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‘The transition from student life to the life of a working professional should not be underestimated'

My Career Path: Leanne Fielding works in the Company Secretarial Department, William Fry Solicitors

What/where did you study and when did you graduate?
I graduated from Letterkenny Institute of Technology during October 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts Honours (2.1) degree in Law and Humanities.

What attracted you to the role you now have?
Its variety and ability to give an insight into all levels of an organisation. As Corporate Governance continues to be critical in today’s environment, the role of a company secretary is one that is becoming more and more prevalent. Its role is an integral part of any successful organisation and I was enthused by the prospect of being an essential part in helping organisations of all kinds to build trust through good governance.

I was an employee of Deloitte for 4.5 years (October 2013 - March 2018) and completed my ICSA qualification in August 2016. I gained a great level of experience and skills with Deloitte before joining William Fry in April of this year.

Since joining the company, I have been exposed to many different tasks which in turn has given me a more solid grounding for what is expected of a company secretary. The role provides a great level of exposure, which in turn makes it a dynamic environment to work in.
A number of my peers have taken up roles abroad and in large plcs. The qualification is widely recognised internationally and as such the opportunities are ever increasing.

What did you find most challenging about the working world?
Gaining confidence in the working environment. However, I think if you are hard-working, flexible to change and embrace opportunities, there should be no real challenges.

Do you have any mentors and if so what is their value to you?
Deirdre Mooney, Head of Company Secretarial, William Fry. Deirdre, also being a member of the ICSA Council, is a much valued mentor. Her attitude and approach as a company secretary is always professional and client focused.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned since you joined the workforce?
Client focus and diligence are both essential in any workforce. I believe a crucial element of being an effective company secretary is to know and develop a strong rapport with board members. In particular, it is important that your client feels that they can rely on you to provide advice confidently.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you finished college?
The transition from student life to the life of a working professional should not be underestimated. My one piece of advice would be to seek work experience. It is hugely beneficial.