Meet the Alternative Thinker - Conor Lyons - Alter Domus
My name is Conor Lyons, and I originally joined Alter Domus on a college internship back in January 2019 and stayed until September of that year. My only previous work experience had been working on my family farm, so I was fortunate to get the opportunity. I had intentions of moving abroad after college but Covid spoiled those plans, thankfully Alter Domus and Sean Morley welcomed me back. I joined the Cork office as a Fund Accountant in August 2020 as part of the Fund Services team and I’ve recently been promoted to Senior Officer.
I’m currently pursuing the ACCA qualification and I’ve got two exams remaining that I intend to sit this year. Afterwards I hope to undertake the CFA exams. In my spare time I play tennis, 5-a-side football and chess, which I became obsessed with after I watched The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix last year.
What opportunities can you see for yourself at Alter Domus?
I’m pleased with my progression to date and AD provide a visible path to grow and develop. I’m a big fan of the regular performance reviews and AD provide an easy-to-follow structure with the employee levels. As Alter Domus is growing so rapidly in Ireland, this presents a great deal of opportunities to develop professionally with the company.
The option of global mobility within Alter Domus interests me and is something I would like to potentially explore at some point in the future once I’m fully qualified. I’ve only ever lived in Cork so I think it would be beneficial for me to experience a different culture while still remaining part of the Alter Domus group.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career?
You don’t have to follow the traditional path, there are lots of alternatives to the traditional accounting practice route, and many people don’t stay beyond their three-and-a-half-year training period at other companies. The way I see it, is if you don’t see a future in where you’re working there’s no point in sticking around. Otherwise, you’ll just become disillusioned and other parts of your life will suffer.
I think there’s a common misconception in accounting that you have to serve your time in an accounting practice and only then can you pursue a career in the industry you want. From my experience, I know that you can skip that step and you’ll find that there’s a wide range of opportunities available.
How have Alter Domus supported you through the development?
I found Alter Domus to be very supportive of me while I’m pursuing my ACCA degree. They have covered all the associated costs in the process and I’ve never had any issues with amounts or delays in the process. The also provide ample time off before the sitting of exams and do everything they can to facilitate your success. As a recent graduate it’s important to find a place of work that will allow you to continually develop and give you first-hand experience that can be translated into success at exam time.
They also tend to be quite flexible with your professional qualification choice and don’t put too much pressure on you in terms of a timeframe to complete the qualification, which means you can complete your qualification at a schedule that suits you best.
According to you, what does it take for a candidate to be the right fit?
Eagerness to Learn: As I know myself, coming out of college you can think you know everything when it’s quite the opposite. You have to make an extra effort to understand the sector you’re working in and the specific terminology used in whatever industry you are in.
It’s important to ask as many questions as you need to, and then be willing to pass on this information when someone else is starting out. Alter Domus provides a wide range of services so this means you are responsible for many tasks that require different skills and knowledge. After a combined two years with AD I’m still regularly presented with tasks I haven’t seen before and that force me to learn something I previously didn’t know.