My degree was in physiology, so completing ACCA gave me the perfect foundation and level of knowledge to succeed in my career. While a finance-related background knowledge was not required for me to apply for the job eight years ago, membership of ACCA has given me confidence in the field that has stood me in good stead since then.

I am a fund accounting manager with HedgeServ, which has more than US$450bn in assets under administration. I am involved in issuing monthly and quarterly reporting on the net asset value (NAV) of each fund across three of my team’s clients. We break down the trial balance and tie back all of the separate general ledgers using various schedules and reconciliations. As a manager, I review the tie-back files prepared by the junior team members and provide feedback and review points to ensure we are valuing funds accurately. I also regularly carry out training for other members of the team, and from time to time provide training at a company level.

I was able to explore and travel while continuing my ACCA exams

It is important to ask questions. HedgeServ places great emphasis on training to enhance both the personal and professional development of its employees. The most effective training sessions arise when people are engaged and enthusiastic about participating and learning. The ethos of the company is if you’re not knowledgeable about something, then the only ‘expectation’ is to let someone know so that the right training can be put in place.

Travel has been a big part of my career to date. In 2018, the company facilitated a move for me to the Sydney office for six months. I was able to explore and travel while continuing my ACCA exams from there. This was important to me, as I was focused on completing the remaining eight of my 13 exams. Working from the Sydney office gave me great insight into the functions of our team over there. While I was there I was trained in some new areas and also provided training so that tasks could be transferred from our Dublin office to the Sydney team.

I was home only a month from Australia before I was asked to go to the Krakow office in Poland. It had recently opened and the company was keen to relocate existing employees for training. I quickly fell in love with Krakow and stayed for three years. I enjoyed meeting people on my team who I’d already been in contact with virtually, and I found the initial intense period of cross-training very rewarding. I made friends with a great group of Irish colleagues and loved all the culture and beauty that the city has to offer.

The experiences of the past few years have helped me develop resilience and independence

Returning to Dublin, I was looking forward to being back in close proximity to my family once again. I knew it would be a big change and being back here was, of course, more expensive in terms of the cost of living and rent in particular, but I was ready for this and always knew I would return to Ireland.  The experiences of the past few years have helped me develop both my sense of resilience and independence. I continue to enjoy exploring new cities and cultures, and look forward to the exciting new challenges my career will bring.

In my downtime, I like to stay active by going on walks. Whether it’s the hour walk to and from the office or a hike up a Wicklow mountains at weekends, it’s all enjoyable. I also enjoy yoga, which I started doing virtually during the pandemic.