From retail assistant to construction finance professional: Hannah’s journey

A day in the life of… Hannah Rhymes, Finance & Commercial Administrator

Hannah Rhymes from Bath is a highly conscientious, focused, and loyal employee for Halsall. Hannah’s journey started with Halsall in 2018 as a Business Administration Apprentice when she was 18 years old.

4 years on, Hannah now sits within our finance department after her passion and dedication led her to the creation of a unique role for her within the world of finance in construction.

After enrolling Hannah onto the AAT foundation level course, she has recently passed all her assignments with FLYING COLOURS and is now ready to continue her successful career in finance at Halsall.

Here’s what she had to say about her journey into the industry:

First, let’s get to know you on a professional level:

  1. What is your background?

My working life started as a retail assistant on a Sunday whilst studying for my A-Levels.

Once I had completed my A-Levels and left school in 2018, I was fortunate enough to have found an opportunity with Halsall as a Business Administration Apprentice and manned the front desk.

A career in the construction industry was not something I had thought of or that came to mind originally when thinking about what type of career and industry I would like to pursue.

However, when I came in for the apprenticeship interview, I was surprised about how many different roles were available within the company after I had thought that most of the roles were predominantly placed on a building site.

The HR & Training Manager took the time to understand about me and what I enjoyed doing and we scoped out a plan for my apprenticeship which included a departmental rotation.

After passing my apprenticeship, I then moved into the finance department, where I have gone on to complete my AAT Level 2 which was funded by Halsall.

  1. Why did you decide to pursue this career?

At Halsall, I had spent time during my apprenticeship working with different departments and found that I really enjoyed my time working with the finance team and my skills really matched what was expected to be delivered for the team.

The role plays to my strength of working with numbers whilst supporting the wider business. Once my apprenticeship was finished, I had proved to Halsall that I was passionate about working in finance for their team and therefore, decided to push to join the team full time.

Halsall really saw the potential in me and created a role within the finance team. Since then, I have been so grateful to have just completed my AAT foundation level course that Halsall enrolled me in and completed it with a score of 83%.

  1. Please can you describe your role at Halsall? Describe a typical day for you.

My primary role is to manage the purchase ledger and keep tabs on all legal documents.

In terms of a typical day for me, I usually start with checking my emails and sorting what needs doing in the day (mainly legal docs). I then check through PO’s and invoices, scan them, and input them on our system to be paid.

My day also consists of communicating with suppliers, dealing with any queries, sorting any legal documents that come into the business on that day and processing subcontract orders on DocuSign and maintaining our internal spreadsheets.

Since I passed my AAT foundation level course, I am now being trained and focusing more on the financial side of my role, working my way towards an ‘Accounts Clerk’.

  1. What do you enjoy most about your job?

That no two days are the same. I am faced with different peaks and challenges everyday which keeps me on my toes. I wouldn’t have it any different.

  1. What tasks do you prioritise day to day?

Even though my day-to-day tasks can vary, my main priorities are ensuring everything for the purchase ledger is logged onto our system and that all legal documents are recorded correctly.

  1. What’s your key strengths?

Working to deadlines, my communication skills and my drive and ambition.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge you have faced from the beginning of your journey with Halsall to now?

The biggest challenge I have faced since joining Halsall was moving from the admin team to the finance department. I started off with no real finance experience apart from when I was put on rotation during my apprenticeship.

After expressing concerns of my lack of knowledge to my line manager, and my passion and drive for a place in the finance department, a role was created for me, and a career progression plan was put in place.

  1. Have you learnt anything new since you started?

Firstly, the wonderful world of finance.

Secondly, with Halsall I have learnt that the construction industry does not only consist of developing careers on site like your typical site manager or contracts manager.

There are hundreds of roles throughout the business, in the office, out of site or both! What is great about Halsall is that they are big on ‘growing your own’ and so if you have career path in mind, they will do what they can to help support you with this.

  1. What is your overall ambition and how can this role help towards this?

My current ambition is to continue to develop my knowledge in finance. Halsall have already enabled me to further my knowledge and receive the training and skills I need to pursue a career in finance within the construction industry. Now I just need to put my skills to practice.

  1. What advice would you give someone who is considering this type of career?

View every person that you meet as a door that could lead you to a new opportunity.

Now let’s know more about you:

  1. Who is your hero?

My grandad.

  1. What is your biggest achievement?

Completing my DofE qualification.

  1. What is a typical day like for you at home?

Weekends mean I can enjoy lazy mornings and then catching up with friends.

  1. What’s your go to breakfast?

I don’t tend to eat breakfast just a cup of tea to start my day.

  1. What would you sing at a karaoke night?

I can’t sing so none.

  1. What 3 things you like to do in your spare time?

Retail therapy

Catching up with friends

A good Netflix series

  1. Last but not least, please name 3 things make you happy:

Lazy days, bottomless brunches and the ice cream van that stops in the office car park.


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