Name: Miriam Idris
Degree and University: Economics, University of Nottingham
Job Title: Corporate Financier, PwC
What do you actually do?
I work in the Corporate Finance part of PwC’s Advisory practice in Birmingham after having completed three years with the firm’s Audit practice in the East Midlands. The Corporate Finance work I do is all about mergers and acquisitions, primarily selling businesses. This can mean private companies being sold to other companies in the sector, or to private equity houses. My work involves understanding businesses and how they operate, what their strategic direction is, their position in the market, and understanding what their growth potential is. It also involves understanding industries and how businesses are valued.
Why did you decide to go into this sector?
I enjoy the strategic and commercial aspects and the processes involved in my line of work
and also the excitement and kudos that can come from being part of a deal that changes the shape of an industry, or makes the newspaper headlines.
Would you undertake further study to progressyour career?
I completed the Chartered Accountancy qualification in my first three years with the firm. I would conduct further training to help me in my career if I felt that this would really benefit my day-to-day work. Although I do feel that experience is now just as valuable as obtaining further qualifications.
What do you like most about what you do and are there any downsides?
The opportunity to initiate and implement change. Working with high calibre people. Constantly learning new things that help me to understand the world of commerce better. There can be a lot of pressure at certain points. You can spend a lot of time working on a potential deal which never materialises and this can be disheartening.
What skills do you believe you need to succeed?
Give it your all! Be able to see the big picture – be able to focus on what is key and to deliver messages appropriately. Ask lots of questions and have a naturally inquisitive nature. Have a genuine interest in the world of commerce and businesses.
What advice would you give other graduates coming into this sector?
Say what you think. Be hungry and ambitious (that doesn’t mean you have to be aggressive!) Keep your finger on the pulse with what’s going on in the world and with UK businesses. Keep in touch with people -
your network becomes increasingly valuable as you progress in your career and life.