Gavin Barry, Accounting & Finance Associate, Glanbia

Hero image for Gavin Barry, Accounting & Finance Associate, Glanbia

Degree subject Food Marketing & Entrepreneurship UCC (2013), MBS Management Information & Management Accounting Systems (2014)
Job titleAccounting & Finance Associate
Employer Glanbia

How you become interested in a career in the finance sector?

I always took a liking to the accounting
modules I studied in my undergrad
and I generally did well in the exams.
Doing a masters in management
accounting then gave me more of a
taste for a career in finance. Glanbia
seemed like a good fit for me due to
my food business undergrad and
management accounting masters.
Also when you look at some of the top
executives and leaders in big
companies, a lot of them started in the
accounting & finance route, it is
pivotal to the everyday running of a
business. It also opens up many other
doors career wise and so you are not
just limited to one particular area.

My undergrad provided me with a
good insight into how the food
business works, particularly in Ireland
and it was from here I gained an
interest in the industry. This interest
positioned well with Glanbia who are
a major global player in the food,
ingredients and sports nutrition
fields and of course they are also an
Irish owned and controlled company.
Following on from this my masters in
management accounting, along with
accounting modules I studied in my
undergrad gave me a good grounding
and basic understanding of various
areas of accounting & finance which
have stood to me since I have started
working. They also gave me exam
exemptions from my professional
qualification which is always useful!

What does your daily role involve,
and what’s been one of the biggest
challenges?

My current role is quite diverse. My
main tasks include weekly
reconciliations of certain banks,
balance sheet reconciliations, month
end reporting, intercompany
reconciliations, capital expenditure
approvals and reporting, vendor
payments, weekly cash forecasting
and KPI reporting. One of the biggest
challenges I have faced is probably
balancing work with study around
exam time. If you let your work get on
top of you it can be hard to find the
energy to then go and study in the
evening. I’ve found myself to be very
organised and efficient with my time
while trying to balance work with study.

What’s exciting about your job?

The job presents lots of opportunity
and a lot of diversity. I’m currently in
Chicago to start a new role within one
of the company’s business units. I also
get a lot of off the job training from
the company in things like leadership,
project management, personal skills
development etc.

What advice would you have for
students and graduates?

If you are thinking of going down the
accounting & finance route, try and
choose as many modules as possible
in college in that area. It will give you a
good grounding prior to starting work
and it will also add to the number of
exemptions that you are eligible for
from the professional exams if you
choose to sit them. Also before
choosing to sit professional accounting
exams, do a bit of research into what
ones will suit you best and what you
would like to get out of them.

I hope to be fully qualified in the next
12–18 months and would then like to
go into a more senior/management
accounting & finance role with
increased responsibility. Hopefully my
experience abroad will contribute to
this. I would also in time like to get
experience in other areas of business
where I can still use my accounting &
finance skills.

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