#HowIDidIt: Georgia Wilson, Head Of Finance At Global Switch

“I’d say go after what you want in your career with boldness, do your best in current roles whilst understudying for the next level up…You never know when that big opportunity is around the corner. “- Georgia Wilson

If there’s one piece of career advice to live by today, it’s this shared by Georgia Wilson;

“I’d say go after what you want in your career with boldness, do your best in current roles whilst understudying for the next level up…You never know when that big opportunity is around the corner. “

Georgia Wilson was recently announced as the Global Group CFO of Together Group, a role which she starts in October 2021. We caught up with her to learn more about her career journey, the bold moves she’s made, and how Career Masterclass has impacted her journey so far.

Tell us a bit about Georgia Wilson.

I am a chartered accountant and the Head of Finance for the UK data centres at Global Switch, serving as a senior leadership team member. Before this, I worked at Deloitte, Shell and Centrica in various progressive finance roles.

Outside of work, I am active in my community in various voluntary capacities. I am the Co-founder & Treasurer of Queen Bees Investment Club which seeks to educate black families on investing in shares for long term gain. I also run a traditional savings scheme called a Susu/Pardoner and coach parents on how to plan a successful 11+ campaign.

When I’m not working, you will find me relaxing and spending time with my husband, children, extended family and friends.

When and how did your career journey start?

My career journey started in Grenada. First, I was a teacher at my alma mater, St. John’s Christian Secondary School, for three years. I spent two summers working in the management and finance team at De La Grenade Industries whilst I was a student at the University of the West Indies reading for my bachelor’s degree.

Upon completion of my studies, I secured a junior economist role at the Ministry of Finance. However, one year into the role, Grenada was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan, and the Agency for Reconstruction and Development (ARD) was set up to rebuild the country. I was asked by the Chairman of ARD, the late Sir Alister McIntyre, to join him on secondment.

When I did leave the ARD, it was to further my studies at University College London. After that, I embarked on a finance career in London, winning a Deloitte graduate scheme as an auditor.

We are super excited and very proud of you for bagging this new role as the CFO of Together Group. What particularly influenced your decision to accept this position?

Firstly, it is a fantastic opportunity to become Group CFO of an ambitious and exciting venture.  From a professional development perspective, I will add value, learn and grow into my first CFO role.

Secondly, my values and that of Together Group align based on what I have seen of the team. Professional chemistry and team camaraderie are so important to allow one’s career to flourish.

Thirdly, I hope to be a positive and successful role model to women and black professionals who would like to join the C-Suite someday.

You were a part of our very first event held in 2015. How did you hear about Career Masterclass?

I heard about Career Masterclass through one of my best friends, Tobi (Osho) Dada. I managed to scrape into the event when Tobi asked Bukola to release more tickets on Eventbrite so I could purchase a ticket. Plus, my daughter was only 2 months old, so I took her with me.

What role has Career Masterclass played in your career?

Firstly, the choice of topic, The Confidence Code, for the very first conference was timely. Watching capable black mothers, including Bukola Adisa,  navigating their careers was inspirational, and I resolved to regain the boldness that was in danger of slipping away from me. Later that year, I left Deloitte for Shell and Bukola, and other Career Masterclass volunteers were very helpful in coaching me through this. 

Also, my upcoming Group CFO role at Together Group came about because Career Masterclass was asked to find someone as a match for the role, and they recommended me. Thank you, Career Masterclass.

How has the STRETCH Conference influenced your career journey?

STRETCH has been a powerful tool whereby I have listened to people who have had highly successful careers share their trade secrets and real-life stories.

As a good student, I have sought to adopt any techniques that are relevant to me. It helps that at STRETCH, there are speakers from various backgrounds and personality types. Hence, there is a high chance that at least one speaker would resonate with each attendee in some way and that you would leave with a plan of action for your career and with renewed confidence that you can be successful in your career.

If you were going to convince someone else to sign up for Career Masterclass membership, what would you tell the person to look forward to? 

Look forward to challenging the status quo. You will be made to ask yourself key questions such as, are you where you are meant to be now? If so, how come and where do you want to go from here? If not, how do you plan to get yourself where you’d like to be?

Furthermore, you will be armed with real-life techniques on salary negotiation, exiting from a current employer gracefully, onboarding successfully onto a new role and building rapport quickly with your team, planning a dynamic career trajectory, among other hot topics.

Bukola always tells members that they are CEOs of their own careers, and Career Masterclass shows you how to execute this.

Lastly, what’s one piece of career advice that has changed your life?

My career journey started by asking for opportunities in my network in Grenada. I did not get every role that I asked for, but those I did secure have immensely shaped my journey.

I’d say go after what you want in your career with boldness, do your best in current roles whilst understudying for the next level up and building and looking after your network. You never know when that big opportunity is around the corner.

By Precious Okhimamhe

Public Relations, Content strategist, Lover of Chicken and Chips