Tom Irlik

Financial Accounts Manager, ME to WE

Reflecting on his experience at WE, Tom said,

ME to WE is where I kick-started career in finance. Over three-and-a-half years I evolved my role from client invoicing to financial reporting and analysis, eventually having responsibility for revenue and cash flow reporting for the ME to WE Trips team. Embodying one of the organization’s core values of WE have a passion for growth, I was fortunate to have a director who understood the value of finance and the professional growth of her team. Recognizing my professional interests, she and the leadership of MTW Trips challenged me to apply my skills toward improving client experience, supporting client-facing staff from an accounts receivable perspective and leveraging financial data to promote informed decision making. I was in a unique position to perform accounting not on a traditional finance department, but rather as a member of the trips team learning about operations within both the not-for-profit and travel industries.

Coming from an aquatics background throughout school I was thrilled to find accounting work where I could still contribute to children’s leadership and education. My portfolio was challenging, having steadily expanded my involvement in managing client financials, accounting systems and reporting. My biggest source of fulfillment came from the sense of trust I established with the people I got to work with: managers, accountants, client service staff and beyond. After three-and-a-half years I felt I had made my mark contributing to the development and maintenance of these processes, but only because my team realized my potential and provided the environment to grow. It is because of these opportunities that I gained the experience and confidence to go on and complete professional certifications in both accounting and internal auditing, all while giving back in my own way to youth empowerment.

Much of my work focused on creating efficiencies and improvements to the financial reporting structure. Through automation and improvement of client reporting systems, I felt most fulfilled knowing our client experience team was supported in providing timely payment processing and invoicing, and ultimately good customer service. Maintaining a reputation as dependable and helpful to the team was my chief motivating factor in supporting the organization’s stakeholders and mission from behind the scenes. Because of the entrepreneurial culture at MTW I had the chance to take on my own projects and seek improvements to the reporting environment.

Within two months of starting work at MTW I had the chance to attend WE Day right here in Toronto. Seeing the hard work of the staff and volunteers come to fruition with thousands of children, teachers and parents excited to celebrate their service and improve their communities was an eye-opening experience. Witnessing the music, speeches, and all-out excitement among the attendees, not to mention truly amazing production, was an experience that made me understand the reach the WE movement has among the next generation of world changers. I was thrilled to volunteer several times in preparation of these WE Days, and appreciate the hard work of the staff and volunteers that make it happen time and time again for youth in countries around the world.

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