FD in five minutes: Polly McGivern

The director of finance and corporate services at Breast Cancer Now talks about joining the new charity last year

Polly McGivern
Polly McGivern

Q Why finance?

I did a biology degree, and when I graduated I had a choice between research and teaching, neither of which I wanted to do. I applied for a graduate training scheme and went down the audit route. I started at PricewaterhouseCoopers, then went to GlaxoSmithKline. Then I spent eight months doing voluntary work in Namibia with the charity Raleigh International.

Q Why Namibia?

I'd already travelled in east and southern Africa and I'd fallen in love with that area. It was supposed to be for three and a half months only, but I loved it so much I did another expedition. Before I went I wasn't sure I wanted to work in the charity sector, but it changed the way I thought about my career and the kind of organisations I wanted to work for.

Q What attracted you to Breast Cancer Now?

I joined in 2015, just after the merger between Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It was an opportunity to shape the future direction of a charity. I have a diverse team, all of whom are committed to what we do. Finance can get a bad reputation, but it's a fun-loving group.

Q What do you do outside work?

I play lacrosse, and sit on the board of the English Lacrosse Association. I love cricket and other sport, and I enjoy cooking. My perfect weekend is probably pottering in the kitchen with the cricket on in the background.

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