'At the beginning of 2017 Caroline Sibanda decided that she wanted to become a company secretary. Two Insight Days and several interviews later she has now secured her first company secretarial role. Here is her story and her hopes for the future'.
My goal was never to become a lawyer or work strictly in finance but to find a career that amalgamates both. After some searching on Google, I had found the perfect match! The company secretarial profession seemed to offer a career where strategy, law and finance are interdependent principles rather than mutually exclusive and the ICSA qualification would enable me to achieve this at a professional level.
I heard about the DMJ Insight Days via the ICSA – these events allowed me to engage with experienced company secretaries and lea more about the career in practice. They provided an excellent opportunity to network with fellow job seekers and potential future employers. I worked the room as much as possible, wrote down as many names as I could and then requested everyone on LinkedIn with a personalised message.
After sending the Institute my Bachelor and Masters degrees, I received 3 exemptions, which means I am now just one exam away from part qualification! Keen to secure a job that offers study support I began my job search by working on my CV and cover letter.
You often have to stand out on paper before you can stand out in person. However, networking events are great for making a positive impression. I covered all bases on my job search – registered on job boards, applied for roles directly and registered with recruiters that specialise in CoSec. Meeting recruiters in person is important so that they can be more effective at vouching for you to employers. Being proactive and persistent is key to job hunting in CoSec because it takes time, particularly to secure an entry level role.
After 3 months of searching, I secured a Company Secretarial Assistant position (plus study support) within the Corporate Finance Team of a professional services firm via DMJ.
I aim to be fully ICSA qualified within 2 years, during which time I intend to build up as much experience as possible! I know it will be hard work, but every company secretary I speak to says the more I put in, the more rewarding my career will be. I can’t wait to get started and put the foundations down for a long and successful career.