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Find out why coffee isn't Matthew's cup of tea

In our latest Meet-A-Member column we get to know Matthew Holland, student prize winner (2016) and our new member representative in Aberdeen and north-east Scotland.

Matthew is originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He moved to Newcastle for university where he took part in the Flying Start programme sponsored by PwC and the ICAEW. He graduated in the summer of 2015 and has been working full-time in assurance at PwC Aberdeen ever since, mainly on external audits of large companies in the oil and gas sector. He’s been involved with ICAEW Members in Scotland for a number of years through his involvement with BASE and has recently taken up a formal role in co-ordinating members and events in the North East area. 

What’s your typical working day like?

Usually always busy and varied, but with hopefully some structure! It’s a bad week if I can’t fit in some downtime to get to the gym and play some tennis.

Sum up your career so far.

Incredibly diverse – I have learnt an awful lot. I truly believe the Flying Start programme is an excellent foundation for a career in accounting and finance. Flying Start and the exposure gained from working at PwC on some high profile engagements, especially over the last year, have really helped me develop as a professional and the Aberdeen office is a great place to learn your trade!

Which role has taught you the most valuable lesson?

My current role has provided me with a lot of exposure and having to deal with a lot of stakeholders at the same time. While providing me with tonnes of professional and technical lessons, the most valuable one I think is learning that things can and will go wrong but that there’s always a back-up plan or another option, and that your network will generally support you. Basically there is more that can go wrong in life than missing a deadline!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Grab as many opportunities as you can and be confident in your own ability.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Graduating university with a first class honours and then being recognised as ICAEW in Scotland trainee accountant of the year in 2016.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I’m currently reading the Deepest Grave by Harry Bingham which is a rather odd murder mystery about the discovery of some archaeological artefacts relating to King Arthur. I have only got back into reading recently, but I find it’s a great way to switch off in the evenings after looking at a laptop for most of the day.

Who would you like to play you in the film of your life?

Paul Rudd (otherwise known as Mike from Friends). He may not be the most well-known actor out there, but I like to think that – if we ever met – we would get on and share a joke or two!

When and where did you last go on holiday?

I went to Switzerland in November to see Northern Ireland play in the Play-Offs for the 2018 World Cup. Unfortunately, we lost 1-0 on aggregate (after a very dodgy penalty decision!) but it was a fantastic trip all the same. I’m looking forward to a more relaxing trip to the Caribbean with my girlfriend in April – it can’t come around soon enough!

What TV show do you try not to miss?

I don’t generally binge-watch TV but I’ve recently found myself addicted to Peaky Blinders and Line of Duty, other favourites include The Sopranos and Mad Men.

Tea or coffee?

Always tea; I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life, which most of my colleagues find hard to believe.

Do you have any unusual hobbies?

This one is definitely unusual for me, and it’s perhaps a sign that I’m getting older, but since I moved into my new flat in Aberdeen I’ve developed a keen interest in interior design. I definitely take after my Mum in this regard and have probably watched too many episodes of Homes Under the Hammer.

Get in touch

If you’re in Aberdeen or the north east and you’d like to get in-touch with Matthew about ideas or to support what’s happening in the area you can contact Matthew via email at matthew.j.holland@pwc.com

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