Meet our Mentors and Mentees! - The Edmonton Women in Finance Mentorship Blog Series
Updated: Jun 8
Edmonton Women in Finance is grateful for the opportunity to match a number of mentors and mentees in the past year. We want to thank our mentors for providing guidance to our mentees, who are post-secondary students and professional women pursing a career in finance. We want to share their experiences with you, give them the stage to introduce themselves and tell us more about their views on finance and mentorship.
Meet: Laura Mullen, CPA, CMA - Accounting Manager at PCL Construction Management Inc.
Q: What brought you into the world of finance?
A: When I started university, finance wasn’t my original plan. Most of my friends and family were in either sciences or engineering, so fresh out of high school I started my first year in the faculty of science. As I finished up my first year of courses, I began looking down the road at potential careers, I then realized that staying in the science program wasn’t going to meet my long-term goals and I needed to make a switch. I spoke with a councillor at the university, who was incredibly helpful and showed me that a Bachelor of Management degree might be more aligned with my strengths and career goals. I first thought economics would be my major but after a few courses I was hooked on finance and accounting, something I hadn’t contemplated before. I look back now at all the budgets I put together at a young age and I realize that accounting was always in my blood.
Q: What is the one thing you would have liked to know before starting a career in finance?
A: It would have been very beneficial knowing just how versatile a career in finance can be. I loved accounting and when I left university I naturally started working in public practice, since that’s what it seemed everyone did. After a couple years I realized this wasn’t the career path for me. I had some conversations with friends and family and decided to accept an accounting role at a construction company. I didn’t really realize after leaving university I could still pursue my designation while working outside public practice and have exposure to different and exciting aspects of finance and accounting working in industry.
Q: What motivated you to become a mentee with Edmonton Women in Finance?
A: I’ve worked in the same organization for 12 years and although I have mentors internally, there are few directly in the finance stream, and even less women. I thought it would be beneficial to my personal and career growth to have a mentor outside my organization who would still understand my role and be able to provide valuable and objective advice and feedback.