Planning Your Career Journey with Whyte & Mackay

Following our most recent Planning Your Career Journey event featuring finance professionals from Whyte & Mackay, Rutherford Cross’ Harry Young shares insights and top tips from the event.

Earlier this month, Rutherford Cross held its latest Planning Your Career Journey event, featuring Cameron Provan and Anila Jayaraman of Whyte & Mackay, and Mateo Ortiz brand ambassador for Flor De Cana. It was the first Planning Your Career Journey event to be held in person since the start of the pandemic and it was heartening to have future finance leaders attend a career development event on a Thursday night after a long day of work.

Both Cameron, Head of Commercial Finance, and Anila, Commercial Finance Manager at Whyte and Mackay shared their experiences of building a career in finance within the drinks industry, sharing several useful tips with the audience. They provided insight and advice on how to progress your career and achieve your ambitions and what it takes to be successful working at the sharp edge of commercial finance in a well-known brand.

Mateo Ortiz, brand ambassador of globally recognised rum Flor De Cana, gave our attendees an insight into the Whyte and Mackay drinks portfolio, as well as sharing insight into his own career journey from bartender to brand ambassador, Mateo was kind enough to put on a tasting event for our guests and his passion for the brands and for his job was tangible.

Cameron has built an impressive career that spans across BDO, EY, City FM, C&C and Whyte & Mackay.  Cameron trained with BDO before gaining experience in the big 4. Since moving into industry, he has gained exposure to different roles across focusing on commercial finance in the drinks industry following his move to C&C group that has led him to his current position of Head of Commercial Finance.

Anila joined Whyte & Mackay in 2015 after working in Dubai for Nestle and then for Scottish headquartered FMCG business First Milk. She initially joined Whyte & Mackay as Commercial Business Partner in the UK before progressing to her current position of Commercial Finance Manager for UK & Europe. Anila’s journey is unique as she isn’t qualified as a chartered accountant as that isn’t the most common path to a commercial finance role in the Middle East. Her perspective on what it takes to get to her level without a formally recognised UK qualification was fascinating.

Our speakers shared a wealth of career advice and experience on the night; however, we have summarised some of the key points:

  • Take pride in your work – be accountable for your own success
  • Ensure you are continually developing – review the skills you have gained and seek opportunities to amass new talents
  • Your network is your net-worth – make sure to build robust professional networks as they will serve you as much as you serve them
  • Step outside your comfort zone – challenge yourself to take on duties that you are not accustomed to in order to expand your skillset
  • Don’t fear failure – some of the greatest lessons learned are those during periods when things do not go according to plan, these experiences will benefit you further down the line
  • Do something you are passionate about – enjoying what you do can significantly improve how you feel about your career

Whilst our speakers all work in the drinks industry, they had different paths in how they arrived there.  Our speakers all agreed that taking pride in your work, ensuring that you leave a positive impression with those you work with and being passionate about your work will help you progress your career and achieve your goals.


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