We recently sat down with one of the most energetic members of our team, Iona, and delved into all the many unique parts of her life outside of work. Iona has recently joined the team in June 2019; she was attracted to Quantico because it enabled her to work for an innovative company whilst also having time for her other creative pursuits.
Whilst consistently proving her value by offering our clients her immaculate skill set, Iona’s life is bursting with hobbies and talents. She loves sharing with us her many interests, and we thought they were worth sharing with everyone else - as we love hearing about them. Iona loves to express herself, and throughout her accounting career she hasn’t struggled to keep her creative mind active.
Iona describes herself as a ‘multipotentialite’; someone who has multiple different interests and creative pursuits. Multipotentialites are described as people who pursue all the different paths in their lives. We wanted to share how Iona has made it possible to follow all these passions whilst working closely with our clients at Quantico.
The kick start to her financial career
Iona’s range of passions is very broad… dancing, DJing, skiing, gardening, volunteering and attending co-created festivals and retreats are just a few to name. However, alongside her enthusiasm for these pastimes, Iona was keen to get into the world of business. After studying Physics at Oxford, she was motivated to work in business due to the impact they have on society in providing goods and services. Considering companies can make changes in the world, Iona believed a career which would expose her to a range of businesses would allow her to feel a part of this concept.
Iona recognised attaining an accountancy qualification was good for penetrating the world of business, so gaining this and working within the Entrepreneurial Services Department at EY introduced her to the business environment and ignited her entrepreneurial spirit. Following on to work as a Financial Controller for renewable energy asset company Armstrong Energy, and Head of Finance for health tech start-up Lantum, for example, gave her an impression of working in industry.
Iona then became a fundamental member of Quantico, and the flexible working hours that Iona undertakes with us means she doesn’t give all her energy to the accountant lifestyle, which suits her perfectly. She was interested in how Quantico was disrupting the typical model of having a full time in-house finance team, which was often inefficient, and also how Quantico was providing more added value and a bespoke service than an outsourced accountant would.
Exploring multiple sides to herself
As a whole, Iona believes the working hours for accountants are reasonable to maintain a good work-life balance. Therefore, Iona was able to explore other sides of herself and pick up new skills, exercising parts of herself that you wouldn’t typically explore in accounting, whilst meeting lots of new people along the way. Having the time to experiment with new projects and activities motivated Iona to be able to commit more time to them, due to the positive mentality she experienced as a result. Considering herself as a ‘life enthusiast’, Iona enjoys nurturing the creativity and expression in her personality, channeling this through her hobbies. Therefore, the choice of working part-time was a no brainer. Dance in particular is a prominent passion, having been a thread of her whole life. Participating in dance projects and attending ecstatic dance events inspired Iona to run a Conscious Dance festival in London, having experienced one in Berlin and admiring the vision behind the idea.
Conscious Dance Festival
The 2 day Conscious Dance festival Iona organised ran on the 23rd-24th of November. The festival consisted of dance facilitators leading sessions which encouraged the participants to move freely and express their own individuality. Iona described the weekend as a “deep, innovative, meditative dance journey”. Some of the sessions included Biodanza, Movement Medicine, Ecstatic Dance, Sufi Whirling and Rhythm Circle. Iona was inspired to bring this festival to London by the way movement can bring communities together and make you feel alive and free. She wanted to share with the world the way dancing allows you to stay at joy.
People of all ages and backgrounds attended the festival in London, and the eloquent experience allowed the participants to naturally understand their bodies and movement. There is so much diversity to the way we can use our body to feel alive and positive, and the ambition behind the festival was to enable the people of the community to harmonise through the movement. The experience brought huge levels of energy and serenity to those that came.
Entrepreneur’s retreat to Chamonix
Another creation Iona is proud of is her entrepreneur retreat to Chamonix she organised. A chance for entrepreneurs to get away from the busyness of London, and get some time with nature to rejuvenate, meanwhile networking with other entrepreneurs. Organising hiking days, trips to waterfalls, yoga sessions and poetry sessions, Iona pulled off a memorable experience for a handful of entrepreneurs, who absolutely loved their getaway. Iona found a stunning chalet in the mountains and hired a private chef who provided them all healthy, nutritious food for the duration of their retreat. They engaged in workshops on ‘money mindset’; how to outsource your business, goal setting and visioning. Iona even arranged a talk on how to tap into your intuition for guidance on your entrepreneurial journey.
The experience allowed the group to feel open minded and stimulated, whilst getting back into nature and taking time out to reflect and relax. Iona hoped beautiful fresh air and mountain views would inspire the group of skilled individuals to return to London with brighter perspectives on their projects, ideas and businesses.
An active role model
For many, Iona serves as an example of how the working lifestyle does not always require an individual to sacrifice activities in life that they’re passionate about. Engaging in these hobbies has given her more confidence in herself and her work with Quantico. The entrepreneurial spirit Iona describes her career has developed, can undeniably be recognised through the exciting activities she organises.