How I Got My Job: From PwC to Fitzgerald Power

My move from a Big Four firm to Fitzgerald Power has been the best decision on both a career and personal level – Rebecca Duggan. Read about my journey so far.

I was sitting at home one Thursday night when I noticed a LinkedIn opportunity, recruiting for an assistant manager in the Fitzgerald Power Waterford office. At the time, I wasn’t actively looking for a role but something inside me made me curious. I had never heard of Fitzgerald Power before – but in true accountant style, I was straight onto the website. After looking around, I stood back and thought how have I not heard about this place? Suddenly I went from not looking for other jobs to being very intrigued. So, after a brief interaction with the CEO Stuart about the role I met with CFO, Georgina Carpendale and Partner, Catríona Threadgold who explained a bit more about the role and I gave a bit of insight into my experience. On my way home in the car I got a phone call from Catriona to offer me the job and the rest is history…

I walked away after the interview and having met a few different people within the firm knowing that there was a really nice atmosphere around the office which is one of the most important things to have. As for my decision, it wasn’t an easy one. I was in a position where all I had known for the previous four years was auditing and I had made some great friends, so the idea of moving out of my comfort zone was a scary thought.

I think my decision came down to two things, one being a career reason and one being personal. Career-wise, while a lot of people tend to make the jump into the industry after they leave a Big Four firm, that never appealed to me. And while I didn’t really know where I would end up afterwards, I knew it would be practice. Fitzgerald Power appealed to me because of the growth they had
experienced and will continue to experience over the next few years. I knew I could take my experience from PwC and how a large firm like that is structured and be able to bring that knowledge to Fitzgerald Power, as structure was the one thing that they were looking to bring to deal with the continuing growth. I liked the idea of growing with the business and moving up through the management ranks. Having gone through a graduate programme myself, coming out the other side has given me a good insight into how to structure and get the most out of a programme like that, while also providing a really good learning and development experience. This is also something I am really interested in getting involved in with Fitzgerald Power – to ensure we compete with larger firms to attract top graduates from all over Ireland. It came down to me knowing I could really make a difference here and to me that’s the greatest motivator there is!

On a personal level, I was looking for more of a work-life balance. Working in a larger firm means larger clients which in turn leads to longer hours and I was struggling to find the work-life balance that I wanted. I will always be grateful for my time at PwC, and the knowledge and experience I gained over my four and a half years there will stand to me for the rest of my career. I made friends for life and memories that will last a lifetime but the time came to make new memories and I am very excited to see what the future holds for me in Fitzgerald Power.

    Workwise, a big difference I have noticed is the level of engagement with clients. The clients I am working with here are business owners and entrepreneurs that rely on the work we do and the insights into their business that we provide to ensure the continued success of their business. Seeing the difference we can make to these businesses and the relationship and trust we build with them brings a real sense of accomplishment which I hadn’t experienced before.

    Working in a medium-size firm has given me the chance to get involved in additional projects outside my specific role including being in charge of designing new company signage. Stuart must have seen a creative side in me when assigning this job – and he was right too because it has brought out creativity in me that I didn’t even know that I had.

    I also got the opportunity to attend The Real Deal event which is an SME event, organised by Fitzgerald Power and Renatus, held in Goffs with over 900 attendees, all of who are successful business people. Throughout the day there was a panel of speakers who have achieved significant success with their business. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and took away some really crucial points from each of the speakers in relation to growth and culture as a company grows which I think will be crucial to be maintained as Fitzgerald Power continues to grow. I also wouldn’t have said my experience and skills in blog writing were the strongest but here we are, another achievement ticked off the list!!

    Overall, my experience so far has been very positive and I sometimes forget I have only been here for such a short time. I am really pleased with what I have achieved so far and I’m looking forward to seeing not only what I can achieve in my role within the Pharmacy department but what I can bring to the business on a wider scale with the support of team Fitzgerald Power behind me.