Julian Foong

Course: Accounting and Finance

Year of graduation: 2016


What do you do now? What do you enjoy about what you do now?

I am part of the Structured Finance Group (SFG) which is a specialist team within PwC’s Banking and Capital Markets division, specialising in asset backed securitisation and structured finance transaction.
I like to work in a collaborative work environment, dealing with people from different walks of life and my role at PwC enables me to do so. I enjoy that I am working with a global brand, which means that I am able to tap on its vast, diverse network of talent to solve important issues. The firm creates a culture where every employee, whatever their commitments outside of work, can flourish. From flexible working hours, regular training sessions and support from career coaches, I am constantly developing my skill set and getting the support needed to take on new challenges.

Why did you choose to study at Cass?

I chose Cass Business School because it was listed as one of the best universities in the UK for its Accounting & Finance undergraduate degree. The course allows the maximum number of exemptions from professional bodies, which would have made my path in becoming a Chartered Accountant slightly more at ease. Studying in London as well, was a huge pulling factor as to why I chose this university.

How has Cass supported you in your career journey, and helped you get to where you are today?

The careers team provides a vast range of services from CV checks, mock interviews and professional mentoring scheme, all of which helped me in supporting my career aspirations. I was involved in the Snapshot Scheme at one point which gave me access to industry experts and provided training to increase my employability skills. This helped me ace my interview with PwC that landed me a summer internship with them in my penultimate year, which eventually was converted into a graduate job offer when I started my final year at Cass.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I enjoyed having assignments which involved researching real-life companies and applying what we learnt in the classroom, into analysing the current situation of the chosen company. This was all designed with the support academic staff, who were available for drop-in sessions, in order to provide further guidance. We were also provided with a free subscription to the Financial Times, access to Bloomberg Terminals in the libraries and a specialist subject librarian, who helped massively in increasing our financial literacy.

What was the hardest part of your course?

The toughest part of my course would definitely be the final year project. It was a steep learning curve and involved continuous effort over a substantial period of time, in the final year. However, the whole experience provided invaluable lessons that are still useful to date, such as effective time management.

Were there any lecturers who particularly inspired you?

This is a shoutout to two people at Cass who have inspired me and were huge, inspirational figures in my entire university experience – Dr Danielle Lyssimachou (Course Director) and Mr. Rui Barros Silva (former Course Officer). From the bottom of my heart, thank you for constantly showing care for my wellbeing and for always believing in me.

What was your favourite part of being a Cass student?

Being a student in a vibrant, diverse city, like London. The university is uniquely located in a lovely neighbourhood, with a variety of cafes, restaurants and bars available; it is also adjacent to the financial district.

If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective Cass student, what would it be?

Find balance in everything you do - seek to enjoy your student life, but at the same time, do not abandon your grades and work on transferrable skills that will be beneficial towards your goals. London can be a costly city to live in, but always be on the lookout for those cheeky discounts and learn how to cook!