Inspiring Women Series

Jenna Rice

A career diversion from HR graduate, administration assistant to now being an accountant and makeup artist doesn’t exactly seem like a natural progression … but it is. Our interview with Jenna Rice provides some great insights and tips for anyone wanting to make a career change that suit the economic times, which feel fulfilling, meaningful and just right for you.

What has been your career journey so far?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Human Resources) from the University of New England in 2012. I then tried to find work in this area and applied for over 300 positions without much luck. Times were hard then, as I couldn’t find a job in the area I studied. So I moved from Muswellbrook to Tamworth (where my dad lives) and eventually got some administrative work at a small accounting firm here. It was at the firm that I was asked to make some Quarterly Activity Statements and found that I had a bit of a knack for it. I thought maybe this could be the next path for me. And with the encouragement of my then boss, I started a Masters in Professional Accounting, which I completed not long after I started working at Roberts & Morrow in early 2018.

What is your current job? What do you like about it?

I am now at Roberts & Morrow as a Supervisor while I finish my CA. I have been here for almost four years, – with the last 12 months in my supervisory role. My HR skills from university have been valuable here, as staff are very comfortable approaching me with their issues in the workplace and having me help them resolve them. Roberts & Morrow as a firm also has such good energy. Everyone is delightful, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. I also have a side hustle as a makeup artist. I do make up for my colleagues and friends for any special events they may have.

 What are your future visions for yourself?

My philosophy is that this isn’t my business right now, but I hope to be a business owner one day. So, I try to learn as much as I can about leadership and owning a business. I am involved in formal and informal committees. I am one of the first to volunteer for bits and pieces. I attend high school career dinners. I am also in a formal mentorship agreement with Tanya Bagster, a female partner of the firm with loads of experience.

What advice would you give others who are starting out?

At high school career dinners, I try to change the youth perception of accounting. We are seen as having no personality and that it is all about tax returns – which isn’t true! I also like to tell students to approach firms to see if they can do work experience or an internship to see what we do. I am also a walking example that careers paths do not have to be linear or traditional. No time is wasted with any experience you encounter. You don’t have to know what you want to do straight away. You don’t need significant results in the HSC. I didn’t have it all figured out after school, and I am still at a point where I am happy.

Do you feel that accounting is a good career choice for women?

I think so. There is plenty of flexibility. Men still dominate the top, which is strange when you look at the Tamworth office when the majority are women. But, that is a dynamic that is changing. I like to challenge this. Just because you’re a man doesn’t necessarily mean you are the right person for the job.

What is your favourite film?

Jurassic Park. I have a T-rex figurine on my desk at work. I watched all five of the films during the latest lockdown.

What holiday destination would you most like to go to next?

Japan or somewhere in Europe.

What would be your spirit animal?     

I think an owl – wise, relatively quiet, and likes to be across everything.

Who has impressed you the most with what they have accomplished?

Can I be cheesy and say, my mum? My mum raised my brother and me on her own. She worked very hard to support us and worked her way to a role she loves in Muswellbrook. She has also just bought her first brand new car, so I am very proud of her!

Thank you Jenna!

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