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Chartered Stars keep on rising: Jackie Crane

5 March 2020: Jackie Crane (JC), Assistant Manager at PKF Francisclark, is a Chartered Star – one of the winners of ICAEW’s Chartered Star competition, whereby applicants compete to attend One Young World with ICAEW in a group of delegates from Chartered Accountants Worldwide. She speaks to Insights about her career, life and values.

After winning a place via ICAEW’s One Young World Chartered Star competition, Jackie Crane became part of the biggest gathering of young people outside the Olympics, an annual event to bring the future leaders of the world together to make lasting connections, One Young World focuses on solutions to the globe’s most pressing issues, and last year played host to the likes of Richard Branson, Jane Goodall, Mary Robinson, Jon Snow, Ellie Goulding, JK Rowling and Ellie Simmonds. Crane says it was “a privilege” to attend the summit, which has empowered her to “use my own experiences to make things better for other people”. She also tells ICAEW Insights about her colourful career, respect in the workplace and what the future might hold. 

Where are you in your career at the moment? 

"I recently reached my 10-year work anniversary before the age of 30, which was exciting! I made the conscious choice to take the apprenticeship route into accountancy over going to university.

“I feel like my career has been nice and colourful to date, having the opportunity to work in three different key departments within practice, which has provided me with amazing experiences and allowed me to truly understand the role of an accountant.

“I currently work in a ‘behind the scenes’ role at PKF Francis Clark ie non-client facing, where I work as part of a team supporting the firm's tax practice on operations and strategy and it is exciting to think of what I will learn and experience in the next 10 years.”

What sort of things define you? And how do you bring those things into your work?

“Three things spring to mind: authenticity, respect and collaboration.

“In recent years, I have learned how to truly be myself which is something I now try and inspire new students and the people around me to practise. I think it is important that we are authentic at work, as you can bring so much to your role by being yourself and bringing your own ideas rather than doing what you think somebody wants to you do and trying to mind-read.

“Being authentic is great, but you also have to ensure that your honesty is delivered with respect. Respect is something that is really important to me – no matter who you are interacting with, they are a human being. You can have different points of view or disagreements, but you always deserve to be treated with dignity. 

“And, finally, being forward-looking and working collaboratively. I am always keen to share knowledge where I can and get different viewpoints on something, but also to consider whether I can ‘change the way things have always been done’ if there is a better way of doing something.”

Learning: do we need a revolution or are we evolving just fine?

“Personally, I feel we do need a revolution in learning but not in the way you might think. My thoughts are that, generally, the syllabus from school through to professional qualifications is on-point and it is continuously evolving, but it is the soft skills and life skills that are not focused on enough in my experience.

“I don't feel that there is enough sharing of knowledge and supporting one another to develop on a day-to-day basis and I think this is where we need to start. If we each take responsibility for sharing what we know, or have learned over the years, to help the next generation of individuals going through the same thing as we did then they can master these skills from an early age and can blossom in life by focusing on their authentic ideas and collaboration.”

This year’s Chartered Stars competition will launch in the Spring.