FD in Five Minutes: Paul Sylva

The career path of the director of finance at Spana, the Society for Protection of Animals Abroad

Paul Sylva
Paul Sylva

Q Why did you choose finance as a career? My initial career was in hotel and catering management, but I didn’t enjoy the long and unsociable hours. I enjoyed studying accountancy at school, so a career in finance seemed a natural choice for a career change.

Q What made you work in the charity sector? I was asked to become a trustee for a charity that had some financial problems. This led to a number of interim roles within the sector and to where I am now.

Q What is the proudest moment of your career so far? I spent more than a year off work with an allergic reaction to an anti-malaria drug, which had a huge impact on my physical and mental health. Getting back to work, albeit rather slowly, and recovering fully is my proudest moment.

Q What do you do outside work? Cooking and wine feature prominently, no doubt because of my background in hospitality. I also enjoy travel, military history and choral music.

Q Who has been the biggest influence on your career/life so far? My family. They have a say on where I work and, fortunately, they are animal lovers.

Q Are you optimistic for the future of the charity sector? Yes, I believe people are intrinsically kind and will continue to support others in need.

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