I always wanted my work to have purpose. So, as accounting came naturally to me, I used it to achieve my goal. In 2019, I finally arrived at what I really wanted – to work in the charity sector. Currently, I’m a business partner in the National Trust’s food and beverage team.
The charity sector is wonderful for anyone who wants to make a difference and align their values to the organisation for which they work. I love that I am making an impact, living by my values and collaborating with like-minded people. Their passion is infectious. It also helps that all our properties are utterly beautiful. I am always in awe when I see what we are doing to protect the environment while also preserving history.
I learn something new each week, such as dealing with pregnant bats
With a civil war in Sri Lanka, my entire family moved to Germany in 1994. Starting school in a different country and not understanding the language was one of the most daunting experiences I’ve been through. I also struggled with a sense of belonging, as there were not many Asians where we lived. It was a little easier when I moved to the UK aged 18.
The two main priorities for the National Trust are making all our sites as accessible as possible for visitors, and climate action – we aim to be net zero by 2030. We have to strike a balance between those goals when prioritising spending. Staff welfare, visitor experience and commercial gains are also important.
I learn something new each week. Issues involved in building a new café, for example, such as electrical and sewage capacity, and postponing a refurbishment due to pregnant bats. In all the finance roles I have held so far, I realise that I like being at the pulse of operations, so the role of finance business partner is perfect for me. That said, one of the drawbacks within the sector is that funds are rightly managed very carefully, so investment in innovative technology is not always a priority.
If I had law-making powers, I would simplify our immigration laws to tackle the complexity and frustration caused by the current mechanism. I would also introduce a regulation to cap the working day at eight hours.
If I wasn’t in finance, my dream job would be a professional cake or biscuit tester
Over my career there have been many achievements and blessings. Some of my proudest achievements are completing my ACCA qualification while working full-time, running a half marathon for Cancer Research and buying a house.
In my spare time I love being outside, going for walks or hiking, as I enjoy discovering new and different places. I also love reading and baking. If I wasn’t in finance, my dream job would be a professional cake or biscuit tester. I am keenly involved in my church where I am the treasurer, sit on the Parochial Church Council and take part in the weekly Kids Ministry.