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An interview with: Hannah an FC at Whitbread

Written by: Rory McDermot, ICAEW
Published on: 14 Dec 2017

Hannah has been with Whitbread for 6 months having joined from PwC and is now working as a controller within risk, control and process improvement. Hannah is one of a number of ACAs who have joined Whitbread in the controls and risk environment in the last 5 years as the business helps develop its future leaders. 

I discussed the following with Hannah: 

RM: Why did you join Whitbread in the controls area? 

HP: “Having trained at PwC with 8 years of experience working with a large client base ranging from SMEs to FTSE 100 companies, I wanted to move into industry into a role where I could use my understanding of finance concepts, controls and operational improvement to work closely with stakeholders across the business.  This role has allowed me to work with these stakeholders to identify appropriate solutions to ensure a strong control environment whist improving operational processes. “ 

“Moving into new markets such as Germany also presents opportunities to design new processes and to be involved in embedding a strong control environment at the outset of change projects.” 

RM: What are your long term career ambitions? 

HP: “To lead the financial control agenda and create a best in practice control environment whilst optimising business performance. Once this has been achieved, I will look for the next challenge at that point in time to gain experience and broaden my skill set to set me up for a future leadership role at Whitbread.” 

RM: How is the business helping you to reach your goals? 

HP: “Whitbread is providing me with the support network and tools with which to progress and opportunities to demonstrate a value added contribution whilst working across all areas of the business.” 

RM: Do you feel confident you will have the opportunity to progress into other parts of finance? 

HP: “Definitely, I interact with other parts of finance on a daily basis getting a really good insight into the processes which has allowed me to develop a strong knowledge base from which I can progress.” 

RM: What do you think is more important when moving from practice, the company or the role? 

HP: “The Company was important for me as I was looking for a larger company where there would be scope for movement and growth once I had achieved what I needed to in my role. However, the role was the most important as it should allow you to utilise some of your current skillset whilst also being the foundation for your career at the new company.” 

If you are considering a move from practice and wish to express and interest in working for Whitbread in a controls role, you can apply here for an initial conversation with their recruitment team.