Meet our Early Careers team


Kimberley Watson

Kimberley Watson

Head of Early Careers

21 February 2024


The right support is crucial at all stages of your career, but particularly when you’re starting out, and that's where the Early Careers team at Johnston Carmichael come in. 

Whether you’re a university graduate, school or college leaver, or summer intern, the team is here to advise and support you every step of the way along your career at Johnston Carmichael, or as we like to call it, your "JC path". So, let's meet the team! 

Aamina Riaz, Early Careers Recruitment Assistant Manager

Aamina works across all of our Early Careers vacancies to ensure we provide an excellent candidate experience from application through to offer stage, as well as supporting the firm and candidates through assessment centres and other selection processes. Aamina also works on key projects to support our continuous improvement from Early Careers recruitment and beyond. Aamina has been working hard on creating a optimal JC Futures recruitment experience for new applicants. She's been enjoying meeting the candidates in the video screens and is excited for the assessment centres ahead. Aamina's favourite thing about working in our team is the way that we all come together to support our colleagues. Aamina is a big Lewis Capaldi fan having met him five times! 

Elisa Henderson, Early Careers Pathway Manager

As a qualified accountant and experienced university lecturer, Elisa loves welcoming new people to the profession. Elisa works with schools, colleges and universities to provide insight and inspiration into life at a professional services firm, as well as managing projects to enhance the early careers experience at Johnston Carmichael. Recently, Elisa has been enjoying working with councils and colleges involved in the Foundation Apprenticeship in Accountancy. She also enjoys working in partnership with the ICAS foundation.  Elisa's favourite thing about working in the Early Careers team is how committed everyone is to building the best possible training experience for our people. Outside of work, she likes to spend time walking outdoors with her family and reading novels - any recommendations welcomed! 

Jacqui Chen, Early Careers Coordinator

Jacqui works across all Johnston Carmichael training qualifications, answering student queries, supporting student development and welfare, and ensuring all are on a smooth training path. Our annual student induction away days are also organised by Jacqui. She ensures each and every detail is thought of, the latest firm updates are shared, and a touch of sparkle is added. Jacqui has been coordinating check in calls with recent joiners recently to ensure everyone is settling in. She has also been coordinating an induction for new starts in January. Her favourite aspect about working in Early Careers at Johnston Carmichael is that it is a legacy firm, with that important family feel. Jacqui loves a good crime drama, her favourite being Line of Duty. 

Laura Carter, Early Careers Senior Manager

Like Elisa, Laura is also a qualified accountant but now oversees all operations for Early Careers, ensuring all students feel supported on their qualification training journey. Laura has been working closely with the professional bodies recently to ensure the early careers support is optimal at Johnston Carmichael as new initiatives are introduced. Laura’s favourite thing about working in Early Careers (and there are many!), is that the team speak to so many people across the firm, from students, to line managers, to Partners and heads of teams. Anyone who has met Laura, knows she likes talking! Outside of work, she enjoys dancing, cycling and driving around in her dream car (a VW Golf GTI). 

Laura Mackenzie, Recruitment Manager

Laura Mackenzie is a recruitment manager with responsibility for professional hires as well as early careers. She is based in the Edinburgh office. Laura is an intrepid traveller, having been on a helicopter ride over the grand canyon and scuba diving at the great barrier reef.    

Louise MacBean, Early Careers Advisor

Louise is an Early Careers Advisor. Louise works across all JC qualifications, answering student queries thereon, supporting student development and welfare and ensuring all are on a smooth training pathway. Louise can tackle any data set given to her by Laura and is master of fresh, innovative ideas. Louise has recently been working with early career colleagues in Aberdeen and took this fantastic shot of our offices in Albyn place! When she is not working, she loves walking her dog along the beautiful Nairn Beach. She also enjoys trail running in fair weather. 

Kimberley Watson, Head of Early Careers

And then finally there’s me, Kimberley. I’m responsible for driving the Early Careers strategy to help develop our students, not only through their training qualifications, but building our leaders of the future. My role involves everything from planning how we hire and our recruitment process, to overseeing the experience our students have within JC from day one all the way through to qualifying. I work closely with all our colleagues across the firm to advance the progression and development of all early talent. The area I have always been most passionate about is designing and running programmes to develop people at the early stages of their career. My favourite thing about the team is how we all come together, with our diverse backgrounds and skills, to build the best possible experience for our people. That’s so impactful. And a bit about me outside of JC, I’m married and have two young boys, Noah (10) and Finn (7) who keep me on my toes. I’m a keen yogi at heart, and at lunchtime, you’ll most likely find me walking my dog around the Perthshire countryside.  

Our JC Futures Programme

So that's a bit about us and the support you will get when you join JC on one of our training qualifications. Our JC Futures opportunities are a fantastic way to get your career off to a flying start and earn while you learn.    We're always looking for more sharp minds to join the team. 


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