Meeting the Barden Team…Lisa Hughes ACA

Meeting the Barden Team...Lisa Hughes ACA (1)

Lisa Hughes ACA is the Team Lead – Recently Qualified Accountants and an expert in recently qualified accounting careers. Prior to joining us in Barden she completed a BSc in Finance in UCC, gained her ACA qualification through training with KPMG, and went on to complete a Diploma in IFRS from Chartered Accountants Ireland.

In 2018, Lisa took a sabbatical from Barden, where she spent 9 months travelling and working in Australia and New Zealand. During her time in Australia, Lisa was a Specialist Recruiter in commerce, industry and financial services with T+O+M Executive.

In February 2019, Lisa returned to Barden and took on the role of Team Lead in September 2019.

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

Where are you from?

Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. A proud Déise woman!

Where did you study?

I studied BSc Finance in UCC.

What did you enjoy most about your time studying?  

I love learning new things and really enjoyed the numerical subjects within my degree. But most of all, I loved the social aspect, and my 8 months of work placement in Dublin, which made me realise that I wanted to move there as soon as I finished college!

How old were you when you had your first paying job?

I started working in a pharmacy in town when I was 16. I then started teaching piano and working in the local cinema when I was 18. Twelve hour shifts in the cinema the day after a night out became the norm, and got me ready for the midweek nights out in Dublin and the torture that followed the day after!

Where did you work before joining Barden?

I trained within KPMG’s Financial Services department and after I left KPMG, I met with Barden whilst looking for an accounting job. Although a career in audit wasn’t for me long-term, I made so many great friends and really enjoyed the client interaction side of my time in KPMG.

What made you decide to move into the world of recruitment?

Barden was recommended to me by three different friends at the time, and I met them looking for an accounting job. I first met with Sarah Murphy, who I got on so well with, and she really listened to what I wanted, as well as understanding my experience to date. She arranged a meeting with the founding partners, Ed and Elaine, the following morning, after me asking the question about how she got into recruitment, and the rest is history!

Why did you choose to work with Barden?

When I met with the team in Barden, I felt that they really understood me in terms of the enjoyment I get from dealing with people, clients and helping others. The opportunity to meet with good people on a regular basis seemed like something I would love, and to this day, I am so glad that I went with my gut!

What’s the best thing about working here?

Having the opportunity on a daily basis to help others, be that helping people to instil confidence and belief in themselves, or supporting someone to bring out the best of themselves, for example in an interview. It is an incredibly rewarding feeling when you’ve been able to help someone secure their ideal role! Our working days have obviously changed quite a lot since the pandemic, but we’ve adapted to virtual coffees instead and are making the best of the temporarily remote environment.

What was most surprising to you about Barden?

The amount of craic you can have in a small office! I was only used to large companies, having worked in Citi on placement and KPMG during my training contract, so I was delighted to learn that working in a bigger company isn’t the only way to experience good fun, as well as hard work, in an office environment. Despite the fact that we’re currently not in an office together, we still manage to have some craic and support each other through the challenging times.

What does your role in Barden involve?

I lead the Recently Qualified Team and we primarily work with accountants up to around the 4/5 years’ post-qualified experience level. A core part of our work is to help these professionals identify and map out their future career path, and secure their ideal roles.

What three words best describe you?

Honest, loyal and outgoing.

Who is your role model, and why?

On a personal level, I have always looked up to my mother for her strong work ethic, dedication to her work and family, and her discipline, and my father for his ability to get on well with everyone and always see the best in everyone and everything!

Have you a favourite saying or quote?

I would have to say “If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen”. I feel that this is particularly relevant in the world of recruitment.

Glass half full or half empty?

It depends on the situation. I am definitely quite a realistic person, but I do like to remain optimistic as much as I can, so let’s go with glass half full!

What’s your favourite sport?

My favourite sport is definitely hurling (not that I play myself!!), closely followed by tennis. With the exception of cricket, I would probably sit down and watch any sport, which definitely comes from growing up with two brothers and a father who is “sports-mad”! Prior to the pandemic, I had taken up golf, and enjoyed heading down the road to the golf club with my Dad to “play” (or at least attempt to move the ball from the tee to the green!) a few holes, so hopefully I won’t be back to square one when normality resumes!

Where in the world would you most like to visit?

Previously I would have said that Iceland has always been a place I wanted to visit, but I would be happy to go anywhere at this stage, like most people I’m sure!

Need help achieving your ambitions?

Are you a professional accountant looking for help in achieving your ambitions?  If so, get in touch with Lisa Hughes today who would be more than happy to meet you for a coffee and chat to help you navigate your professional future.



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