Newcastle University Business School

Andrew Wallace

Alumni profile

About Andrew

Current job: Operations Finance at McDonald's
Current location: London
Nationality: British
LinkedIn: Andrew Wallace

About Andrew's career

Since graduating, what have you gone on to do?
My placements whilst at University were within the Assurance department of PwC's London Top Tier office, working across a variety of FTSE100 clients. After graduating I rejoined the department and qualified as a chartered accountant. Now I work in the Operations Finance Team of McDonald’s, within Strategic Finance, in order to help maximise franchisee profits, support operational improvement and encourage brand growth across the UK & Ireland. I'm the first Finance team contact for the stakeholders of around 480 franchised UK restaurants, both internal and external. Responsibilities include: franchise deal valuations, business planning, franchisee affordability and support, and forward Profit & Loss modelling.

Is the above what you planned to do before starting university?
Due to my degree I knew I was going to work for PwC but I had no idea that would lead to a role as varied and interesting as the one I'm currently in at McDonald's.

About Andrew's Newcastle experience

What was your favourite thing about your course?
From a career perspective completing 12 out of 15 ACA exams whilst at University and having the opportunity to qualify a year earlier than the traditional route was great. From an experience perspective, being able to have the time off in the summer to travel, and the money to do so from placement, led to some incredible trips.

Did you complete a placement year/study abroad/summer internship during your time at Newcastle?
The Business, Accounting and Finance course is structured around three placement terms, in second, third and fourth year. I, alongside my course mates, worked as an Assurance Associate, for PwC. My placements were in the Top Tier office, in London, working with FTSE100 clients. The nature of the work means that you’re given a large amount of responsibility whilst in a relatively junior position. It helped me develop a professional skill set and it taught me crucial soft skills on how to conduct yourself whilst performing a client facing role. Learning these skills before graduating from university gave us a head start when beginning our careers.

What extra-curricular activities or societies were you involved with during your time here?
I played intramural rugby when I was in Newcastle in season. Intramural was an excellent offering for me because of its more casual design. Being on placement for half of the season, 3 out of 4 years, meant that it was difficult to commit to the traditional university set-up.

About the future

How do you see future technologies and new ways of working (future of work) affecting your sector?
Our sector is driven by consumer demand. Consumer's desire for convenience is changing rapidly and any established informal eating out (IEO) business must ensure it doesn't get left behind. Things like delivery, in store kiosks and in-app ordering are examples of how McDonald's restaurants are catering to that evolving demand. The ability to analyse trends, and utilise technology to respond to these trends, is going to be key for the market leading IEOs of the future.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
I'm in the privileged position of being able to say I enjoy my job so I can see myself continuing at McDonald's for a few years yet.

Profile uploaded: 30/04/2019