Real Model Interview Episode #17, Claire Fuller, Franchise Financial Controller, Marshall Motor Group

Describe a typical working day

Thankfully, not sure there is such a thing as a typical day. In finance our cycle of work is monthly and depending on what day of the month it usually dictates the structure of the day, and where I’m working. The most standard day is Monday. We have to prepare a forecast for the month. This involves, myself and the franchise directors having conference calls with the management of each branch to discuss the previous week’s performance, and to agree the forecast for the end of the month. We then review and consolidate the numbers before submitting into head office.

How long have you worked in the sector?

I joined the industry in Jan 1989 so 31 years. I started as an Assistant Accountant and worked my way up.

What do you like best about your job?

The variety. Finance has an image of being boring but it certainly isn’t in the Motor Trade. You never know what’s coming next. Also the people, they are diverse, quirky and inspiring all at the same time.

 What’s next for you career wise?

I just want myself and my team to be the best we can be and I’m happy working for Marshalls in this role. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. If I’m being honest I guess the next big step will probably be retirement.

What advice would you give to women who are wanting to progress in the sector?

Go for it. We have women working in all sectors of the business and there are great opportunities for everyone with a desire to succeed. There is a real opportunity for women to shine in the Motor Industry.

Who in your life has been a positive role model for you?

My Mum. She taught me my work ethic – My parents were farmers and she worked just as hard as my dad. Whatever job needed doing next they just got on and done it. There was no gender distinction. Margaret Thatcher showed the world that woman can reach the top of their profession. If you have the support of the people around you can go a long way. And, as history shows, if you lose their support you’re in trouble.

What has been the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you at work?

I walked through a large open plan office with my skirt tucked into my knickers. I was 21 at the time and it still haunts me!!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Focus on the things you can change and don’t waste time on the things you can’t.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

A good book and a bottle of wine usually does the trick or a decent meal with friends. Two years ago I took up bee keeping, it’s a hobby that keeps on giving. And yes I have been stung!!

What would you consider as your greatest achievement?
Being a Mum, obviously. Apart from that, I feel that just getting to where I’m in life both at work and personally is an achievement in itself. I’ve lost some friends and family along the way so still being here is good enough.
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