FD in five minutes: Zoe Marshall

Director of finance and resources at Fight for Sight, which carries out research to prevent sight loss

Zoe Marshall
Zoe Marshall

Q Why work in the charity sector? After university, I trained with Deloitte, intending to eventually work in charities. I was always good at business, finance and economics, but I never wanted to work in the private sector: I wanted to use my skills to do something more worthwhile. Audit wasn't something that would have made me get out of bed and go to work each day, whereas working for a charity always has.

Q What differences are there between the sectors? I would never put my time at Deloitte down: I'm very grateful for the opportunities I had there, but I think everyone knows it is there to generate fees and make a profit. You feel you are on a treadmill and working really hard, but other than your own personal development it doesn't feel very fulfilling. I also felt that audit in particular was about reviewing past financial performance and other people's decisions. I wanted to work in an organisation where I could help to make decisions about the future.

Q What's your proudest career moment? At a previous job at Concern Worldwide in 2010, I led the finance team in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I encountered many challenges during that year: I had to learn French from scratch, work in very remote and insecure places, implement new financial systems and processes, and deal with various complex programmes. It was a really hard year, but I saw and learnt so much.

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