Maura Mulderry. Director of Finance Operations.
I joined Primark in 2015 after spending four and a half years in Financial Control at another retailer. The first day I came into the building, I was hooked. There’s a real buzz about the place and it felt like the kind of atmosphere that would give you a kick start each day. So, when they offered me the job, I accepted straight away.
Primark is different to many other companies, because the finance team in Dublin covers a number of different countries. We take care of the finance for all the cost centres and business units, consolidate and review them with the business heads, and then present them to the board.
Essentially, we’re the face of Finance to the business, because we help to budget, review, forecast and develop business cases. To do this, you need to be very close to the business teams, because you have to understand what they do in order to make accurate forecasts.
As part of my role, I also get involved in preparing business cases for reporting and planning, which means I get a view on new stores and new countries we might be looking at. It’s very forward-looking and I’m in a privileged position, because I get to see what’s coming up.
It’s very fast paced here. You often come in with set jobs to do and then you have to drop everything and focus on something new. It’s hard work, but in a year and a half I haven’t had two days that have been the same.
This means that every day’s a learning experience. There’s a huge programme of structured learning and development and I’ve completed a couple of courses, but most of my learning has been on the job. You’re given responsibility to do things and the space to do them, even when you’re fairly new.
I’m in a privileged position, because I get to see what’s coming up.
You’re encouraged to voice your opinion and put forward ideas, which makes it easier to push yourself. The company’s attitude is that it’s OK to make a mistake, so if you have an idea, you’ll get 100% support. The working environment helps with that, because the CFO sits just behind me in an open plan office and I report to the Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, who sits next to me. This makes it easy to talk things through with them and ask for support and advice.
As far as your career’s concerned, you’re not just put in a box and expected to stay there – if you have the right attitude and are willing to work hard, you can make the job anything you want. So, if I decided I wanted to move into another area of the business, the company would give me that opportunity.
A people business
There’s a certain kind of person who works here – you have to be really positive and full of ideas. I couldn’t believe it at my induction, because everyone was so happy and positive, but you soon learn that everybody who works here is like that. If you’re the right kind of person, you’ll love it.
Other reasons to join
Your experience at Primark is about so much more than your job. It’s also about our people and our culture. Our beliefs as a business and our aims for the future. It’s about all the exciting, empowering, amazing things that make us who we are – and you who you are.
I joined Primark in November 2007. I’d been working in the cash office in another retail store at the weekends.
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