Five minutes with Hannah Black, Audit Manager
Posted on: May 18th 2021 · read
Hannah joined MHA just before lockdown and in this career spotlight interview. She shares her experiences so far, tell us what the firm’s culture is like and details of her work as part of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
You joined the firm as an Audit Manager just before lockdown hit; can you briefly tell us about how this has impacted on your journey with the firm so far?
Starting just before lockdown created a few challenges for me, mostly just in terms of getting to know the team properly and settling in. However, we seem to have really embraced working from home and having multiple calls every week with my colleagues has really helped, whether we’re catching up on work or just talking about what we’re all watching on Netflix.
Since joining, what has been your most positive experience so far?
I enjoyed the work social (pub quiz) that happened just before lockdown, which feels like a long time ago! I’ve also really enjoyed being able to try and win new clients. The firm is constantly growing and it’s nice to be a part of that growth.
How have you ensured you have maintained a work life balance, when working remotely during lockdown?
This is something I have struggled with at times, but I think it’s good to try to get away from your desk at lunch time, even if it’s just a 15-minute walk. I make an effort at the end of the day to completely shut off my laptop and mute any notifications which helps me to switch off for the evening. It is really important to try to switch off.
How has the firm supported your wellbeing throughout your time here?
The firm promotes the importance of maintaining a work-life balance and within my team we are all very mindful of each other’s wellbeing. There will always be times of the year which are more stressful and where there are numerous deadlines all at once, but I feel comfortable asking for help if I am struggling. I know my colleagues will do what they can to help me out.
What do you value and enjoy the most working at MHA?
I really enjoy the social aspect as I am part of a great team; I have spent the last 12 months getting to know everyone over video calls and I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone in person. I have also really enjoyed the opportunities I have been given, whether presenting to potential new clients or working with international members of our global Baker Tilly network. If you show that you are willing to work hard, opportunities will come your way and that is something I have really appreciated.
You are part of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee; can you tell us about what the committee do and what this means to you personally?
The committee was set up to try to improve the overall diversity across the firm and to try to make the workplace as inclusive as possible. We meet regularly to discuss the progress we are making in these two areas and to come up with new ways to try to promote both diversity and inclusion. I know, certainly in the past, the profession was traditionally more male dominated, and I feel fortunate that I have never felt any sort of disadvantage in terms of my career advancement. To me, it is important that everyone is given the same opportunities to progress.
Why do you think diversity and inclusion is important to MHA?
As we grow more and more, I think it is increasingly important to ensure that our team is as diverse as possible. We need people with different viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences to help bring new solutions to problems and to bring different ideas to the table. In terms of inclusion, people spend a large proportion of their time at work, so promoting a sense of inclusion plays a key role in looking after the wellbeing of our staff. We strive to be a workplace where everyone feels accepted and included and the committee is a good way for us to make sure we are always improving this.
What can you say about the culture at MHA? Are there any social initiatives taking place in the current remote working set up?
On the one hand, the culture of the firm is very much driven by providing high levels of client service and tackling problems with a positive attitude. Equally, we all recognise the value of teamwork and so the culture promotes working together and making sure we support each other. The last 12 months have been challenging with us all working remotely and it has really highlighted the importance of keeping in touch and talking to each other. I think we have just about run out of virtual quizzes, but we’ve already got some provisional dates in mind for upcoming social events which gives us all something to look forward to!
Find out more
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