Currently based in Toronto, Jake works as the Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations at Blue Ant Media, the production company behind premium true crime series, The Raincoat Killer: Chasing a Predator in Korea (Netflix), adult animated comedy series Gary and His Demons (Amazon Prime) and the Canadian version of the smash hit competition series hosted by RuPaul, Canada’s Drag Race.
It’s a highly sought-after role, and one Jake might not have imagined possible when he switched from drama studies to accounting studies during his final year of High School.
“I found I really enjoyed studying business, especially the statistical side. I love seeing the drivers of growth and trying to understand the nuts and bolts that go into business,” Jake says.
“My real interest has always been in the creative arts, particularly film and television.”
“What’s great about my role at Blue Ant Media, is that it gives me insight into the ways accounting assists creatives in delivering their vision.”
At his role with Blue Ant Media, Jake oversees the finances for all their production companies, international distribution and co-production businesses, working with customers that include the BBC and Channel 9. As well as the operations side of the business, including looking after things like IT and post-production.
This puts Jake at the heart of all mergers, acquisitions, new growth and ideas within Blue Ant Media.
“Being able to partner with creative people and be involved with making TV shows and bringing them to audiences, while having the accounting skills really adds value and helps the process,” Jake says.
Jake’s journey is a great example of how an accounting qualification can be the conduit between your passions and a stable, meaningful career.
Starting off at an Adelaide-based Chartered Accounting firm specialising in wine, Jake had no idea just how transferable finance skills could be. He credits his CA skills and training for his ability to build an international television career.
“I went from grapes and wine to television shows and channels. They seem like completely different industries but with the training that you get as a Chartered Accountant, it really wasn't difficult to make that transition.” Jake says.
Equipped with the Chartered Accountants designation, Jake gained a grasp of business fundamentals and how to utilise them in different industries. He says that his knowledge of accounting has allowed him to build an interesting and meaningful career.
“I am very passionate about television and having accounting skills gives you a unique insight that helps you get shows produced, and helps creatives deliver on their editorial vision in a way they can't do by themselves,” Jake says.
He says it’s important for CAs be true to themselves and allow their career to follow their interests and not their preconceived ideas of what an accounting role looks like.
“I would say have an open mindset and always look for the thing you don't know,” Jake says.
“Seeking out people who know things that you don't know is the best way to grow your career, grow your knowledge, and grow your networks. You never know what will come from it.”
It is advice that’s certainly served him well, particularly given the opportunities for work in film and television are more abundant in other countries, like the USA and UK. Luckily for Jake, his CA designation is recognised all over the world.
“The world is a lot smaller than you realise. When you seek out opportunities for growth you’d be surprised where they can take you. Employers are looking for talented, well-trained and ambitious people,” Jake says.
“The best part of the CA designation is the international recognition. Travel is made easier as you are part of the Global Accounting Alliance and having that transferable accreditation.”
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