What is your current role?
I work as an Independent Business Monitoring CoE Director for GlaxoSmithKline. I am responsible for audits in the global support functions, predominantly in the finance area.
How did you get to where you are today?
Well, it started when I was at university and was very interested in what kind of careers there were out there. One of the things I did was look for vacation work, which I completed at both Deloitte and Ernst and Young, which gave me my first taste of what it was like in private practice and accounting.From there I secured a graduate role with Deloitte where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Quite soon after finishing my qualification I decided to come to the bright lights of London. I came over on my own. I could have come over on a secondment but I wanted to try something new. I joined the internal audit department at Bunzl PLC, which is a company focused on distribution outsourcing. From there I joined GlaxoSmithKline where I now work as an audit manager.
How has being a CA changed your life?
I think it's really the reputation that precedes the qualification over here. It's looked upon really highly by employers, and helps you get that first foot in the door. To be honest, my first employer actually said that to me when I was at the interview. They said the only reason I was really there was because I had the CA qualification on my resume.
What's it like living and working in London?
I think one of the biggest differences I found working in London compared to working in Australia is the opportunity to travel extensively with work. The first job that I had over here I travelled 50 percent of the time, which was very exciting for me. I travelled over the world, to Europe, South America, and back to Australia in fact. Then since joining GSK I've been able to travel to Asia, Central America and more of Europe. So it's working for a truly global organisation where you do get those opportunities I think more frequently than I would have got them had I stayed in Australia.
Any advice for those considering following the CA path?
The advice I would give to someone starting out in the Chartered Accountants Program would be to work and study hard. If you are interested in moving overseas, one thing that's exceptionally important when you come over here is the ability to say that you have first time passes on your resume. If you don't have first time passes on your resume it makes you less competitive with the rest of the market. So the key thing is work hard and make sure you put the time and the effort in to pass each module first time.
* This interview was conducted in 2014. Chloe Speedie (nee Warren) CA has since become the full-time Tech Risk Director, GlaxoSmithKline, London.