My JC Path: Business adviser and inclusivity champion!

Caitie Hunt

Caitie Hunt

Business Advisory Senior

Caitie Hunt joined Johnston Carmichael on our graduate programme in 2019. Now a Business Advisory Senior in our Edinburgh office, Caitie is also a proud member of Embrace, our LGBTQIA+ and Allies inclusivity group. We chatted to Caitie about how her role has developed and what her work in Embrace means to her.

What attracted you to JC?

I joined JC in July 2019 through the graduate training programme after graduating from university in Spring that year. I was initially drawn to apply for a position at JC after speaking to the team at a careers fair hosted at my university when I was in my second year of studies. The stand boldly expressed JC’s core values and the team presented JC as inclusive for all and were open to answer all of my questions, where other stands were focused on discussing the available roles and exam results which felt like I was just another applicant on their roster. I felt JC values strongly aligned with my personal values so was excited to be invited along for an interview after applying in my fourth year.

Can you tell us about your role and how it’s developed since you first joined?

I started as a Business Advisory Assistant whilst training and sitting my professional qualifications through ICAS. This involved preparing accounts and corporation tax computations for Incorporated and Unincorporated small businesses and preparing VAT returns and management accounts for clients from all walks of life. From hairdressers to dentists to bakeries, I never had a boring day on the job and was constantly learning. I was promoted to Business Advisory Senior in 2022 and received my CA qualification in Summer 2023. My new role allowed me to focus in on a particular industry sector, taking on more responsibility, focusing on building relationships with my client base and further developing my skill set in accountancy but also tax and wider advisory pieces.

What led you to a career in accountancy, and Business Advisory in particular?

I had initially applied for a position in personal tax. However after catching up with the team, asking questions about the role and discussing how I wanted to develop, the firm and I agreed that a role in Business Advisory was more aligned with what I was looking for from my career. This ultimately led to me accepting the role here as I knew I wanted to specialise in accountancy for my chartership. Specialising in accountancy allowed me to hone in my skill set in various departments within the firm so I have developed knowledge in bookkeeping, accountancy, corporate tax, personal tax and VAT through a single role.

What do you think makes JC a great place to work?

JC showed me clearly in that discussion on day one before I had even accepted a role here that the team cared about my career path. If you and the firm are the right fit for each other, you are able to progress in the way you see fit. JC provides amazing support to allow you to progress within the firm, the career opportunities are endless.

The firm also has great flexibility and promotes a healthy work-life balance with a People and Culture Forum dedicated to ensuring all of JC's people feel comfortable (regardless of their background or belief system) to work here and express their opinions freely without judgement. No question is ever a silly question. The firm also hosts great social activities regularly for its people and hosts regular charitable events to provide support in the local communities our offices are based in.  

You’re part of Embrace, a sub-group of our People and Culture Forum that focuses on celebrating LGBTQIA+ inclusivity. What made you want to join the group?

As someone who is LGBTQIA+, to see the firm start the Embrace group to raise awareness of the difficulties that can be faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals in the workplace and day-to-day life, and promoting inclusivity within the firm, was a breath of fresh air. I felt safe and supported to be myself which I unfortunately hadn’t experienced in previous roles. I jumped at the opportunity to join the team as I felt it was made up of mostly senior staff at the time and knew I could provide a different perspective. The team has come very far since I joined, organising charity fundraising and posting regular informative articles for staff and our wider network to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues and highlighting the achievements of our people within the community.

Why do you think groups like Embrace and the wider People and Culture Forum are so important?

Having dedicated focus groups to raise awareness of the issues faced by people from all walks of life in and out of the workplace is so important as individuals can’t be put into a one size fits all approach, everyone has different needs and wants from their careers and personal lives. A firm that allows you to be who you are, free of judgement, and is inclusive for all, is what every employer should aspire to be. To have dedicated teams available to provide additional support to its staff nurtures an environment that allows its people to speak up and make suggestions for changes within the firm and gives assurance that their voices are being heard.

What are your career goals over the next few years?

I am a member of the CSR team here as well as being a member of the Embrace sub-group and I plan to continue supporting those teams, running charity events and producing content for our articles.

I also plan to continue developing my skill set in Business Advisory. Focusing on increasing knowledge in my specific industry sectors and further developing my skill set across the several departments at JC, with the end goal of stepping up into a more senior role here.

What keeps you busy outside work?

In my free time I love to be out exploring or engaging in activities, whether that’s catching a wave whilst out surfing, bagging a Munro, going on nature walks or wild swimming. When it’s raining, you’ll find me in the local pub playing in darts leagues and competitions.

Find out more about Embrace and our People and Culture Forum here, and if JC sounds like the firm for you, visit our Careers page here to see the opportunities available to join our team.

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