Having initially discounted an office job, RSM Channel Islands' Daniel De Vai explains how his eyes were opened to opportunities within the finance industry.
Daniel De Vai was educated at De La Salle College before studying psychology and gaining a masters in neuropsychology at Bath Spa University. Following graduation, Daniel initially remained in the UK for a couple of years working in the NHS before returning to the island to start a career in accounting with RSM Channel Islands.
Growing up in Jersey you hear a lot about the different opportunities within the finance industry. When I was at school I didn’t pay much attention, as I did not think an office job was going to be right for me. However, following my degree and the work experience I gained in that time my preferences changed.
My degree wasn’t business-focused but I developed a number of transferable skills such as problem-solving and analytical and mathematical reasoning which I wanted to carry into my career. The obvious choice when considering these was to look at the finance sector. Being from Jersey I knew the Island had a strong finance environment and that it would be best for me to return home to begin my new career path.
When I first started to consider my options, I initially found the choice of career offered by the finance industry overwhelming. However, I took a step back and started with some research into what the roles entailed. This included speaking with friends and family working in the industry and attending career events to identify the opportunities which were likely to suit me and my skill set.
I was drawn to accountancy because I like problem-solving and analysing information. From my research, accountancy seemed like a natural fit as a career path which plays to my strengths and interests.
At that stage, I thought I had done the hard part in making the career choice and from there it would be relatively easy to find an employer.
However, yet again I was faced with further choices due to the variety of training opportunities the Island offers. Should I train for a professional qualification with an accountancy firm, trust company, fund administrator or another business? Should I train in audit or tax? I had not appreciated the breadth of choices available to me or what they might mean for my career.
Once again I undertook my research to narrow my options and pinpoint the right employer for me. Early on I identified that many businesses on the Island utilise the same exam-training providers allowing me to largely discount this from my decision-making process.
Having worked in the NHS while in the UK I knew I wasn’t looking for a large organisation and this helped to narrow my choices when considering where to apply. There is a lot of choice, but I knew each employer would offer a different experience reflecting their size, clients, structure and culture. RSM appeared the best option for me as it is a Jersey firm with a varied client base of local and international clients within a global network.
As part of my research, it became clear that there were certain choices I was not ready to make yet. I did not feel I had enough information or experience to know whether I was ready to specialise in a particular aspect of accountancy. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed so being able to gain experience across a broad range of assignments was really appealing.
A year on from making my decisions, I am really glad I took my time to assess my options and am pleased with the choice I made. But, regardless of where your research leads you, my advice to anyone considering a career in the finance industry is to find out about as many options as possible to ensure you make the best choice about your future career path. From the outside it is easy to overlook the quality and range of opportunities the Island’s finance industry has to offer, and a little investigation and research can make a huge difference to your awareness of the training and support that’s available.
RSM Channel Islands is an approved employer with both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Candidates wishing to apply for training positions with us should submit a covering letter and full CV by email to [email protected].
RSM Channel Islands is an independent member firm of RSM, the world’s seventh-largest provider of audit, tax and consultancy services, encompassing 116 countries, 750 offices and more than 41,000 people.
This article was published in the Winter 2019 Jersey Evening Post Careers and Employment Review supplement.