The Faces of Professional Services Week: Sameera Amarasiri
News Categories: Professional Services Week
Sameera Amarasiri, Manager, Birmingham Business Assurance, BDO LLP
How long have you been working at your current employer? 7+ years
How do you travel into work each day? Walk in
How would you describe in no more than two hundred words your working week?
As an external audit manager at BDO, a national leading accountancy and business advisory firm, the make-up of my working week is very dependent on the projects going on at any time. About 60% of my time is spent in the office, and the rest of the time I am out visiting clients.
I also have a number of internal meetings for project updates, management, performance reviews, recruitment (interviews/assessments) and mentoring. I am involved with technical training at BDO and deliver these sessions in certain weeks. A colleague and I recently delivered a lecture to final year students at Aston Business School which was great and a different activity to our normal working day.
The remainder of my time is spent supporting my teams on project reviews, completion deadlines and managing clients. This is where the technical aspects of my job really kick in.
Regardless of how busy I am, I always set aside Wednesday evenings for squash. Working and living in the city centre makes it really easy to be involved in other projects and there is always the opportunity to meet friends after work.
What do you most look forward to doing during your week at work?
Meeting and catching up with clients – both new and existing
What is your favourite lunchtime haunt?
The Anderson & Hill delicatessen in the Great Western Arcade, just off Colmore Row
What are the top three things you love about working in professional services?
1.The ‘people’ factor
2.The variety of jobs we do throughout the business day and week
3.Working with different businesses through the accountancy services we offer to them
During the past month- describe what has been your working highlight?
Touring a new client’s Birmingham premises where they have been making bicycle saddles for the last 150 years!
What made you decide to go into a professional services career?
I wanted to complete the ACA (official Accountancy qualification) following my degree at Nottingham University. This meant I had to join a professional services firm in order to complete my studies and technical training.
At what point in your life did you realise that working in professional services was for you?
In my final year of university
What is your favourite aspect of working in professional services?
Meeting and interacting with people, who all come from different backgrounds and experiences
What’s your favourite way to wind down after a day at the office?
A game of squash and a good dinner
What other jobs did you consider before deciding on a career in professional services?
A job in professional services has been the one, sole career I have pursued
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone thinking about a career in professional services, what would it be?
Keep an open-mind and really embrace it as a career if you’re truly interested. Working and training in professional services is challenging, but at the same time very rewarding. It really brings out your communication, people and management skills you never thought you had.