Throughout high school art and design was my favourite subject so I had a vision that my career would involve it in some way. In my last year at school, I worked in a fruit and flower shop in Edinburgh's West End on a Saturday. It was here where I took a keen interest in flowers and began creating bouquets.
My manager encouraged me to extend my talent with flowers and to become a florist by attending Stevenson college alongside a full time job in the shop. After completing my school exams, I had the opportunity to work full time throughout the summer leading up to college, and this is when I began to wonder if floristry was really the right thing for me.
I discussed with my careers adviser and my parents at great length. My exam results had been positive which opened other avenues for me. I was thinking then maybe I would like to work in an office but didn’t really know where to start. At that point my Dad, who was a carpet fitter, had a contract with Brodies (which at the time had 12 partners!) and asked the office manager if there was an opening for a school leaver with good exam results. I was offered a junior despatch assistant's role in April 1981, which involved collecting mail around the office, working on reception, photocopying, filing and general office administration. This gave me an insight into different types of jobs within the legal sector; up to that point I had ignorantly thought that everyone in legal was a lawyer!
I began to get involved with finance, I enjoyed accounting and working with figures growing up but never really thought about it as a career. I was eager to use my school qualifications in accounting, and I then further developed them by spending three days a week during my lunch hour and after work studying for the SOLAS (Society of Law Accountants in Scotland). Brodies helped me gain the knowledge I needed and supported me, and I was inspired by all the different law society rules we needed to follow to ensure that we complied with the regulators.
My career was underway, and I became passionate about legal finance. I've had the opportunity to learn different roles over the years and have enjoyed continually learning more and more along the way. I was promoted to finance manager in 2003 and began to learn about managing people as well. I enjoy my job and thrive on the deadlines as well as the need to have good procedures and communication in place. I'm delighted to have been able to help the firm build from strength to strength.
I continue to support our finance director and continue to learn all the time. A good example was being part of the team that successfully implemented the new practice management system last year. That was a big learning curve at the time.
I do still love flowers however my passion is with numbers, something I had never really thought would become my career when I was at school!