Why a strong company culture matters to new employees
Chris Bickley, started his career at Gerald Edelman while completing work experience within our audit and business services departments. Now, Chris is Assistant Manager in the Business Services Department and heads up the social committee for the firm.
In our latest team story, we learn more about Chris’ Gerald Edelman (GE) journey so far, including what he enjoys in his role, his biggest challenges and advice for those seeking a career in accountancy.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’m really glad to now be stepping into a managerial role as I like this side of my work. I enjoy working with teams and co-ordinating our work to ensure it is planned, delivered, and reviewed for our account’s clients. I know many people say this at GE, but the size of the firm means that we are able to take on a variety of work and projects – meaning that earlier in our career we have plenty of development opportunities.
Have you always wanted to work in Business services? If not, what motivated you on to your current career path?
I started my path into the field at 16 when I chose to do an Accountancy A Level – my Dad is a Finance Director so it seemed like a clear choice! I then went on to study a Finance Accounts and Business degree at university and was deciding where to go next. My Dad was actually a client of GE’s so the partner working with him, Asgher Sultan, organised some work experience in the firm for me. I spent a couple of summers working within GE and just loved working with the team, visiting client sites, and the whole environment and feel of the firm – I could tell it was a great place to work!
Why did you choose GE?
Following on from my previous answer, I really liked the department I was working with during my work experience. I found the whole team was approachable, friendly and helpful from partners to the managers everyone had your best interests at heart. I clearly took to the culture as now I, with other team members, lead the social committee for the firm – organising team events and socials.
What does your average day look like?
Very cliché, but no two days are the same! I would say the only things I do religiously are checking emails first thing and prioritising client work and rallying our junior team members and checking in on them. Some days may be very heavily client-focused, while others might be assisting the trainees and working on projects with them.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
For many students leaving university, I found once I had finished my degree and sat my accounting exams, I was struggling to find my new direction. The traditional route of GCSEs, A-Levels, degree, and then exams was complete, and I needed to establish where I was going next. It was challenging and something you must try different things in order to find your feet.
What’s been your biggest achievement?
Passing all of my accounting exams the first time!
What are your goals for the future?
To build on the already fantastic culture at GE and make this a place where new graduates and training level employees would see as a great place to start their career.
What advice would you give others that are seeking to pursue a career in Accountancy/business services?
Whether you have a degree or not, the most valuable thing is to have is experience in the field. By gaining first-hand experience working with clients and within teams is what will put you that one step ahead of your fellow graduates/trainees.