“I was someone who had a ‘life plan’ – I was going to qualify, get engaged and married and have children – But my plan was thrown off when I found out my wife was pregnant during my exams. Since then my plans have often changed in a hurry and I’ve got very used to rolling with the punches. Like rushing to move into a new house 3-weeks before our first baby. I have a keen belief in wellness, personal development and growth, and am a wellbeing champion within the office. I try and encourage everyone to focus on their wellbeing by correctly balancing things. My son was born when I was 24, and at 26 I took on a role at Grant Thornton where not too many people, while similar in age, were balancing this demanding role with raising children. Since then I’ve worked my way up to manager. I’m extremely pleased with my career progression so far and look forward to continuing the progress that I’ve made - despite any future ‘curve balls’ ahead.”

Chapter 1: The best laid plans…

I was born in South Queensferry near Edinburgh in Scotland. We moved to Manchester when I was two and a half, then back to Glasgow when I was nine. I stayed in Glasgow for school and university where I studied Accounting and Finance. My dad worked in a bank but had never finished his own accounting degree. As part of my degree I spent a week at Grant Thornton on an insight course, which is where I was first introduced to the firm. I knew I wanted to work here even then, but, as with so many plans, it was more complicated than that and I didn’t get through the application process for the role.

I struggled to get a graduate job so started working two part-time roles in insolvency. Eventually I was offered a trainee role in an audit department where I could work towards the ACCA qualification that would complete my training.

Then life threw me a major curve ball when my wife got pregnant during my exams. This was the first in a long line of things that would come up and change when I was least expecting it, and I got used to moving fast - like rushing to move into a new house 3-weeks before our first baby.

'Inclusivity means many things and for me the key impact is the ability to work flexibly which means I can find balance without compromising my ability to deliver and progress.'

Chapter 2: Proud moments

My happiest and proudest achievement is marrying my wife and helping my 2 children grow, but passing my final exams with a 4-month-old was a highlight of my life. After I qualified, I felt ready for a new challenge. An old colleague referred me to Grant Thornton and I got a role as an executive. Since then I’ve worked my way up to manager. I’m extremely pleased with my career progression so far and look forward to continuing the progress that I’ve made. It was also a proud moment passing my driving test after a number of attempts because it became more of a mental challenge which felt really good to overcome.

I have a keen belief in wellness, personal development and growth, and am a wellbeing champion within the office. I try and encourage everyone to focus on their wellbeing by correctly balancing things. My son was born when I was 24, and at 26 I took on a role at Grant Thornton where not too many people, while similar in age, were balancing this demanding role with raising children. Five years later there are definitely more examples of younger people in these roles and that’s partly because of inclusive employee practices.

Chapter 3: Balancing challenges

Inclusivity means many things and for me the key impact is the ability to work flexibly which means I can find balance without compromising my ability to deliver and progress.

Having a wife and two kids (with another on the way) is very motivating. I want to provide for them and help them flourish so that they can do whatever they’re passionate about. Finding a balance has been a massive challenge. The job can be very demanding and I have not always managed to prioritise correctly. I am continually learning to find the right balance.

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