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Leonard Campbell, financial planning and analysis accountant, firmus energy

I took my A levels at St Killian’s College at Garron Tower and applied to Queen’s University, where I was accepted to study Economics.  I loved my time at Queen’s and enjoyed all the life experiences that come with being a student but I took care not to neglect my studying, which really paid off when I graduated with first class honours.

After leaving university and having enjoyed living in Belfast so much, I decided to take a job in London for a year as a financial analyst.  This was a great grounding in accountancy for me and I loved the fast pace of life but, after a year, I was ready to consider coming back to Belfast.  I applied for a role in the Corporate Finance department at KPMG and this is where I gained my professional accountancy qualification.  Within the broad exposure the Corporate Finance department offered, I also undertook some financial modelling, which I found fascinating and carried out some work on renewable energy projects which piqued my interest in the energy sector.

When the position of financial planning and analysis accountant came up for firmus energy, I was immediately keen to learn more.  I saw that it could offer me the prospect of specialising in the rapidly-growing natural gas sector and the company’s values of integrity, empathy, clarity and teamwork were very much in line with my own.

I quickly realised that my degree and experience from my other roles were extremely applicable to the firmus energy position, and that my skill-set fit their criteria.  I was delighted when I heard that I had got the role and I started last December.  I am still very much on a learning track and getting to grips with the ins and outs of financial planning within the natural gas sector as there is a great deal of regulation surrounding the industry.

Everyone in the company has been very welcoming and I’ve fitted in really well.  It’s a very positive team-working environment and everyone has been very supportive.  We are also encouraged to become involved with company-wide CSR initiatives and these are a great opportunity to develop new skills and meet colleagues in other departments.   I’ve had to hit the ground running and while that is challenging and complex, it is also an opportunity to demonstrate just what I can do.At the minute I’m completing month-end accountancy work and reporting on statistics as well as preparing some financial models.  I am really enjoying the work and I have to say the best thing about the job is how quickly my days go in – it’s Friday again before I know it!

My ambition is to become a financial director but I know I still have a lot to learn in terms of the industry and people management.  I am lucky to be part of a very experienced team and have really broadened my horizons over the last few months and would love, perhaps in ten to 15 years, to be in my dream position.

Once I settled on accountancy as my career, I always had the intention of climbing the ladder as high as I could go.  It certainly makes a difference from climbing trees each summer in Glenariff when I was younger but even then, I didn’t give up until I reached the top!

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