Meet the 2019 Young Chartered Star

Jul 01, 2019
The judges have spoken and Patrycja Jurkowska will represent Chartered Accountants Ireland at the 2019 One Young World Summit in London. She spoke to Extra about her work, what motivates her and what she hopes to learn from other delegates from across the world.

What led you to the career you have now?

While in college, accountancy and finance were my strongest subjects, so this is where I decided to focus. Having researched the Chartered Accountancy profession, I realised the endless opportunities it offers. 

Towards the end of my training contract with Deloitte, I joined Junior Chamber International (JCI) Dublin, where I had the opportunity to work with other young professionals, local communities and businesses. 

After a few months with JCI, I realised that empowering others and creating positive change is what motivates me. At that stage, I was working with Amdocs, and I made the decision to combine both my qualification and a passion for helping others and moved to the NGO sector. 

How did you come to work for GOAL?

The former JCI Dublin President, Derek Reilly, virtually introduced me to Ann O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone, former President of the Dublin Chamber and the chairperson of GOAL. I saw tweets of Ann’s field trips with GOAL to Ethiopia, and I was fascinated by their work. I added GOAL as a company I wanted to work with on my Indeed app. 

A few weeks later, a notification about the Operations Accountant role came to my inbox. After hearing from the recruitment agency that it was too late to apply for the role, I contacted GOAL directly. I received an invite for an interview and, a couple of days later, I was offered the position. 

What is the best part of your role at GOAL?

My role of Operations Accountant is varied, which attracted me to it in the first place. What I enjoy most is coaching my finance teams in Haiti and Honduras to be better accountants and leaders. The most rewarding part of my role is the ability to visit our country teams and programmes that we run. In fact, I am writing this profile piece from Haiti, where I am based for the next few weeks. 

Witnessing the great work that GOAL does on the ground, and hearing the stories from our beneficiaries who now live in more resilient communities, have small businesses and are providing for themselves is what makes me excited getting up to work in the morning. 

What kind of work do you do for JCI Dublin?

As the President of JCI Dublin, I lead an organisation of 60 members and am responsible for the 2019 JCI Dublin Strategy and Action Plan. As part of my role I am the voice of young professionals on the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Council, and represent JCI Dublin when at conferences abroad.

What inspired you to enter the Young Chartered Star competition?

I’ve been considering participating in the Young Chartered Star competition for a couple of years, but I didn’t feel my story was inspirational enough. This year I had many friends encouraging me to do it, along with my boyfriend and the 2018 Young Chartered Star. 

The opportunity to inspire others to take on Chartered Accountancy as a qualification was what ultimately made me enter the competition. 

What was the topic of your entry article for Young Chartered Star?

It was about being honest, even if that meant being vulnerable. Before I wrote this entry article for the Institute, my story was just not something I frequently shared for various reasons; one of them being that I’d make myself vulnerable, which as a strong, driven woman, I was avoiding. That is until I understood that only by telling the full story could I encourage others not to be determined by the challenges they face nor the expectations of others but to follow what they feel is right for them. 

What do you hope to gain at the One Young World Summit in London?

  1. To learn new skills and gain knowledge that I will share with other Chartered Accountants back in Ireland. 
  2. To build strong relationships with some of the world’s young leaders and, where possible, collaborate with in the future. When this group of One Young World delegates catch up in twenty years, we can talk about all the work we did to make the world and the profession proud. 

What advice would you give to others who want to become a future Young Chartered Star?

If you have a story to share, do it now. Don’t wait to be encouraged by others or for your story to be ‘inspirational enough’. We are usually our own worst critics. 

Don’t make excuses. It is easy to enter. We all are busy. However, it is crucial that we make time for what’s important. Having the opportunity to represent Chartered Accountants Ireland and empower others meets those criteria.