A little about Me

Since I was a child I always had a good head for Maths and as my father ran his own business, there were always plenty of comments that I should be an accountant. To cut a long story short that is what I have done — although I have had many obstacles along the way. It has been the range of these obstacles which has made me stronger and given me a willingness to succeed in life.
Born 6 December 1987 and a classic country girl running though fields, helping with hay, cycling for hours and eating plenty of spuds. It wasn’t until one evening in March 1997 that my whole world was tipped upside down. My mother had been at an event at the local church and returned home to gather the chip order (there were no mobiles in those days). Unfortunately my mother was fatally injured in a one vehicle road traffic incident. I was only 9 with my two sisters aged 7 and 2 and my responsibilities massively increased. Throughout primary and secondary school, I helped with the cooking, cleaning and getting home works done.
In June 2004 I was completing my GCSE’s and hadn’t been feeling too well so I booked an appointment with the local GP. My appointment was the morning of sitting my last GCSE (Business Studies) when I discovered that I was pregnant. I sat my exam with tears streaming down my face and not knowing what was in front of me. This turned out to be my biggest learning to date (if not ever), the challenge of having a baby, studying and keeping a part time job has given me some of the skills I use in work every day. I learnt to become organised, be able to multi-task and draw energy from a handful of hours sleep.
I excelled and learnt many valuable communication skills whilst working part time at the call centre but I always kept reverting to my original plan of becoming an accountant. During the summer of 2008, I decided that a degree or a university place was not just going to miraculously fall on my lap and if I really did want to become successful in life it was me that needed to do something. That September with two children under 4 (and only 19) I enrolled on the Accounting Technicians course and began to attend classes two evenings a week, keep my full job and study when the children were finally asleep for the evening. Despite the reservations of my tutors explaining that I did not have a training contract (I honestly thought this was a minor detail) and during the first year of my course, I applied and interviewed countless times to get a job within any practice or company that required any type of accounts staff. I finally succeeded getting at training contract at a local practice where I completed my technicians’ qualification and proceeded to achieve my ACCA professional exams. During my time training, I discovered my skill and enjoyment of tax and increasingly grew sceptical of the feeling that I had completed the task of becoming an accountant. I began to think of my job as a career and applied for a tax related jobs in Belfast, as I felt that was where I needed to be. I had small children and worked 500 metres from their school but I felt the risk of moving jobs was worth it.
Throughout my career to date I have found plenty of horrible people, people who are intimated by a woman who speaks up and has fresh ideas. I have always aimed to be encouraging to everyone I work with and tell them anything is achievable and you need to create a plan and implement it. I completed my Chartered Tax Advisor qualification in 2014 and am currently studying towards my Diploma in International Tax, I have found work that I love and want to keep learning and pushing myself to the best I can be. I was told when I was 16 and pregnant that I would always need to be 2 steps ahead and that is the main motivation that spurs me on. Within an 8 year period, I have been able to use my skills and business acumen to progress to a Manager level in my current role whilst bringing up two children and being happily married (well most of the time!).
I have recently been shortlisted for Northern Ireland’s Most Inspiring Women and would appreciate your vote below:

Lorraine Nelson