Meet the 2019 Young Chartered Star shortlist

Jul 01, 2019
Chartered Accountants Ireland is bursting with talent, and these four women made the shortlist for Young Chartered Star. Take a moment to meet the future of the profession.

Fiona Smiddy

Owner, Green Outlook Ireland, www.greenoutlook.ie

What has your Chartered journey been like?
I joined KPMG’s Risk & Management Consulting department in 2012. I then joined an Irish renewable energy company as Senior Accountant in 2016. In March 2019, I started my own business – Green Outlook, an online plastic-free shop. I launched the online shop in May.

How has training to be a Chartered Accountant changed the direction of your career?
It’s much more than an accountancy qualification. The training contract with KPMG provided me with the opportunity to develop several business and personal skills which I’ve continued to refine. My career to date provided me with the confidence and skills necessary to start my own business.

What do you hope your career will look like in the next five years?
I hope to continue to grow my new business, expand the shop and incorporate a consultancy service. I’m open to opportunities and I want to continue to learn throughout my career. I’m loving the challenge of being a self-employed, one-woman business. It’s an exciting time for me.

Nuala McAdams

Audit Senior, EY Belfast, Audit Centre of Excellence (ACE)

What has your Chartered journey been like?
I am at the beginning of my career having just finished my FAEs, so exams have been my focus so far. I have been involved in the wider Chartered Accountants experience, though, and this involvement has given me a strong support network which has been invaluable.

What advice would you give to those thinking about applying to be the Young Chartered Star?
The thought of putting your story out there can be daunting, but have confidence in yourself! When I applied, I thought about how far I had come since my first day of training; I don’t think I had done that before! If only for some self-reflection and appreciation of your own accomplishments, I would encourage everyone to apply.

What do you hope your career will look like in the next five years?
I hope to work with members across the country on well-being initiatives, specifically around mental health. I also hope to move up the ranks in the ACE team and continue to help those coming through their training contracts.

Caroline McGroary

Assistant Professor, Dublin City University Business School

What has your Chartered journey been like?
The Chartered Accountancy qualification has given me the opportunity to experience a varied and very exciting career to date. These experiences range from the opportunity to work in Deloitte, to securing the position as an accountancy lecturer with Dublin City University. My role as an accountancy lecturer has allowed me to travel and work internationally, including setting up a division of DCU Business School in the Middle East, as well as engaging with a wide variety of business and community initiatives.  Together these experiences encapsulate the diverse nature of my Chartered journey to date and the Chartered Accountancy qualification. 
 
What advice would you give to those thinking about applying to be the Young Chartered Star?The Young Chartered Star competition gives you a unique platform to share your journey with a global audience. My experience has already opened up new opportunities for my career. I would advise future applicants to give a true and honest account of their journey as it’s these unique experiences that make your story engaging and will inspire others.

Sharon Cunningham

Co-Founder, Shorla Pharma

What has your Chartered journey been like?
After training with PwC, I secured a role with EirGen Pharma, progressed to Head of Finance and received my MBA from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. In 2018, I co-founded Shorla Pharma, a speciality pharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies for global markets in the oncology space addressing 
unmet needs. 

What advice would you give to those thinking about applying to be the Young Chartered Star?
Be honest and succinct with a view to inspiring existing and prospective Chartered Accountants when sharing your story.

What do you hope your career will look like in the next five years?
I hope Shorla Pharma continues to grow and meet its milestones and that we realise our vision. I hope that I am still working with like-minded people who share the same drive and passion and that I continue to be challenged and feel purposeful and fulfilled in my career.