Former Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Accounting student, Olivia McDonald has been chosen as the winner of the Young Chartered Star competition.
Currently working as a senior assurance associate for PwC, Waterford, Olivia started her journey in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) where she studied the BA (Hons) in Accounting, and has since been announced as winner of the Institute's recent Young Chartered Star competition. Olivia has been selected to represent Chartered Accountants Ireland at One Young World in Canada this autumn.
Olivia will join young leaders from around the world, and colleagues from Chartered Accountants Worldwide who will represent their Institute at the event in Canada. One Young World aims to gather together the brightest young leaders from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change.
Member of the judging panel, Council member Barry Doyle, said: "We had 60 entrants to the competition and the judging panel was struck by the calibre of the candidates, the standard of submissions was excellent.
As the winner of Young Chartered Star, Olivia will become an 'ambassador' for Chartered Accountants Ireland and Chartered Accountants Worldwide at the One Young World Summit in Ottawa, Canada. We have no doubt that Olivia will do the profession proud at One Young World and beyond"
Before Olivia became a PwC associate, she was an accountant student at WIT and says, “I knew I wanted to pursue my professional qualifications so the exemptions on offer were a big deciding factor. WIT offers complete CAP 1 exemptions from Chartered Accountancy Ireland exams. Not only that, it is also closely aligned with a number of other professional firms and organisations.”
Initially torn between WIT and DCU, a primary factor was cost, “Another factor was cost. I had a part time job that I knew I would support me throughout my degree so staying close to home was the best financial option (because I am such an accountant).”
Following her recent win, Olivia believes the BA (Hons) in Accounting at WIT played a major role in getting her to where she is today, “If I hadn't attended WIT I don't believe I would have had half the amazing opportunities I've been privileged to experience. The quality of the BA course, along with its recognition amongst all major employers, makes it the ideal choice for anyone looking for a career in business."
About One Young World
One Young World is an international conference that brings together inspiring young people from 190+ countries that are committed to making a difference.
Olivia will join the Chartered Accountants Worldwide group at the summit that will have representatives from ICAEW (England & Wales), ICAS (Scotland), SAICA (South Africa) Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and ISCA (Singapore).
Chartered Accountants Worldwide is the global alliance of Chartered bodies representing 600k members and one million students.
In 2015, Olivia joined PwC and began her Chartered Accountants journey. Pursuing this first class qualification has exposed Olivia to industry experts and given her an international perspective.
Olivia is actively involved in the community, both inside and outside of work. Olivia has been appointed as the vice-chair of the Chartered Accountants Student Society South East, charged with bringing Chartered Accountant students from all firms together to support them during their professional examinations.
Most recently, Olivia relaunched Junior Chambers International in the South East. JCI is the largest professional network for young people in the world. JCI focuses on four key areas, community involvement, personal development, global experience and business acumen. By creating community links, organising monthly local, national and international events, and cultivating a strong network, Olivia believes JCI will be a great benefit to those in her area.
Olivia's inspiration for launching JCI came from her experience in Washington, DC. In 2014 Olivia became the first female Institute of Technology student to be chosen for the highly esteemed Washington Ireland Program. This intensive leadership and personal development academy gave Olivia the opportunity to work in Washington DC with Citizens for Tax Justice. Furthermore, Olivia received one-to-one mentoring from executive managers of Fortune 500 companies who continue to assist her professional development.
Ultimately, Olivia's career aspirations lie within the non-profit sector. Olivia is passionate about education and youth engagement. Her goal is to use the experience and qualifications she is gaining to positively impact these issues in the future.
Olivia is honoured to be representing Chartered Accountants Ireland, her firm, and her family at the One Young World Summit. While Olivia sees this as a fantastic personal achievement, it is also an important opportunity to show that Chartered Accountants have the skills, experience and network to have a global impact. Olivia is hoping to inspire others towards pursuing the Chartered Accountancy qualification, as she believes Chartered Accountants Ireland creates future leaders.
About the Young Chartered Star competition
Launched this year, the Young Chartered Star competition gives student and members under 35 the chance to share their experiences and ideas among the Chartered Accountants Ireland membership, the wider profession, at the One Young World Summit and beyond. It is awarded to someone who can truly lead, motivate and inspire the next generation. The quality of entries we received from Young Chartered Star highlighted the remarkable achievements of so many young Irish Chartered Accountants in their careers so far and is truly inspirational.
This article first appeared on the Chartered Accountants Ireland website and can be viewed in full here.