Clare McBride - PwC Foundation Manager, Corporate Sustainability
Relationship building, empathy, project management, stakeholder management: they're all vital skills for a CRS professional.
Read Clare's story and her advice to those looking for a career in sustainability.
Membership Level: Associate
Position: PwC Foundation Manager
Social Media: @Purdie_McBride
How did you get into CRS, and why?
I have always been interested in CRS, even before I knew what it was! I grew up in a small rural community in Aberdeenshire where there were lots of community activities, and people worked together to ensure every group in the village was catered for, and the local businesses were an integral part of the village success. I like this profession because it is about enabling people and companies to do something positive for the world around them, be it social or environmental.
Describe a typical day in your current role.
There is no typical day!
Why did you join the ICRS?
I liked the idea of being part of a professional organisation for CRS, where we can build a community of like-minded professionals. I am a people person, and quite inquisitive, and so the ICRS is great for meeting new people and hearing what they and other companies are doing in the sector. The mentoring programme is also a great way to be able to grow as a professional, both as mentor and mentee!
What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your role?
I love getting feedback from one of our community partners that a programme or project has been a success for their beneficiaries – as at the end of the day, that’s what it is all about. My least favourite thing is saying no to a charitable organisation or employee – you do this job because you like making things happen. Unfortunately budget and time constraints mean we can’t support all the requests that come to us – I hate disappointing people, and always try to signpost them on to another avenue of potential support if I know of anything that might be useful.
Which project or achievement are you most proud of?
The PwC Foundation recently completed its first ever firm-wide fundraising campaign, the Race for £3,000,000. Knowing that I was part of the team enabling our staff to get behind the campaign, and to come together to fundraise collectively and have a larger impact together for charities that they voted for, is really fantastic!
What are the most important skills for working in CRS?
Flexibility is important, as each day is different and the sector is evolving all the time.
What advice would you give to others on getting into CRS?
Most people don’t have direct training in CRS through qualifications before they start – and I think that’s okay. Make sure you are pitching yourself the best way on LinkedIn and job applications – state your passion for CRS and why you feel this way early on. You should mention your own voluntary experience of course, but most importantly focus on your transferable skills gained through school or university or work experience. Relationship building, empathy, project management, stakeholder management are all skills you will have from one experience or another (my family holidays can be a large test of stakeholder management!) – let them shine through and show the employer that they want you to join their team!