Associate Director, Global FP&A, UK
"An American in England"
Considering ConvaTec as your next employer? Good choice!
I’ll take you with me on a recent day here at a company that sees potential in its people and provides meaningful opportunities. At best, I’ll stimulate you. At worst, I’ll bore you to tears; but, we’ll bank on the former. In fact, I’ll choose a Friday as its closer to the weekend. Oh, and forgive me now for my American slang, humour, spelling (i.e., humor), lack of British sophistication, etc., etc. I’ve only been here for six months now, so I still have room to grow. Right?
Before we start the day, let me give you a brief history of my life at ConvaTec. I joined the company in March 2016 as a Manager of FP&A in the US office. Probably like you, I didn’t know much about the company at the time; but, they were looking to complete an initial public offering and I was totally on board for that. After some gruelling and rewarding months, we completed a successful IPO. In fact, the biggest UK listing of 2016. Yeah, felt pretty good to be a part of that. I got to work on things I’ve not done previously and used my previous skills in effective ways (a true win/win).
Remember the ‘sees potential in its people’ bit I referenced earlier? A real life example of that for me happened in April 2017, when I was promoted to Associate Director of FP&A (only after a short time of being with the company). Later that year, another real life example happened for me that supported the ‘provides meaningful opportunities’ reference I made above. The company came calling and asked if I’d have any interest in moving to the corporate office in Reading, England. Taking advantage of the once in a life-time experience, I packed my bags, said my goodbyes to family and friends, and moved across the pond to the UK. So now I’m living in London, working in Reading, and it’s time for us to start my day.
5:30 Ahhh, the sweet sound of jazz has awakened me…and awakened me…and awakened me again in between snooze hits on my cell phone (wait, mobile). I finally get out of bed at 6:00 (or there about). As you have probably guessed, I’m totally not a morning person. I prepare some breakfast, select a pair of jeans and trainers (gotta love casual Friday), complete my morning routine, and scramble out the door by 7:00 (7:10 at the latest). Standing in line (okay queue) with the rest of the morning robots, I penguin myself inside the train door and hope for the best to get a seat (accomplished on this journey). I plug in some tunes, check messages received overnight from America, chat with local friends (I mean mates), and catch up on the latest news feeds from the good ‘ole USA. An hour and some change later, I reckon, we pull into Reading station and I take a short stroll to the office.
8:45 Now it’s time for the elevator (I mean lift) shuffle. That’s a downside of this building. Eight elevators (ugh, lifts) and only one comes at a time. Seriously!?! I make it upstairs, greet my teammates, and grab my recyclable coffee cup (shout out to @JackyK for helping the team go green). I head down for some morning jo. We take the stairs when Jacky’s around and I cheat with the lift (got it right that time) when she’s not. An upside for the building? Having my favorite (seriously spell check? a “u” in favourite?) coffee conveniently downstairs. Back upstairs, the CEO passes by with a good morning and makes a point to let us know the weekend is almost here (pretty cool to have a CEO with whom you can actually interact). I check my calendar for the day and we need to deliver sales numbers to the board. Hmm, the VP is out of the office, so the CFO will be coming my way for answers to any questions. Alright… meditate, let that soak in… Okay! I’m good to go. Game on! I complete the sales report, forward it to my boss, VP and Controller for review, and send it over to the CFO. Now the fun starts!
12:00 Okay, so typically, I go out to get some fresh air for lunch. The city center (I know spell check I’m in England now and the “r” comes before the “e”). At any rate the city centre is in walking distance and Forbury Gardens is a stone’s throw away. But for today, it’s downstairs for a quick grab and back up again because it’s really a busy day.
12.30 The rest of the day becomes a bit of a blur to be fair. I’m fielding emails and visits from the CFO on the revenue numbers as we ensure we have it right before providing to the board. I’m juggling requests from business partners and assisting teammates on questions related to a recent acquisition and divestiture.
14:00 and the US team is in the office now and I’m fielding questions from their end as well. I’m also working closely with the systems team and business leads to ensure we’re aligned on the new business hierarchy. But for now, it’s manual work-arounds and multiple checks. The CFO is back with more questions and to dos and the emails don’t stop. At this point, it’s like who am I?, where am I? It’s all a blur. But… at the end of the day, the CFO is happy with the numbers and our commentary thus far, the requests from business partners are complete, my teammates and I are aligned, and I make significant progress of stamping out the other fires that arose throughout the day. Mission accomplished!
18:00 I sit back and reflect for a bit. Although a hectic day, I think how cool it is to work directly with the CFO and assist business partners with their deliverables (yes, I really thought that). But that reflection is short as I’m outta here to catch the 18:12 train back to London. Tonight, it’s dinner and cocktails with some buddies visiting from the US. I’ll take a double, please. And so the weekend begins!