Every picture tells a story
Kirsten looks after the events at AAB and has done so for almost 6 years now. She reflects on her career journey so far from working as a cabin crew member to running events during the pandemic, and shares her ultimate work highlight.
Blog19th Nov 2021
Sorry to disappoint any Rod fans but this blog is not about the man in question. Although, you can keep reading to find out why he features…
My name is Kirsten, I look after the events at AAB and have done for almost 6 years now. When I first started with the firm in 2014, I joined the Payroll & Employment Taxes department as Client Development Advisor, focussing on software development and process improvement for our clients.
I’d been in the client development role for over a year when the events position became available and to be honest, I didn’t think anything of it. I really didn’t know if it was for me and didn’t consider applying. However, when it was suggested I would be a good fit for the role, I reconsidered. I ended up applying for it, got the job and didn’t look back, as the old saying goes. My working career has always been varied, before I worked at AAB I was a cabin crew member so I was never someone with a ‘plan’. I feel that AAB knew me better than I knew myself by suggesting I went for the role and that’s one of the many good things about working here – you always have options and people looking out for you.
Don’t get me wrong, the job can certainly be full on at times but I am one of those who works better under pressure. The role is extremely varied and in an average year (2020 excluded) would have me organising 90+ events from seminars for 400 people to special dinners for 20 people and now online webinars for a limitless audience.
Up until March 2020 our events were pretty much all in person so the last year has seen a massive change in what I do and how I do it. The ‘new’ events landscape meant I had to quickly learn some new skills, tools and techniques to continue to deliver events for AAB, both now and in the future. Ironically, 2020 was set to be my busiest year to date. With the firm celebrating its 30th anniversary we had a number of exciting events planned, all of which had to be cancelled. I couldn’t quite believe it. Luckily things are picking up and I’m delighted to be busy once again, although perhaps slightly rusty in parts as we transition back to more in-person events!
Which takes me onto my work highlight. One cold and dark evening in February, I was making my way to a venue to set up for an all-staff event taking place the following morning. When I arrived at the venue, it was reasonably quiet but there was a certain buzz around the place. Rod. I spotted the blonde locks a mile off. Although I had done everything required for the event, I thought I better hang around just in case. To my delight I managed to have a chat with Rod as he was leaving. Slightly starstruck, I don’t remember much of the conversation, but I do recall speaking to him about AAB, my role there and the event taking place the following morning. He wished me good luck for the event, and I told him to get in touch if he never needed an accountant… or help with his events.
Although I’m not always bumping into celebrities, through my role I’ve been able to build a really great network both in Aberdeen and the Central Belt. That’s one part of the job I love, working with a variety of people across AAB and meeting plenty new faces each month.
As I’ve mentioned and as with many people, work can be full on and with events often taking place outside the 9 to 5, it’s important for me to effectively wind down. I like to stay fit through walking and cycling but my biggest passion is undoubtedly food and cooking and I enjoy trying out new recipes at the weekends. There is something very relaxing about shutting off from the world and putting all your energy into creating something (hopefully) scrumptious, coupled with some good tunes and a fine glass of something, of course.
By Kirsten Middleton, Events Executive