Meet Foundation Student Ryan

ryan mcvey grad photo

Education: Glasgow Caledonian University - Accountancy - Graduated 2019 with First Class Honours

Role: Financial Accounting Manager at SSE

Top Tip: "You're at the start of your career journey, so make the most of every opportunity that's offered to you."

Growing up in a low-income family in an area where opportunities were limited, the idea of a career in accountancy seemed distant and not the most obvious route for someone from my background. Being the first in my family to go to university, I was often on the receiving end of comments such as: “Why pursue this when there are no guarantees?"

Joining the ICAS Foundation in 2015 marked a huge turning point in my journey. I often felt a sense of imposter syndrome, coming from a working-class background and attending university (and latterly entering the accountancy profession), however the ICAS Foundation helped change my mindset and made me realise that I could bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table.

The ICAS Foundation provided not only mentoring and financial support but also provided me with a new sense of belief that was key in shaping my growth and development. Whilst my family were always incredibly supportive, being part of the Foundation allowed me to find a group of like-minded individuals who believed in my potential and shared similar aspirations.

One of the most impactful aspects of my experience with the ICAS Foundation was the mentorship programme. Having a mentor who understood the challenges I faced and had been on a similar path in the profession was invaluable. The guidance and insights were instrumental in shaping my career, from securing coveted work placements at a top accountancy firm to navigating the complexities of securing graduate roles.

The financial support provided by the Foundation was more than just monetary assistance for university materials, it allowed me to dedicate additional time to my studies. By alleviating the financial burdens, I could focus more time on getting the most out of my studies, which was critical for allowing me to succeed in my graduate role and in my ICAS studies.

Training at a great firm in Grant Thornton alongside fellow ICAS Foundation alumni reinforced a sense of belonging. As I look back on my journey so far as a CA, and as a Trustee of the Foundation, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities that the Foundation has afforded me. It opened doors that I never thought would be possible and equipped me with the skills and confidence to thrive in a diverse and competitive profession.

My advice for any ICAS Foundation student is to be curious and seize every opportunity, and to not be fearful in expressing your thoughts and opinions - you have earned the right to bring your ideas and perspectives to the table.


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