In my last year at Monash I was able to undertake an accounting internship as part of the Industry-based Learning (IBL) unit offered during my Commerce degree. Following my graduation in 2015 I commenced working full-time at Pitcher Partners, in part thanks to the initial opportunity provided by Monash's IBL pathways.
After working in public practice for a bit over a year, I decided I wanted to add value in a corporate environment and transitioned to work as a Management Accountant in a civil engineering consulting group in 2017. During that time, I incorporated process improvements and independently implemented Business Intelligence reporting throughout the business, allowing deeper insights and analysis reporting for stakeholders across the business.
My reports helped shape Board decisions and assisted project managers across the business in managing their projects, by presenting data in interactive and engaging ways. My work in this realm resulted in winning 'Corporate Accountant of the Year' at the 2019 Accounting Awards.
"If one is able to make use of the networks and environments around them they might find areas of interest beyond what they thought was required to succeed."
While only having been in the accounting workforce a few years now I've been able to make use of new opportunities and add value in ways that some students might not realise is an option when undertaking their studies.
I commenced at Monash studying a Bachelor of Business, and transitioned into a Bachelor of Commerce degree and was fortunate to experience study at both Caulfield and Clayton campuses. Monash helped my career journey in several aspects, most notably in the IBL programs and having access to key staff to motivate and mentor me during my studying and early career.
Lesley Sloan and Dr Ross Booth's running of the IBL (BEX3112) provided the chance to integrate my internship at Pitcher Partners with my Monash studies, providing a cohesive link between the study and work aspects of my Commerce degree.
During my Taxation Law studies at Clayton in 2015 I was fortunate to have Jonathan Teoh as my lecturer and after almost failing one of his tests and booking in a time to discuss how to improve, we went on to have interesting accounting discussions and he was a great mentor during my early career days, providing insight into the accounting profession and the opportunities available if one has the ambition to seek them.
It was great to have someone that was not only a greater lecturer, but was always welcoming of discussion and questions about the accounting industry and provided sound advice.
Monash provided both the learning resources and access to insightful lecturers and teaching staff during my studies which formed a key part of how I was able to successfully transition into the accounting workforce.
I would share that there are opportunities available early in one's career, and if one is able to make use of the networks and environments around them they might find areas of interest beyond what they thought was required to succeed.
While I did go into professional services immediately upon graduation, as most accounting graduates seek to do, I think it's important for accounting graduates to remember that striving for 'the Big 4', or having beliefs that accounting only encompasses public practice and/or audit streams isn't necessarily correct.
I recall during my time at Monash lacking knowledge of the sheer size of the accounting industry and all the types of roles available, and think it's important for current students to know that during their studies of accounting it's quite broad what they can do.
From the traditional audit streams, private client work or corporate finance, to internal audit, management accounting, financial analysts – I think students should remember that the accounting industry has many opportunities in lots of quite different types of fields.