Careers: Meet our people: Darren
‘I wanted to be an accountant fairly early on – I’d had the opportunity to meet chartered professional accountants at various career fairs, many of whom were also leading figures in the community. The designation carried prestige and respect. I knew that PwC – then Coopers and Lybrand – had a large student program and they cared about encouraging Bermudians to develop their careers. The client base proved that as a firm, it provided an excellent service, while the support provided gave me confidence that I’d get through my exams.
‘After I’d qualified and subsequently made manager, I decided to spend time outside the firm and joined an offshore fund administrator – but after I’d been there a while, PwC asked me to return. I narrowed the pros and cons down to what would give me pleasure on a day-to-day basis, as well as, from a long-term perspective, where I’d enjoy operational impact and the chance to drive change. The fact that our business revolves around servicing clients was a major factor – clients have to keep changing or they go out of business and that meant that, as a firm, we’d need to keep changing too. That appealed – along with the knowledge that I’d be surrounded by people with the same thirst for change; people who were interested in doing more than just a good job but in growing as professionals too.
‘I’ve had the privilege of a five-year secondment to our US firm, in Boston, where I ran one of our largest global accounts, as well as financial services clients in Boston itself. After 9/11, my focus had to switch to incorporate business development, while still acting as lead partner on those accounts – and that was a fantastic experience; to learn about how big teams work; how to enhance client relationships and how to structure people’s roles to bring about positive success for them as individuals and us as a firm.
‘I’ve benefited hugely from PwC’s mentoring – when I look back, there have been so many people who’ve taken the time to give me advice, share vital knowledge or simply act as a sounding board, as well as creating opportunities for me within the firm. Due to the nature of our clients here, the Bermuda office is regularly visited by leaders from around the global firm, so I’ve had the good fortune of continuing to work with and learn from incredibly talented and successful people.
‘Today, PwC continues to support the development of young Bermudians. We have a number of programs in place to assist those just starting to think about their futures – mentoring, summer intern, scholarship, co-op placements and associate programs. We think it’s very important that all our employees know that they have the potential to become a partner one day.
‘I love the relentless focus on clients that’s an integral part of PwC’s culture. It’s also a fun, enjoyable environment in which to work. There’s a collegiality; people are interested in you as a person, as well as your family. That sociable aspect to working here is important; people can usually find someone who shares a common interest and there’s always something going on to join in with.
‘It’s been embedded in me from an early stage just how important it is as professionals to give back to our community. I’ve been given the freedom and flexibility to take on a substantial voluntary role in a non-profit organisation that’s geared towards improving public education on the island; it’s a time-consuming role but it’s one to which I’m firmly committed, and it matters greatly to me that the firm is right behind me; they recognise the importance of that organisation’s purpose within the community. Yes, it’s important as a business that we flourish, and that we allow our people to develop – but that sense of corporate social responsibility, for me, is the finishing touch to why PwC is, quite simply, the best employer on the island.