Meeting the Barden Team…Marissa Maher

Meeting the Barden Team...Marissa Maher

Marissa Maher joined Barden in December 2017. Marissa works on our Recently Qualified team as a Team Lead in Cork. She Is an expert in qualified accounting careers, in particular supporting those in the accounting and finance market who are seeking new roles in Cork.

Marissa is both QFA and CIPD qualified, since 2010. With this and her prior experience working within financial services she has a unique insight into finance, accounting and professional service markets.

We caught up recently with Marissa to find out a little bit more about her.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Cork. I spent about 9 years up in Dublin after college and while I loved it at the time, I must say I’m very happy to be back living in the Real Capital again!

Where did you study?

I spent 4 years in UCC where I studied a Bachelor of Commerce.

What was your time like in UCC?

 I have some excellent memories from my time in UCC. It was a really lovely place to go to college – it has quite a small campus so you couldn’t walk 10 steps without bumping into someone you knew which I loved about it!! I met some fantastic people during my time there and so I wouldn’t swap it for anywhere else!

You later went on to study a Masters, what drove you to do that and what was the experience like?

 Yes, I did. I guess I was always keen to do further study pretty soon after my degree. I felt if I took a break from it at all that I’d find it hard to go back so for that reason I went on to study my Masters immediately.

In terms of the experience, I would say that it was definitely a year that challenged me on every level and so I’m really glad I did it. The classes were very small so from the get-go we were thrown into the deep end in terms of doing weekly presentations, debating, lively discussions in lectures etc. – all areas I had never before needed to develop given we were in lectures with c400 students in UCC! It was a fantastic challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

Can you tell us a bit about your professional background?

 I graduated back in 2007 just as the recession was looming. I had my sights set on a career in Banking at this point and so I joined the Graduate Lending Programme in Anglo Irish Bank. Little did I know at the time that I was never going to go on and actually lend any money!!

It was a whirlwind in there as within a couple of months of joining, the bank was nationalised and all lending activity ceased. My role very much became working with borrowers to manage their debt and restructure the loans. I continued on this career path for about 8 years in Dublin and was very fortunate to have worked with some fantastic people during this time.

 Why did you decide to get into recruitment?

Recruitment was always an area that interested me. While in Anglo Irish Bank, I went back to college by night and studied to achieve a CIPD Certificate in Human Resource Management. It was a really interesting course and the areas within the course that appealed most was the recruitment side of it.

I genuinely love dealing with people, whether it was in the bank when I was dealing with borrowers, to now, when I’m dealing with my candidates and clients. After 9 years in Banking, I really wanted a change and so it was a natural transition for me really to go down the recruitment route.

 What’s your role in Barden?

 My role in Barden is to support the qualified accounting and finance market for candidates seeking accounting roles in Cork. I work with newly qualified accountants who wish to make their first move into industry right up to candidates who have around 5 years post qualified experience (PQE).

What kind of roles and companies do you work with in Barden?

I work on a broad range of roles from financial reporting roles to commercial accounting roles such as financial analysts, management accountants, costs accountants, FP&A managers etc.

We work with a varied range of companies in Cork from the large multinationals to SME’s and across all industries such as Pharmaceuticals, IT, Retail, FMCG, Manufacturing, Energy, Utilities, Property, Construction, Professional Services, Hospitality, Leisure etc.

What are your top tips for anyone looking for a new opportunity?

My top tip would be to take your time with the search in order to properly research your options. It’s important to gather as much information as possible on the role and company to ensure it ticks the right boxes and is the right fit for you.

What advice would you give someone looking to change career direction and move into recruitment?

 I would say if anyone is thinking of changing careers it’s never too late in the day to do so. Life is too short to be in a job that you don’t enjoy and so you should bite the bullet and explore it further if you think it might be for you.

 What three words best describe you?

Honest, hardworking and ambitious.

What’s your favourite song?

Impossible question – I’m not sure how I could pick any one song as I listen to absolutely everything and anything. I love all types of music, especially cheesy pop music which I know I’ll probably be shot for saying!!

What’s your favourite movie?

I saw the Greatest Showman recently and really loved it so that would definitely be up there as one of my favourites!

What age were you when you had your first paying job? What was it?

My first job was babysitting – I’d say I must have been about 15/16 and I absolutely loved it.

What’s the Cork market like at the moment for career opportunities?

 The Cork market is thriving at the moment – we are currently working with a hugely varied range of companies from the well-known multinationals to the exciting startup companies and everything in between. I would say that Cork is definitely giving Dublin a run for its money in terms of career opportunities and this is likely to remain the case over the next number of years given the development plans for the city.

For you, what makes Barden different?

Barden is purely focused on giving expert advice to candidates in terms of their career. At Barden, we aim to help and support candidates in every way possible when exploring options. We offer a range of services such as CV advice to interview preparation and work closely with candidates throughout the entire interview process to make the job search that bit easier.


Need help achieving your ambitions? 

Are you an accounting professional looking for help in achieving your ambitions? If so, get in touch with Marissa Maher today, at, who is ready with lots of CV, LinkedIn, interview and career advice along with cutting edge market insights.

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to and we will take it from there. Easy.