Monthly Archives

August 2022

Employee Spotlight Special – Lisa Jiang

This week’s special edition of Employee Spotlight features Lisa Jiang. Lisa is a 6th form pupil at Ashfield Girls School, Belfast and has been with us for a 6 week internship over the summer break. Lisa has been a great asset to Pacem over the summer break bringing a positive attitude to the team and work.

Lisa tells us a bit more about her experience at Pacem below.

I had first heard of Pacem from the leader of my Career Ready Programme, mentioning how they won an Eastside Award for Employer of the Year. At the time I was not yet interested because I had no idea what Pacem did, and even when the leader suggested a work experience at this company known as ‘Pacem’, I was still indifferent. To my surprise, I was then informed that two representatives of Pacem would come to my school to tell us about ‘Finance’ and ‘Accountancy’. Two words I hear way too many times when people talk about future jobs but have never delved deep enough to know what they actually are beyond money. In the presentation, I asked questions and I had questions answered but everything remained a blur to me. In hindsight, I think the presentation was an excellent idea as it actually left me thinking about it.

As Pacem had been kind enough to lend some of their time to visit my school, I thought it was only fair to offer some of mine and visit their company when they provided a date and time. I thought that there was no harm in coming to see them, with the bonus of getting a glimpse of a real office during real working hours. It was about half an hour before my agreed time that I actually started to panic. Mostly because I was later told that all young people were to be interviewed individually but also because this is a real office with people actually working. I called my mentor and told her all my worries, and she reassured me well. Later that day I got a phone call from the leader of the Programme saying that Pacem was incredibly impressed with me, even though I did not think I was presenting the best version of myself.

Hearing such positive words about me from Pacem made me really happy. I appreciate people’s words a lot and if ‘impressed’ is what Pacem were then I wanted to prove that I am up to their standards. A few weeks later, after signing all the forms, I was in the work experience and prepared to start my first day.

It was better knowing that Pacem aimed to offer young people the opportunities leading into Finance & Accountancy. This meant that there were other young people my age in the work experience too, which, consequently, made me feel more confident in knowing that I was not the only one who would be nervous. It was even better to arrive into Pacem’s building and be greeted so politely and kindly, and to be treated like a friend by all the adults despite our major difference in work. I find that during my experience in Pacem, I did not just talk about work but also talked about myself, and in turn, I got the chance to learn about the roles of Pacem’s employees and their amazing characters. I felt like an equal. I felt like I belonged in Pacem. I felt like I was at home. Everyday I had something that I would look forward to in the next day.

I was finally put into a position where I would be able to properly develop my skills and qualities, primarily communication, creativity and confidence, as not just a student or an employee but as a person.

Through Finance & Accountancy, I was familiarised with app softwares such as Intelligent Office, AutoEntry and QuickBooks. It certainly opened my eyes as I never knew that this field of work was so substantial that it required many, many helping hands. The supporting systems and the different kinds of people to make it successful. Out of all the possible skills that I exist, I think I exercised my patience skills the most as many tasks involved a lot of repetition. As a result of this (hopefully) improved patience, I feel confident in going back to school and enjoy my education more. I can also go back home feeling more appreciative for the people around me, because like a work experience, some of the people that you spend your time with – without even thinking of an end – will not last forever. But that is clearly not the end of it. Patience was not the only skill I developed.

Finance & Accountancy is not for everyone. And even if you were interested, Pacem would still not be for everyone as much as it was for me. However, it would not be sensible to miss an opportunity to add something to your CV, or explore an area in which you’ve never stepped into before, or even miss the opportunity to meet really great people.

If you fear the idea of working with adults handing you work that is actually crucially important to their business, just remember, this is a work experience. These are adults who know that you are young and perhaps confused and unsure of what you want to do in the future. They will not make you feel uncomfortable – because why would they? No one would want to stop you from exploring the different possibilities of your future.

Employee Spotlight Special – Angie Dzenite

This week’s special edition of Employee Spotlight features Angie Dzenite. Angie is a 6th form pupil at Ashfield Girls School, Belfast and has been with us for a 6 week internship over the summer break. Angie has brought enthusiasm and has been a great addition to the team over the summer.

Angie tells us a bit more about her experience at Pacem below.

