Building the network for Chartered Accountants

Dec 06, 2019
When Marie Claire McDonnell noticed that Irish Chartered Accountants in Toronto were left out in the cold, she started the Toronto Chapter. Now, she wants the new group, and her career in recruitment, to gain momentum.

Tell us about your current role.

I recruit mid-senior level accountants in mining, real estate, energy and technology industries in Toronto, Canada.

Describe your typical day.

 No two days are the same in recruitment. The focus of my role is relationship building both on the client and candidate side. I have control and influence over people’s career choices, which is very gratifying.

How did your involvement with the Toronto Chapter come about?

I have had a lot of success placing Irish Chartered Accountants in Toronto. In a city that networks significantly, I noticed there was no formal networking group for all the Irish Chartered Accountants I meet. When Fergal McCormack and Brian Keegan visited Toronto in March, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the Institute to set up a committee here and kick-start the Toronto Chapter. Our first event in July 2019 was a great success. We had four Irish Chartered Accountants in a panel discussion about their experiences living and working in Toronto. 

What are the best and worst aspects of living in Canada?

Best: the quality of life, diversity and there is always something fun going on in the city. 
Worst: the winter. We get a lot of snow. I like to ski so I enjoy that side of it, but when it is still snowing mid-April, the novelty has well and truly worn off!

What are your goals/plans for 2020?

I would like to host three successful events with the Irish Chartered Accountants in Toronto Chapter in 2020. Career-wise, I am hoping to gain momentum in the technology industry in Toronto, which has become a major hub for talent. I recently visited the Robert Walters office in San Francisco and realised there are cross-border relationships which can be developed through our partnerships in California. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The early bird catches the worm! I wake up every day at 5.30am, start work at 7am. I feel those golden hours pre-9am are crucial in providing clarity and structure around the productivity of my day. It is challenging to stay organised in recruitment, so if I have that quiet time in the morning to set my goals for the day, it allows me to be more focused.

Marie Claire McDonnell is Senior Consultant at Robert Walters, Canada.