Francesca Postolache, Partner – PwC Romania
Looking back, at the start I didn’t really want to work in consulting, so I can say that audit chose me. When I was in high school, I thought of becoming a doctor, just like my father, and I was preparing for that. But the emotional shock of his sudden death turned me away from medicine. That is how I chose the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova, which was a very new institution at that time. In my fourth year, back in 1996, I received my first offer to work in a local audit and accounting firm.
Time passed and the company I was working for was bought by an international audit company. It was there that I understood what transparency and trust mean. They have been so important throughout my career.
I later joined PwC Moldova as a senior. Having an ACCA qualification (specific to authorised accountants) gave me the opportunity to grow and reach a leadership position. That qualification made the difference.
Then I had to take over the leadership of the PwC Moldova office. The initial target was to achieve break-even, but I made it profitable. I got married eighteen months later and moved to Romania, where I have remained, despite various opportunities to return to Moldova.
I became a Partner in the Assurance Department in 2014, managing a sizable portfolio of large international and local clients in various industries, including oil & gas, retail, and tobacco, and also leading the Real Estate practice in PwC Romania. I also coordinate the PwC external training division, PwC’s Academy, which gives me the opportunity to develop my coaching skills. I want to continue to do that and help people to achieve their personal professional goals and potential. People are the heart of an organisation and a team is successful when people want to work with the leader. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have reached this position without the support of my team.
Success depends on competence and opportunities, but leadership is about people, empathy, collaboration, communication and respect for the team. People want to feel appreciated and be treated as equals, not as subordinates. In my leadership role I give trust and support to my team but is for them to find the way to reach the final step, with me by their side.
To achieve all that, we need balance, which, for me at least, is built on transparency and trust, support and a healthy balance between professional and family life.
At the end of the day, I’m a Partner in a Big Four company, but even more I’m the lucky mother of three wonderful children. I want to spend as much time as I can with them, to play, laugh and share stories, and I try to limit work from home after schedule as much as possible.
My advice for junior professionals is to follow their dreams, find a mentor and learn as much as possible and most important find the passion that will inspire their career.