My journey to becoming a corporate finance trainee in Baker Tilly was far from the traditional route many business and finance graduates usually embark on. Having graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Golf Management Studies I moved from Worcester, England to Ireland to work at the K Club as a Professional Golfer. With three WSET qualifications in wine I also worked for O’Briens Wines in Donnybrook building upon my knowledge of wines and conducting tastings.
Although happy in my roles I wanted a more challenging, fast-paced and interesting career. I always had a great interest in finance, investments and corporate governance and immersed myself in furthering my knowledge in these areas. Not one to shy away from a challenge I applied for a role as a tax trainee in Beechwood Partners. Having very little experience of the subject matter, this was a huge learning curve and a test of my work ethic.
Two years ago I made the move to Baker Tilly Hughes Blake, formerly Hughes Blake, and took up my corporate finance role. I was intrigued by the job as I desired a career geared towards investments, and there was very little graduate-level roles that could cater for this. I am incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity and have enjoyed every moment so far.
As a trainee I have been given invaluable opportunities within the company. I have thrived in the areas of compliance and investment business, aiding in recent regulatory reviews. I have been given the opportunity to meet clients from the off, and that has enhanced my communication style and skills. I am currently in the middle of my ACA Accountancy exams and have had to learn to embrace the art of juggling work and study in order to further my career in my chosen field of finance.
As a firm, Baker Tilly realise the importance of education and are hugely supportive with trainees in this area. I have had the great fortune of receiving invaluable help and expertise passed forward from many of my colleagues at Baker Tilly as well as study leave at the time of key exams.
One of the major benefits of working as a trainee within Baker Tilly is the proximity in which I get to work alongside partners, managers and directors. This is something I don’t believe many other trainees get to experience in some of the larger firms in Ireland. The knowledge I gain from this close interaction is next to none.
I am in a position in which I am given roles and responsibilities which have challenged and tested me but also that I have immensely enjoyed. Just last December I was heavily involved in fund-raising for our 2018 EIIS Fund (our third EIIS fund). As this was something I have never done before I had a lot to learn but relished at the opportunity to get involved. I loved talking to potential investors, and discussing the previous investments the fund had completed, and also how the tax relief works. The fundraising was a huge success, leading us to become the largest EIIS fund in the country, and it highlighted to me my passion for investments and the investment process.
Now that the new year has begun, we have started to look at new companies to invest in, and I really enjoy the due diligence process, as you get to understand exactly how these entities work. I am looking forward to completing my exams and seeing what the next chapter has in store for me at Baker Tilly and beyond.