Group PLC

Daniel DruryDegree studied: Accounting and Financial Management

With a keen interest in business and being highly numerate and a strong analytical thinker, becoming a CA felt like the natural choice for Daniel. 

Currently on the ICAS TOPPS scheme with Stagecoach Group PLC, Daniel chose this route as he wanted to gain a wider range of experience within different aspects of business.

How have you found studying for the CA qualification?

It's been relatively tough and definitely a step-up from what I'd experienced at university. That said, the courses are really good quality and also very practically focused, so the things you learn can be directly applied on a daily basis when you're back in the office.

Describe your current role?

My role is incredibly varied and this has allowed me to gain an insight into lots of different aspects of the Finance function. I initially worked in the Group's shared service centre, getting involved with transaction processing and preparing management and annual accounts. Since moving to Group Finance, work has included forecasting, external reporting, financing projects and investment appraisals; the variety of work keeps it interesting and exciting, and means that I'm constantly learning.

As my training contract consists of a series of placements in different divisions, I have been fortunate enough to work in different parts of the UK during these.

The breadth of experience and exposure that I have gained so far has been great, especially considering that I am only two years in to my career.

What are your plans after qualifying?

My current and my employer's intention is to further my career within Stagecoach Group, as I have enjoyed my experience so far and like the variety and type of work involved in a commercial environment.

I believe that the skills and knowledge I've gained during my training will mean that I'm able to add value in a variety of roles, opening up a lot of opportunities going forward.

Kirsty Gillies CA, Founder of Angelic Gluten Free Ltd

Kirsty GilliesDegree: Accounting and Finance

Kirsty's interest in business started from a young age and when choosing a career, she felt the CA qualification presented a great opportunity to build a solid foundation for working in business. 

Soon after qualifying as a CA, Kirsty left her full-time job with EY to set up Angelic Gluten Free Ltd. Angelic started trading in February 2012, and specialises in gluten free products. Angelic products are currently available in over 300 outlets throughout the UK and Ireland, and the company have recently begun exporting into Canada, Malaysia, Portugal, Bahrain and Czech Republic.

How has being a CA helped in running your own business?

"A key part of starting my own business included obtaining finance, and with the CA qualification my credibility stood me well when approaching the bank for funds. The CA training prepares you well for writing business plans, and understanding the underlying assumptions that lenders assess. The skills I developed through the CA training have added great value to my business case, and I often deal with issues where I refer back to the core learning material of the CA qualification.

Describe your role in Angelic?

I develop the business strategy for Angelic, manage business development plans, and I am responsible for sales and marketing. My role covers a wide range of areas, and every day offers a new challenge which keeps things exciting. We're committed to investing in high growth markets, and I've recently visited Canada where we exhibited a trade show, and identified a new sales partner. We are now developing business forecasts for international growth into North America, and this involves detailed planning and managing exchange rate movements.

Aspiring words for prospective CAs?

Studying for the CA qualification was very challenging and certainly pushes you to your limits; however the CA qualification can lead to many exciting possibilities. You never know where your career will take you, but when you focus on your dreams, move out with your comfort zone, challenge yourself, and work extremely hard, you can achieve your goals."

Martin Davis CA, CFO HRT Africa Petroleo

Martin DavisDegree: Economics, Accounting and Finance 

Having qualified as a CA in 1981 with Thomas McLintock, Martin made a successful career within the music industry which he spent over 25 years there. During his time in this industry, he had the opportunity to meet music legends such as Michael Jackson and hold senior management positions in international music companies such as Virgin Records and Sony Music. Working in this industry also led him to travel extensively around Europe, Asia and Latin America. 

At the end of 2010, Martin changed career paths and called again on his CA training to switch industries and work within the oil and gas industry. Currently Martin is the CFO of HRT Africa where the company is the largest acreage holder of offshore blocks. 

What appealed to you about becoming a CA? 

"I had always wanted to work in the entertainment industry and thanks to my ICAS training I was able to join a major music company as an internal auditor. Within this career I travel extensively and met some of the icons of the industry such as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and many others. 

After spending 25 years in the music industry in senior management, I again called on my ICAS training to switch industries and joined the oil business in the finance area.

Describe your current role 

I am responsible for HRT Africa activities in Namibia, dealing with the Namibian Government, facilitating the technical work on the blocks carried out by a team of geoscientists in HRT America. I run a local team of nine people.

The best thing about my job is being part of the team that is involved in the largest offshore drilling campaign ever to take place in Namibia.

Aspiring words for prospective CAs: 

Never forget to keep up to date on technical matters even if you move into general management as you may need to rely on your CA training to take up a new position.

Take the opportunity to travel as being a CA is one of the few professions that allows you to occupy key senior positions throughout the world."


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