Marie joined Saffery Champness in January 2018 as a trainee. As a member of the Business Advisory Group in the London office, she works predominantly on audit and accounts assignments for clients operating in a wide range of sectors. Those clients include large corporates, owner-managed businesses and not-for-profit organisations.
She took an unconventional route into the accountancy profession, having graduated from Imperial College London with a medical degree and first class honours in reproductive and developmental sciences. She then worked as a doctor on the frontline of the NHS for two years where she practised in a number of specialities such as paediatrics, psychiatry and obstetrics. Marie hopes to bring together her experiences as a doctor and an accountant to make a positive impact in the industry.
"Who were you most looking forward to seeing or meeting, and why?"
I was keen to hear from the delegate speakers at the plenary sessions and One Young World Ambassadors. I wanted to gain an insight into the actions they had taken, whether this was driven by personal experiences or attendance at a previous Summit. I left feeling inspired and motivated with a sense of direction as to how I can create change.
"What did you learn that you didn’t know before?"
We were informed by the Lumos Foundation about the harmful effects of orphanage tourism and volunteering as part of their campaign, Helping Not Helping. Eluxon Tassy, a self-advocate from Haiti spent 12 years in an orphanage where he was visited by over 90 volunteers. He spoke of the joys and dreams that the volunteers would bring, but he was stripped of the same joys and dreams on their departure.
"What will you remember most about attending?"
The session on modern day slavery with Yeonmi Park, human rights activist and North Korean defector, and Grace Forrest, founding director of Walk Free Foundation was emotive and eye-opening. I came away from the session feeling compelled to proactively ask questions and demand answers to ensure I am not promoting the continuation of a supply chain that involves slavery.
"What did you learn that you can apply to your own business or organisation?"
Kojo Annan spoke about how his late father, Kofi believed “you are never too young to lead and never too old to learn”. Leadership is required to drive change and I have learnt that this requires everyone’s voice is heard, to stay curious and inspired. I hope to always keep this in mind as I strive to create change in my capacity as a future chartered accountant.
"What does positive change mean to you?"
It extends beyond thoughts and ideas but the actions that we take. We all have a part to play to contribute to the UN’s 17 SDGs and this requires courage, resilience and partnership. The importance of focussing on the people rather than the numbers and ensuring that we speak up for those who do not have access to the same platform that we do.
What value do you think your skills and training in Chartered Accountancy bring to being a future global leader?
We can all make a difference through our actions and the opportunity for businesses is that their influence can reach far into their markets and society. Accountants are uniquely placed to assist business leaders to make decisions with a positive social impact that lasts. Being a leader also requires you to have a broad perspective and this is something that I believe our training develops through our interaction with a range of people in different professions across different industries.