What is your background?
I am from the UK where I studied Biology at university – totally unrelated to my work life now but interesting nevertheless! At university, I applied for several financial internships during the summer of the Global Financial Crisis. Despite the ongoing economic crisis and my lack of financial qualifications, I knew I wanted to be in business and complete my accountancy qualifications as I felt this would give me a good backing for the future… I was right. Having completed my internships and receiving graduate offers, I made sure to pick the one where I felt I had the right management support, a prevailing theory being that it is the local management team that will help you shape your career in the early years.
Four years ago, I emigrated to Perth. Having spent both time in industry and consultancy, I have now been a Director at FTI Consulting for the last two years. From thinking I would gravitate towards a traditional career path, to date, it has been extremely varied with time spent in two countries, four firms and many different industries!
What is your role about?
The best thing about consultancy is the varied opportunities you are involved in daily. Other than my daily tasks of drinking cups of tea and checking emails – there really is no “normal” day in the office.
Tasks vary from reviewing financial models, providing on the job coaching to junior team members, attending board meetings, compiling presentations of financial scenario analysis, working with private equity to assess upcoming situations, providing commercial reviews for upcoming feasibility studies, attending conferences and networking events – to name a few!
Can you give an example of a type of engagement you were recently working on?
We recently consulted on the AU$125m recapitalisation and relisting on the ASX of Gascoyne Resources, a Gold Mine in WA, on which I had a leadership role. This process involved daily calls and meetings with financiers, investment banks, engineers, lawyers, and executives both in the corporate office and on-site.
We also recently completed our commercial and financial management of a definitive feasibility study for AVZ Minerals on a lithium mine in the DRC. I led the financial model development and commercial review of the mandate working alongside the Managing Director and project lead.
Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
I work predominately in the mining team in our Business Transformation sector. Before moving to Australia, my knowledge of mining was somewhat non-existent, so short answer is no. However, I always enjoyed advisory work, the varied nature and the thrill of being the “go to person” at crunch time on a deal.
Regarding industries, I have worked in everything from renewables, public infrastructure, mining and transport. Give yourself some time to try out everything, the skills are transferable, and you may not know what you are missing.
What is most rewarding about your job?
Cliché warning… it’s the people. You spend a significant portion of your life with your colleagues – and in the finance sector, there are bound to be some late nights too. Having a team both locally and nationally, you can not only trust with work but also have a laugh with is critical.
What was a challenge?
One of the most obvious and common challenges is the work / life balance – balance being the critical word. Financial advisory can sometimes result in late nights, but balance that with working from home once a week or being able to pop to the shops at 3pm. FTI Consulting is a huge advocate for balance in the workplace, but I think it is down to each individual to manage themselves personally as well – a challenge that never ends, only evolves!
One piece of advice that you would give women/female students who want to work in professional services?
Two things come to mind for new graduates -
Firstly, don’t be scared, particularly in interviews. We genuinely want you to be the next best thing.
Secondly, be proactive. It’s your career, so go out and make it happen. If someone gives you a business card – ask them for a coffee, 99.9% people will say yes and it’s amazing what can come out of a casual chat whether it be now or in the next five years.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals. FTI Consulting, Inc., including its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a consulting firm and is not a certified public accounting firm or a law firm. FTI Consulting is an independent global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes: financial, legal, operational, political & regulatory, reputational and transactional. FTI Consulting professionals, located in all major business centers throughout the world, work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges and opportunities. Some services may be provided through FTI Capital Advisors (Australia) Pty Ltd AFSL # 504204. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
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