New star Suzanne already inspiring next generation

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HIGH-flying Ballyroney woman Suzanne Nicholson has just been recognised as the best in the business!

The Financial Controller with BT in Belfast was named Accountant of the Year in the Irish Accountancy Awards, the Oscars of the industry. It's an all-Ireland accolade, with a glittering awards ceremony in Dublin.

So Suzanne's a star in her chosen career, but it could have been an entirely different story!

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She's been telling Chronicle Woman: "I had previously entertained the idea of becoming a primary school teacher, attending Stranmillis College for a year, though after completing the work experience, I decided this wasn't for me!"

​Suzanne Nicholson with her all-Ireland award at the ceremony in Dublin.​Suzanne Nicholson with her all-Ireland award at the ceremony in Dublin.
​Suzanne Nicholson with her all-Ireland award at the ceremony in Dublin.

That was quite a calculation and it's paying dividends - as the awards pictures on this page show!

Family and friends are, of course, as proud as punch. Not least dad, Richard Nicholson.

Suzanne says: "My dad has been a strong driving force for me, making sure I understood that with hard work you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. He has always been a major supporter for me and someone I can always rely on."

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Suzanne attended Ballyroney Primary School, went on to Banbridge Academy and then Queen's University, studying Mathematics and Statistics.

BT’s Suzanne, from Ballyroney, is the Accountant of the Year.BT’s Suzanne, from Ballyroney, is the Accountant of the Year.
BT’s Suzanne, from Ballyroney, is the Accountant of the Year.

She got the bug. "During my final year of university, I worked part-time in the finance department of a local company and was offered a full-time role as a trainee accountant after finishing my degree. During this time, I completed my ACCA professional exams and took the opportunity to go travelling once completed."

When Suzanne returned home from travelling, she worked in an IT company for nine years prior to joining BT, and her current role.

"I am an accountant, working as a Financial Controller within BT. I manage the reporting, process and controls of the monthly accounts for an area of BT."

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The recent honour came as a bit of a shock! Suzanne explains: "My team in BT put forward the application without my knowledge and it surprised me when I was shortlisted for the award by the panel of judges."

She's not resting on her laurels, though: "Having worked in BT for only a year and a half, I would like to continue to develop my skill set in my current role and progress my career within the finance team of BT."

A relatively new kid on the block, but Suzanne is already providing a helping hand to other women and girls.

"I have been involved in helping to drive continued DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) within BT, having secured membership with Women in Business, achieved our Bronze accreditation with Diversity Mark and partnered a charity called SistersIN, which is to develop management and leadership skills for girls aged 16-18 years old. I see the continued development and progression of these initiatives as a major contribution back as I continue to progress."

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There is life outside of work! Suzanne likes to unwind by going to the gym and meeting up with friends and family for coffee and dinner. She also hopes to "take some time out in the near future to travel to Asia and explore some of the beautiful countries there."

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