The many lives of Valérie

A linear career? No thank you!

As you’ll have just witnessed in her #MazarsLivedExperiences episode, Valérie has already had three careers – sales rep, auditor and Crisis & Dispute advisor. The diversity of her experience and her fearlessness have been the key to her success. If you want to dig a little deeper into her unexpected professional journey and learn a few tips for your own career, read her full interview below.

Valérie Nove
Senior Advisor, Crisis & Dispute
Mazars in Canada

 
Why did you choose Mazars?

Well, in a way I think Mazars chose me! What really interested me right from the start was the fact that Mazars is an international firm. This means I didn’t have to choose between accounting norms (IFRS, NCCF); I could develop my expertise in both standards. 

I was also very attracted by the MOVE Programme, which is an international mobility programme offered across the organisation. Maybe in a close future, I could take advantage of it and go to work in a foreign country for a few months or years.  A nice dream, isn’t it!

In the end, the real game changer for me was that Mazars fully embraced me for the fact that this was a second career for me.

 

A second career? Tells us more.

Before joining Mazars, I worked for 20 years as a sale representative in the industrial sector. I worked with engineers and buyers in many different sectors such as food industry, pulp and paper, chemical, etc. It wasn’t something that I really wanted to do for the rest of my life, I knew it wasn’t my dream job. Following a discussing I had one day with my husband and looking back at my career, I realised that what I wanted was a job in accounting!

At that same time, I was studying at HEC, in a certificate programme that included a couple of accounting classes and I really enjoyed them. And there it all started and snowballed from a certificate to a bachelor, right up to me passing my CPA exam. Simple as that.

It took a few years, but I made it and I’m here and proud of my journey! It’s never too late to change your career. Just go for it, do what it takes to get there and don’t be afraid.

 

Can we say that you’ve started a third career with Forensic services?

Yes, you could say that! I was working on an audit when I got the opportunity to work on an internal controls mandate and got a chance to speak with the Senior manager, and ask her about Crisis and Dispute mandates and what the forensic team does. A couple of months later, a mandate from an important client came along and more resources were required. And that’s how I started working with the team and then I simply never left.  

If I could give another piece of advice, it would be to always stay curious and open to opportunities to learn new things, it’s so rewarding and makes life much more interesting.

 

Tell us more about your Crisis and Dispute team?

Our team is pretty unique! I know it sounds cliché, but we are extremely close to each other, kind of a family, even when we have to work from home. Every single morning, we meet via Teams for a 30 minutes chat we call “Café du matin” or ‘Coffee of the day’ and in addition to planning the workload, we also tell each other about our families, our new pets, books we read, event recommendations, you name it. We also plan short training sessions on some days. The team members are always there to help, to support each other, and we work really hard together.

This “Café du matin” is an important ritual for us. It started during the Covid-19 lockdown when we didn’t want anybody to feel alone and depressed and we kept it because we enjoy it. It has become an important part of our day; a really pleasant way to start the day. Even if it’s virtual.

We share not just work; my colleagues have become my friends.

 

How have you become such a tight-knit team?

Teamwork is a very important condition in our work. So in order to maintain our team spirit, when time and workload permits, we regularly organise bonding activities like brunch, bowling, kayaking or snow tubing. Yes, you heard it right, snow tubing! Sharing joy is excellent for team spirit. We’ve organised game nights too which are super fun. And we have our traditional Christmas party with gifts and lots of laughter. Each team members take turns in planning these activities.

     

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