Working at Bell From a Senior Financial Manager
Melissa MacDonald has been a Bell employee for over 14 years. After starting her career at Bell with a role on the Network Access team, Melissa decided to pursue a career change to work in finance. This is the story of Melissa’s journey to becoming a Senior Financial Manager.
How long have you been with Bell and what was your career path?
After graduating from Athabasca University I moved back home to Owen Sound. I got a job doing finance and admin support for an industrial company, and I thought the controller had the coolest job in that company. This is when I first discovered that I was really passionate about finance, and I figured I should pursue it as a permanent career path. However, a role opened up at Bell on the Network Access team and it was too good to pass up. I had heard great things about Bell, and I wanted to get my foot in the door by any means necessary. I ended up really enjoying that role, and I spent five years working hard and learning the business.
After those five years, I started to feel like I needed to change things up. I was craving a new challenge and a different environment, and the idea of living in a big city really appealed to me. That’s when I applied to a senior support role within the Network Access department in Toronto. And after finding out I got the job, I packed up my life and headed to the big city.
Upon arriving in Toronto and starting in my new role, I volunteered to take on many more responsibilities, including providing technical support for the design teams, providing new design standards, as well as building and delivering training materials for new technologies. The role proved to be very challenging and also very rewarding. I enjoyed completing big projects and knowing that I had contributed to their final version. But after a couple years in this role, I started to feel that need for a change again. I realized I didn’t need a new city or a new apartment. That desire for change that I had been experiencing was coming from wanting to do something different in my career. Finance had always been my passion, and I decided I needed to make a change to pursue it. My first step was to make a plan that would help me pursue this career path. I really wanted to stay within Bell, if I could, so I began to network. I applied to and accepted an offer for an entry level position within the finance department and even though it was technically a move “backwards” it was the right choice to help me transition into this new career path. After working hard and delivering on key objectives, I was fortunate enough to be promoted to Senior Manager.
What do you like most about working in finance?
It never gets boring! Seriously! I’ve managed a variety of different portfolios throughout my time here, from wireless to wire line. Each opportunity presents its own challenges, but it’s always rewarding. I’ve had my current portfolio for two years, and there is always something new to tackle. I also love that I get to see the big picture of what’s going on at the company. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a planning session with the CEO of our company – it was so exciting! I got to see how the big decisions are made at Bell.
How would you describe the work environment at Bell?
Bell’s work environment is very collaborative. We all strive to do the best at our jobs and often that means coming together to learn from one another. Working here requires a lot of hard work and when there is something that needs to get done, it’s “all hands on deck.” This type of environment creates a collaborative culture that, in my opinion, makes Bell unique. We all work hard and celebrate our accomplishments.
I also love that there is always someone to turn to if you want to learn more about almost anything. At Bell, you’re surrounded by a team of experts that can help you learn and grow.
What are some of the key milestones you achieved throughout your career?
Getting my CPA designation had been a goal of mine since finishing my bachelor’s degree. I’d always thought that finance was the right career path for me. I took some time to pursue other strengths and interests but that only reaffirmed that finance was where I wanted to be. Getting my CPA was my next step to help achieve all my finance career goals. I found it challenging to study on top of working a demanding job, but my managers at Bell really supported my goals and helped me work around my school schedule. After a lot of hard work, I accomplished my goal and earned a CPA designation.
What is one piece of advice you would share with someone considering a career in finance?
I think my advice is applicable to everyone, not necessarily just those looking to get into finance. After experiencing a number of different paths, I know that it’s important to love what you do. My advice is to find something you’re passionate about and to try to build your career around it. In my life, I have always tried to have a plan and pursue it with passion. Even when I wasn’t doing what I loved, I made goals to get me where I wanted to be. Having clear goals is crucial to being successful, they keep you motivated and focused to move forward.
Interested in a career at Bell? We’re always looking for passionate and talented individuals to join our team. To learn more about our available career opportunities and to join our talent community, please visit our career page.