In our ‘women in the property and infrastructure industry’ series, we give you a little more insight into the talented women who form an integral part of the Barker Ryan Stewart team. This blog post will feature Andrea McDonald, who is a Senior Associate, Sydney Manager and Finance Manager at Barker Ryan Stewart.
Describe your career path and how you have progressed to your current role.
In 1993, I started working as a Graduate with PWC (formerly Coopers and Lybrand) upon completing a Bachelor of Business (majoring in Accounting) from UTS. I initially started working in the Audit division and progressed from a Graduate to Audit Manager prior to taking leave to have a family. Throughout this time, I studied part-time completing my CA and becoming an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
I then commenced a role as a Contract Accountant with Macquarie Partners, a local firm where I was introduced to Barker Ryan Stewart. In 2010, I was appointed Finance Manager at Barker Ryan Stewart before progressing to the Sydney Office Manager role in 2016. In 2019, I was promoted to my current role as Senior Associate.
What does a day in your working life look like?
Each day at Barker Ryan Stewart differs for me as my role is quite diverse. Typically, my workday will involve the management, planning and coordination of the Sydney team, and day to day management of the finance function. Within my finance role, I am responsible for reporting on key metrics and looking at recommendations for improvements within the business. I also work closely with the Directors on the strategic direction of the business, including how to grow the business and improve efficiencies.
What is the favourite part of your role?
The favourite parts of my role are the management of the Sydney team, building relationships both internally and externally and working closely with the Directors on the strategic direction of the company. In my role as Sydney Manager, I also enjoy working closely with the other office managers and discipline leaders.
How is your role integral to Barker Ryan Stewart’s operations?
My role of working closely alongside the Directors on the strategic direction and planning for future growth is integral to ensuring the company’s success within the property and infrastructure sector. The delivery of accurate and timely financial information at both a company level and project level play an important role, as does improving and driving efficiency through the streamlining of business and accounting processes.
What have been some of the highlights of working at Barker Ryan Stewart?
Some of the highlights of working at Barker Ryan Stewart include the appointment of my role as Senior Associate and being involved with the growth and success of the company as it has evolved from a small to medium-sized company within the property and infrastructure sector. I have also really enjoyed managing the Sydney team and assisting the team with their career progression and goals.
What is one thing that surprised you about working at Barker Ryan Stewart?
One thing that has surprised me about working at Barker Ryan Stewart has been working in a company that prides itself on work / life balance and a company culture that supports this. Barker Ryan Stewart encourages a healthy work / life balance by recognising the importance of family and providing a flexible workplace.
How has Barker Ryan Stewart been able to support your career progression?
I feel as though Barker Ryan Stewart has not only supported my career progression but has also provided me with new opportunities in an industry focused on diversity and has always assisted me to grow, develop and learn new skills. Throughout my time at Barker Ryan Stewart, I’ve been able to learn through managing people and communicating openly to achieve goals together. I’ve also had the opportunity to attend networking events such as The Hills District Business Chamber and our internal annual conference.
What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?
Outside of the office I enjoy travelling, following the AFL and spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy staying active by walking and attending local fitness classes.
What are you looking forward to achieving this year?
I am looking forward to continuing to assist the Directors in navigating Barker Ryan Stewart through this period of uncertainty in 2020, to ensure that we are in a financially strong position going forward.
Want to get to know our team a bit better?
Check out our other ‘women in the property and infrastructure industry’ blogs to learn more about our team.