Aoibhín Byrne is an Associate with Barden, and an expert in part qualified accounting, operational finance and newly qualified tax careers.
A Cork cailín, and UCC grad, she joined Barden in October 2019. We chatted to Aoibhín recently to find out a bit more about her…
Where are you from?
I’m a little bit of a proud Cork woman…. once you spend some time in Cork you’ll understand!
Where did you study?
I studied Commerce with French in University College Cork (UCC)
How did you find the process of choosing to go to college and what to study after school?
College for me after the Leaving Certificate was always a no-brainer, I really enjoyed learning in school and it made sense for me to go to UCC, as it was close to home and both my parents studied there too.
Choosing my course was definitely a challenge – I didn’t have a clear and defined career path like my sister, who knew she always wanted to be a doctor, which definitely made choosing a course very difficult. I enjoyed accounting in school but was scared to commit to this in college and wanted a course that would offer me plenty of opportunities when I graduated – hence the choice of Commerce with French. This route still allowed me to pursue accounting modules but also allowed me to gain broader business experience.
I think the best advice I could give when choosing a college course is to keep it broad if you’re still not certain what you want to specialise in – there will always be an option down the line to complete a postgraduate course or a masters course if you do want to specialise your educational knowledge.
Where did you work before joining Barden?
I worked in the tax department of KPMG and was mainly involved in corporate tax advisory and compliance.
Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?
I suppose for me the last two years have been a lot about making big changes and being quite resilient, after some knockbacks. One of the biggest changes has probably been making the move into a different career and totally changing my career path…and let’s not talk about adapting to pandemic life (but that’s an achievement we can all be proud of!).
What made you decide to move into the world of recruitment?
When I finished college, I joined KPMG. I had a great experience and really enjoyed the job, but I also felt there was something missing for me. I really enjoyed the technical work but I wanted my career to be more in line with my values and with who I was. And when I met the team from Barden there was no question that it, and the people who worked there, were the ones for me. The joke in the office is that we all “fell” into recruitment but a lot of us genuinely did, and Barden is the reason for that!
What’s the best thing about working in Barden?
The people obviously – I am so proud to work closely with the people I do on a daily basis. It’s extremely rare to find such a genuine strong bond in a company!
But also, the way we work in Barden. The most important thing for us is to get to know clients (i.e., their business structure, how they generate revenue, business culture etc..) and candidates alike (their interests, their preferred way of working, their career aspirations etc..).
This means initially sitting down with clients / candidates over a cup of coffee (a virtual one these days!) and spending the time to get to know them before getting to work on the task at hand.
Something I really enjoy, especially having an interest in the broader business world – I love understanding how businesses work and hearing about a candidate’s career. And in turn this really helps us work a lot more efficiently to ensure we are addressing candidates and client’s needs to the highest standard. We aren’t ones for wasting time in Barden and this is a motto everyone in the company definitely lives by!
What was most surprising to you about Barden?
I had never worked in recruitment before, so I didn’t have a clear understanding of what it was like. I suppose most surprising is that Barden actually live and breathe what they talk about…which I feel is quite unique across businesses in general (not just recruitment!).
What does your role in Barden involve?
I am based in the Dublin office and work across Part Qualified Accounting, Operational Finance (Accounts Payable, Payroll and Accounts Assistant at all levels) and Newly Qualified Tax roles (I like to be kept on my toes…!).
My role involves bridging the gap between the clients and the candidate’s needs…and ultimately matching the right person to the right role.
A lot of my role is about understanding people. Listening to their wants and their career aspirations, and ultimately supporting them to achieve their career goals. When it comes down to it it’s about making a difference to a person’s life.
What three words best describe you?
Caring, positive, friendly.
Who is your role model, and why?
My parents, they’ve always supported me no matter what and they have always been there for me. I’ll never forget telling them I was thinking of leaving tax to join recruitment – a career change is probably not the most ideal thing for any parent to hear! But they both went out of their way to help me with the change in career and couldn’t have been more understanding or supportive.
Have you a favourite saying or quote? What is it?
I have a few but two of my top ones are…
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“Live in the present.”
Glass half full or half empty?
Half full for sure, it’s definitely important to remember we always have our ups and downs but trying to put a positive spin on things will help shift your perspective and focus on what you can control 🙂
Where in the world would you most like to visit right now?
I am dreaming of the snowy Alps – as soon as we can all safely travel again both my legal bestie and I will be jetting off to Austria, renting a car and hitting the slopes 🙂
And finally, who would win a fight between Spiderman, Batman or Wonder Woman?
Wonder Woman of course – it’s all about the girl power here in the Barden Dublin office ☺️ Ah I’m only messing .. we do let the lads have a fair shot!