My story - Lizzie Locke
I moved to Cayman in October 2010 from London. I had always been keen to pursue a career in accounting, and began this by completing an honours degree in Accounting and Finance at the University of Kent. This provided me with the perfect platform to launch my professional career. I followed on from this by completing my professional ACA exams, while working within the Audit and Assurance department of a top 15 firm in London.
Looking at my options post qualification I decided to consider a move overseas and after making contact with PwC Cayman, the move here seemed an obvious choice for me. The firm has an excellent reputation within and outside the profession and it soon became clear to me that PwC also had a well structured Learning and Development program that I wanted to be part of. The support network in place at PwC Cayman also helped make the move to a new country and employer as easy as possible. The ‘buddy scheme’ in particular – where each new member of staff is assigned an existing employee to assist with the transition was particularly useful.
Relocating here has been a massive boost to my career. Having little previous experience of working within the Financial Services sector, I now work as an Assurance Senior predominantly auditing locally and internationally regulated mutual funds. This has given me exposure to a whole new range of clients and developed my audit and accounting knowledge significantly. Working in an environment like PwC Cayman means that there are always staff with experience and knowledge who are happy to help, should you need assistance in dealing with complex issues.
Not only is working for PwC Cayman a great opportunity to learn and develop both professionally and personally, but the camaraderie in the office is excellent. In many ways the atmosphere is like a small office – everyone knows everyone else, and it’s easy to see how long, lasting friendships are made. I started at PwC along with over 20 others and combined with the current staff meant there was a sizable peer group and plenty of people to socialise with.
There is never a dull weekend in Cayman! Group and office wide social events are frequent which are great opportunities to get to know people. My weekends are often taken up with boat trips, scuba diving, trips to the beach and BBQ’s with friends. It’s also nice to work with people you ordinarily choose to socialise with as well. Only last month 20 of us went on a trip to Little Cayman for a long weekend.
I have always felt it is important to sustain a good work/life balance including keeping fit, and Cayman provides plenty of opportunities for this. There are many organised sports leagues on Island and I play for the PwC Softball team as well as play tennis on a regular basis. I also attend a weekly Yoga class. Although working overtime is sometimes necessary in busy periods, the firm is really supportive and flexible and I can always be sure to make a class or a game.
Moving from London, my major concern was whether I would miss the big-city lifestyle, however this has simply not been the case. For a small place you always maintain the sense of lots going on and socialising is a big part of Island life. There are also plenty of travel opportunities; we are only a 1.5 hour flight from Miami and other destinations such as Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico are only a short flight away so you can really take advantage of the location.
It’s not difficult to see why living in Cayman and working for PwC is both gratifying from a professional and social perspective. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.