Year of graduation: 2016
What do you do now? What do you enjoy about what you do now?
I am currently working in Assurance with PwC. My current focus is within the core audit services, where we audit the financial statements of our clients to provide a level of confidence and trust in clients' financial statements- with focus on the technology, telecommunication and retail sector.
These industries are very interesting, given that they are constantly evolving and having to adapt to consumer needs. Aside from working on client engagements, I am also part of the Assurance Transformation team - which is PwC’s ongoing project to develop the way we perform audits and how we integrate the use of technology into our work, to add value for our clients.
I have since realised that working in assurance guarantees that no two days are the same! The variety of work, and the challenges that come with it, has ensured that every day is a learning experience for me.
Why did you choose to study at Cass?
I knew early on that I wanted to begin my career in either finance or accounting– and given that Cass is in the financial capital of the world, it was a no-brainer! By going to Cass, I knew I would be given access to excellent academic resources and connect with like-minded peers.
The various networking and career events held by the school allowed me to gain invaluable insights from industry professionals. This allowed me to make connections with career professionals, whose experience and insights helped me in securing job offers.
The accreditation that the course received from professional bodies was definitely a bonus. As I was interested in becoming a chartered accountant, I knew that the course at Cass would be advantageous when sitting my professional exams.
How has Cass supported you in your career journey, and helped you get to where you are today?
I believe that my experience at Cass was more than just an education from a theoretical standpoint. It has given me the confidence, skills and necessary experience to help me navigate through the challenges that comes my way.
My experience at Cass was definitely more than just about absorbing knowledge. The way the courses were structured really helped to nurture the way I think. During presentations for instance, I would have to think on my feet, as my lecturers and peers were fond of throwing curveball questions! The assignments and research that we had to do pushed us into thinking about the bigger picture and wider issues, as opposed to narrowing our focus to just one topic. These skills have helped me, especially when I’m presenting a piece of work to a client or my colleagues.
The diversity of students and staff is also a key asset at Cass. Being exposed to the different cultures and backgrounds really helped me to open up my perspective and see the power of working collaboratively with others.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
The first year felt as though I was in a completely new environment - think back to your first days in primary school, when you didn’t know most of the people around you and the challenges ahead of you. That slight sense of mystery of what’s to come definitely made it much more exciting! I was constantly learning new things and meeting new people which enriched my experience further.
In terms of the course itself, I found that the balance between the research and test based assessments were fantastic. As a result I not only learnt how to collate data, but more importantly it had taught me to present it as meaningful information. All of which are key skills as a career professional.
What was the hardest part of your course?
Looking back now, I think the most challenging part was in the last 2 years of university. This is the stage where most students (including myself!) were trying to secure internships/job placements, whilst having to juggle the workload at university as well.
Given the supportive structure and resources available at Cass, I was able navigate through these challenges. The academic staff at Cass was always around to offer sound advice and guidance – which was invaluable!
Were there any lecturers who particularly inspired you?
Each and every one of the academic staff I have had the pleasure to work with were fantastic!
However, Peter Hahn and Danielle Lyssimachou who were my Finance and Accounting lecturers, definitely stood out. They had the energy that just made the lessons click with me. It also helped when they were leveraging from their practical experiences to explain concepts that were theoretically difficult. It was refreshing, and has definitely made an impact and helped shape the way I view things.
What was your favourite part of being a Cass Student?
The resources that the school made available to students were nothing short of amazing. From the career fairs and networking events to the simple things like subscription to the Financial Times, it really made me feel that they were student-focused.
Thus, I believe that all these made it easier for me to transition from being a student to a career professional.
If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective Cass student, what would it be?
Enjoy your university experience and make the most of the opportunities that you get. It is important for you to draw from the knowledge of the academic staff, make full use of the networking opportunities and create meaningful connections with your peers. The 3 years will pass by you quickly, so it will be a waste if you do not make the best out of it!