I was given this exciting opportunity by a programme called ‘Careers Ready’ which is organised through Ashfield Girls’ High School. This programme helps you gain a qualification as well as gaining confidence in yourself and experiencing the world of work and being able to have a mentor from different companies who help answer all your worries and problems. Pacem was invited to my school and they then invited us for interviews to see who would get in! When I got accepted, I was over the moon because it was a new experience, new place, and new people! From a young age I was always told to dream big and take every opportunity what came at me, and that is exactly what I did, I took it and have no regrets whatsoever joining this work experience where I learned so many skills and enhanced my qualities making me more confident in myself and ready to take on the world of work and the challenges what come with it.

When I first arrived at Pacem, I was nervous and excited to get stuck into the world of office life. At first, I thought it would be boring, but it wasn’t because the work atmosphere is so welcoming and friendly, every work colleague is always there to help you and even have banter and daily check-ups! You truly feel like your apart of a family and I can see why Pacem is a winning business company at Eastside awards.

When working with Pacem I got to work in both Accounting which was every Tuesday and Wednesday then Finance was every Monday and Thursday. While working for Finance I did a lot of scanning for clients and realised how even the small things are valuable towards the whole financing sector. I also advanced my skills in Excel and IO (intelligence office) which holds loads of client information in which I had to solve queries and problems. I also organised letters and helped with other aspects of finance which is great.

When I was working for accounting, I found it very challenging as you were learning about bank statements, commissions, Cheques, VAT, Net and Gross which was interesting as there were times you literally couldn’t figure out what was happening and when completing tasks, you felt an instant relief. If I was to consider studying in this sector, I would pick accounting because I am always up for a challenge even if stresses you out, you just know that it is worth it in the end. I also used excel, auto entry and tax calc which has deepened my knowledge in accounting.

If I was to summarise this experience working with such a talented company, it was spectacular as you never felt alone and always had tasks set out for you, always had people to talk to and you even had laughs. One thing I will remember be is that although I am an Eastside award winner, I also caused a lot of printer/scanner problems and at one point they both went on system failure and everyone just laughed and tried their best to help! Pacem is a hard-working company and when you get to work with you just realise how privileged you are to be in such a team with very co-ordinated, friendly and determined people. I would recommend anyone to take the opportunity to work for them as they support you through the entire way and you learn a lot.

Employee Spotlight – Lizzy Crossan

Each fortnight we will be spotlighting a member of the team so that you can get to know the people behind the Pacem brand. This week we feature our Director of Accounting & Tax, Lizzy Crossan. Lizzy has been at Pacem since the beginning in 2017 and leads our Accounting and Business Advisory team.

Lizzy tells us a bit more about herself below.

Employee name
Elizabeth Crossan

Your role at Pacem
Director of Accounting & Tax

How long have you been with Pacem?
Since Pacem started in 2017, it’s hard to believe it has been 5 years

What does your day-to-day role entail?
A typical day involves managing our client work and helping the team through any queries. Client work ranges from tax and accounts to VAT or Payroll.
I spend a lot of my time meeting with clients (either in person or online) to review quarterly accounts, do pre year end tax planning or advise and help with any questions or issues they are facing in their business.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Genuine, Practical, Hard-working

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I took quite a while to decide on my chosen career path. I did a degree in Journalism & Psychology, a Masters in Communication, Advertising and PR and spent many (mostly enjoyable) years working in hospitality before entering the world of accountancy and tax.

What do you like most about your job?
The people I work with. The team are great and everyone wants to help out in any way they can. Everyone gets on so well and there is always a bit of fun in the office!

Favourite food
Cheese, with wine. Cashel blue is my all-time favourite.

What interests/hobbies do you have outside of work?
Apart from the fore mentioned cheese and wine, I love going to my PT- that’s my polytunnel. I spend most of my free time in there potting, planting, watering, weeding, chillin’, closing my eyes and pretending I’m on holiday in the sun, etc.
The whole cycle is so rewarding and being able to make something delicious from things you have grown is a plus.

Where is the best place you’ve travelled to and why?
The best place was Japan, on Honeymoon. The trains are amazing- and never late. We travelled from Tokyo to Hiroshima and stopped off in Kyoto, Osaka and lots of lovely towns on the way. I would go back tomorrow if I could.
But, in saying that, some of the most beautiful places I have been are in Ireland. Over lockdown my husband did a campervan conversion so we have been on a lot of road trips. We went to Cork last summer which was amazing but we usually go to the west coast. Sligo is his favourite and obviously Donegal is the greatest place on earth (I’m not at all biased).