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Julia Macdonald - Associate Director, KordaMentha

Julia Macdonald
'I'm Associate Director in Kordamentha, a corporate advisory and restructuring company. I came out of uni with a business degree and a full year of work experience.'

Julia works for KordaMentha which is a boutique professional services firm. This role of this company is to help businesses who are in financial trouble, whether that means working out a way to turn the company around or to wind it down or sell it.




What’s your current position?

I’m Associate Director in KordaMentha, a corporate advisory and restructuring company. We’re a boutique firm, but we operate at the top end of the market on large-scale engagements.

What path have you taken to get here?

I went to UTS and did the Bachelor of Accounting – a cooperative scholarship program, which means my three years included two separate periods of six months full-time work experience with a sponsoring work organisation. I came out of uni with a business degree and a full year of work experience. After uni I went and joined Arthur Andersen as a graduate. Two months later we were all effectively made redundant because of Enron.

How did you cope with being made redundant?

It was interesting that I’d joined corporate restructuring, and then went through it myself when I worked for Arthur Anderson in Chicago.

How has your own experience shaped your outlook on corporate restructuring?

I’m a lot more empathetic where we have to make clients’ employees redundant, because I can tell them I’ve been there myself. I understand the need for communication with staff, and effective change management.

Do you work very long hours?

Our business is very cyclical. If it’s quiet I might not have much chargeable work, and work on practice management issues and non-chargeable administrative work. When we’ve got a job going, you could end up working 80 hours a week and work over nights and weekends for extended periods or weeks at a time.

What do you like the most about your job?

The people. There’s great camaraderie. We’re a young group and everyone wants challenging work and works hard. Also, I like the feeling that I’m making a contribution in what can be a very difficult situation sometimes.

What’s the downside of your job?

The administration, like filling out forms. Doing our time sheets and expenses.

What sort of skills do you need in your job?

It’s a very numerate job, where decisions are primarily based on what the numbers say. However, there’s a large element of commerce in what we do.

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