Interview with Sophie Mellor, a tax trainee
Can you tell us about how you started at Mazars?
I studied Accounting and Financial Management at university and worked part time at small local accounting firm which enabled me to apply my studies to practical situations, as well as gain exposure into the variety of areas of accountancy. I also completed a placement year in audit and accounting which broaden my awareness of the vast opportunities accountancy offered. It was only when I came to Mazars that I became involved in tax compliance and advisory.
What has helped you get to where you are today?
Being able to build upon my studies though real life scenarios was an advantageous learning experience which I believe has helped me to progress to where I am today. The combination of having a part time job whilst at university also encouraged time management skills, which is important when studying alongside working.
What motivates you?
I believe I have a strong work ethic and always try to complete a task to the best of my ability. Seeing a job completed to a high quality motivates me, as well as being involved in a wide variety of work to widen my technical knowledge and experience. In my opinion, being recognised for a piece of work you have completed or been involved in is extremely motivating.
Who have been the people that have mentored or sponsored you?
Whilst I am not currently involved in the mentoring scheme, there are definitely people within the firm who I look up to as a role model. Having a mentor or sponsor not only enables you to learn from them, but also to develop skills and attributes to assist your career progression.
What has been the most defining point in your career to date?
A personal defining point for me was becoming ACA qualified, however, from a work perspective, being involved in a variety of advisory work including a large transfer pricing project has been extremely memorable.
How would others at work describe you?
I would like to think others describe me as hard working and approachable, as well as being a team player.
What advice would you give to other women for growing and progressing at Mazars or starting their careers?
Everyone has different aspirations for their career path and therefore you shouldn’t directly compare yourself to others. Having a mentor is beneficial if you want to develop and move up in the firm, however, this is not everyone’s goal and it is equally important to be in a position you are comfortable with.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
The most important advice I could give is to never be afraid to ask questions. In my opinion, the best way to develop and to be able to broaden your knowledge within your job role is to ask and learn from those above you.
Finally, as we’ve recently celebrated International Women’s Day and 100 years of women’s suffrage, do you have any thoughts as to how everyone (society more broadly) can do to #PressforProgress to achieve gender parity?
I believe mentoring schemes and skills workshops contribute towards building gender parity. Furthermore, it is important to provide support for women returning to work after a period of leave such as maternity leave to ensure they feel comfortable with their position and career path for the future. Ensuring attainable gender split for not only senior roles, but roles at all levels within firms will raise awareness for gender parity.
Thanks to Sophie for sharing her career journey with us.
- milton keynes