Meeting Heathrow Airport’s Financial Manager

MBA students are regularly given the chance to meet with industry experts. Neena Panesar, an MBA student, seized the opportunity to interview Finbarr Roche-Kelly.
Date: 9 November 2017

London Metropolitan University MBA students regularly meet every Monday morning for a ‘Business Breakfast’ where they have the chance to network with industry experts.

Finbarr Roche-Kelly, Finance Manager at Heathrow Airport, visited the University on Monday 30 October as the Business Breakfast guest and offered students an invaluable insight into what it takes to work for one of the world’s busiest and most demanding airports.

Neena Panesar (pictured), an MBA student at the University, seized the opportunity to interview Finbarr. She writes:

Finbarr Roche-Kelly, a Finance Manager at Heathrow Airport Ltd, kindly visited the University to visit MBA students at our regular ‘Business Breakfast’ meeting. He started by outlining his career history to demonstrate the many routes an MBA can take you.

Finbarr originally qualified as an accountant and, for many years, worked for KMPG, an audit, tax and service provider. Finbarr’s fascination with aviation eventually led him to apply for a position with British Airways (BA). As BA expanded globally through a series of acquisitions and mergers, Finbarr was promoted to senior roles within the organisation.

Myself and fellow MBA students asked Finbarr a series of questions regarding his decision to have a career break for two years, where he travelled overseas trekking the mountains of Nepal. Interestingly, Finbarr highlighted how male employees rarely take a career break which may eventually culminate in developing serious health problems in later life.

He also took the chance to advise us on our future careers and explained that a sabbatical period from work can help individuals refocus and return to work reenergised. However, he stressed that the challenges to contend with upon returning to work may comprise accepting a lower entry position or reduced remuneration.

Furthermore, Finbarr clarified that with the onset of increased automation within many corporations, it is imperative for employees to focus upon developing soft skills. Enhancing their emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills will differentiate prospective employees in a competitive job market.

Feedback from students was welcomed with many expressing Finbarr’s insights and experience was interesting for the attendees.

The London Met MBA re-launched in January 2017. A series of pathways, including Cyber Security, Islamic Finance, Data Analytics and Business Psychology, are now available.

Find out more about studying the London Met MBA.