ACCA member Dane Dwyer is certainly ambitious. ‘I intend to become the CEO of a global company within the next 20 years,’ he says. ‘There will be many challenges on my journey, but ACCA membership demands that I keep my professional skills up to date and this will definitely help me evolve into a more relevant and informed leader as I progress in my career.’
Dane’s professional journey began when he left the University of the West Indies (UWI) with a degree in management and marketing, entering the job market in 2008 when the global recession was at its worst.
‘Marketing was my speciality,’ says Dane, ‘but I could see that many companies were saving money by cutting their marketing budgets – and that those making the cuts were in the finance team. Luckily, my first job after university was with a financial institution – this sparked my interest in finance and four months later I switched career.
‘I initially gained a local finance certificate but then realised I needed a professional qualification, and was advised to register with ACCA as the syllabus covered accounting and financial concepts in greater depth, and it was a globally recognised qualification held by many in senior positions such as finance director or CFO.’
Dane worked while studying for his ACCA exams, first with a local FMCG business and then with his current employer BATCCA. He also tutored accounting and finance undergraduates at UWI while still a student himself. Having already gained the required three years' experience on passing his exams, Dane moved swiftly from affiliate to ACCA member.
‘It was the most logical thing to do,’ he says. ‘There is a value gap between becoming an affiliate and achieving membership and so I knew my career would benefit if I became a member as quickly as possible. Membership gives you the honour of using ACCA after your name, and the privilege of entering an elite community of professionals, which significantly expands your network and your marketability.’
Dane is now a financial management trainee with BATCCA: ‘I am part of a global programme and, to even be considered for the scheme, I had to have a finance or accounting qualification. My traineeship is therefore tangible evidence of the benefits ACCA membership brings as, without it, I could not have applied and the opportunity would have passed me by. I hope that ACCA will continue to give me a competitive advantage as I continue my career.’
As a result of his own experience, Dane’s advice for students is clear.
‘Do not become complacent after finishing your exams as the real benefits of ACCA come with membership,’ he says. ‘In the next five years I see myself moving through different levels of financial management, from operations to a more strategic position.
‘I believe that ACCA has given me a strong foundation on which to build my career and to be successful in these different roles, and it has also given me the status I need to help me progress along my chosen career path.’