Business Wisdom

From the Desk of …
Jennifer Victory, Group Compliance Manager, Smurfit Kappa

THE CV
Jennifer Victory, 31, studied International Business and German at Dublin City University and is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She joined Smurfit Kappa in 2010 as an Internal Auditor before joining the Group Finance Department as a Group Accountant. She now holds the position of Group Compliance Manager with responsibility to drive and develop the compliance and internal control culture across the global operations of Smurfit Kappa. The role also involves transaction work on acquisitions and divestments.

What keeps you awake at night?
Getting up at 4am for a 6am flight out of Dublin airport – I don’t sleep well knowing I have an early flight the next morning. I set two alarms, my phone and iPad. In my role I take on a lot of speaking engagements which require detailed preparation so I can address all prospective questions. I make sure to check, double-check and even triple-check everything before I go to bed.

How do you handle difficult situations?
We all face difficult situations. It’s important to listen to views and advice from group colleagues and local management and ensure you are equipped with all the relevant information with which to make a decision or resolve a situation. 

What are your priorities in relation to planning for the future?
To continue to progress in my current role with a view to advancing my career.

Which is the most useful way to engage clients or suppliers? A business breakfast or lunch?
As I like to get a lot of work done before 8.30am when the phone starts ringing, I prefer to meet over lunch or dinner, rather than breakfast.

How might people you work with describe you?
Tenacious. Although the first time I heard it I didn’t know whether it was a compliment or not? Organised. Hard working, focused and determined.

On staying balanced at work
In Smurfit Kappa there is an excellent culture of teamwork and lots of support. I do always eat lunch and if I’m in the office in Dublin, I put on my flats and go for a 20-minute walk to clear my head.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
If I’m going to the office, about 30 minutes. I leave the house before 7am. When I’m on an early  flight, it’s even less as I always have everything set out and ready to go for the morning – laptop bag, tickets printed and passport ready.

Accomplishment you’re most proud of?
My current position at Smurfit Kappa. Since I joined, I’ve worked in a variety of financial roles with increasing complexity and responsibility. This has allowed me gain invaluable experience in a global company and have the opportunity to further progress my career.

What’ unique about your business?
Innovation, service and pro-activity towards customers, using sustainable resources, is our primary focus. Smurfit Kappa is an integrated producer – our packaging plants source the majority of their raw materials from our own paper mills. Smurfit Kappa is one of the leading producers of paper-based packaging in the world, with around 41,000 employees in approximately 350 production sites across 32 countries, with a sales revenue of ¤7.9 bn in 2013.

What’s unique about your business?
Innovation, service and pro-activity towards customers, using sustainable resources, is our primary focus. Smurfit Kappa is an integrated producer – our packaging plants source the majority of their raw materials from our own paper mills. Smurfit Kappa is one of the leading producers of paper-based packaging in the world, with around 41,000 employees in approximately 350 production sites across 32 countries, with a sales revenue of €7.9 bn in 2013.

The most significant barrier to female advancement?
I’ve always had a very positive working experience and have never encountered barriers to the advancement of my career.

The motivating factors for you in your role?
Interaction with world class management, the ability to work in multiple jurisdictions as part of a global company and exposure across several different functions and areas of expertise.

Pastimes outside the office?
I enjoy long walks with my two dogs, Ben and Harry. I was a keen competitive swimmer for all of my teenage years and recently took it up again to keep fit. I love planning holidays with my husband John.

Should women plan for their financial future?
There is an onus on everyone to provide for their future through appropriate savings and pension arrangements.

My Working Life:
The Way I Do Business

1. LOOKING THE BUSINESS Always a simple dress and pearls, I love that classic, timeless look. 2. PLANNING THE FUTURE Planning the future One of my husband’s sayings is “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” and while I think it is important to plan for the future, it’s also very important to live for today; to live in the here and now. 3. USING TECHNOLOGY My life is quite busy so my iPhone and iPad are undoubtely my essentials. I’d be lost without them.

This story appears in the February issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in next issue, out Saturday March 7