How making connections pays off in your career

Mangala Prasetia

Senior Associate, Enterprise Operations Risk Management, NAB

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce (Dean’s Scholars Program)/Bachelor of Economics

Majors: Actuarial, Accounting and Econometrics

Studying economics shaped the way Mangala Prasetia thinks about complex business problems and goes about solving them in order to create sustainable change.

An innovative and enthusiastic risk professional who is passionate about using data analytics, Mangala has found a double degree in Commerce and Economics has made him sought-after by employers.

Now working at National Australia Bank as a technology and Infosec risk analyst and Security Awareness Risk Partner, Mangala built his skills through roles as an assurance and advisory consultant role at ShineWing Australia, and as a risk consultant at PwC Australia.

The double degree has allowed him to keep his options open and broadened his horizons by giving him an opportunity to address issues applicable to a range of industries, from a macro and micro perspective.

Importance of relationships

The relationships he formed through extracurricular volunteer roles, along with student networking activities and two internships which resulted in job offers, have been critical to his current career path.

During his time at Monash, Mangala was heavily involved in volunteering and held various leadership positions in student professional societies, including the Monash Actuarial Society and Beta Alpha Psi.

He was a Monash University Student Ambassador and was involved in the Ancora Imparo and Monash Minds leadership programs. Most notably, he had the opportunity to represent the University at the National Student Leadership Forum in Canberra and the Harvard Project for Asian-International Relations conference in Boston.

In 2019, Mangala was awarded the Monash Business School Global Future Leaders Award in recognition of his commitment to advocating for sustainable business practices in the wider community.

Mangala was lucky enough to secure internships with PwC Australia and ShineWing during his undergraduate studies – which led to full-time employment upon graduation.

The Monash Alumni community has given Mangala opportunities to attend networking and professional development events and make a contribution.

He has gained keen insights into industry trends and contentious discussion topics, and Monash’s diverse, multicultural alumni base has enabled him to develop cross-cultural competency, which has been essential to all his roles.

Current role

In his current role at NAB, Mangala manages a variety of risk areas - predominantly in information security, technology, data, fraud, privacy among other things. He conducts review and challenge activities across different business domains and monitors the NAB's material risk exposures with respect to information technology and security.

He also engages with a variety of stakeholders and tries to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the risks of their day-to-day business activities. There are also several compliance based reviews which Mangala undertakes - these are mostly based on APRA requirements.

A passion for policy

Mangala’s interest in economics came from his passion for policy-making and its use in business as a vehicle to maximise social wellbeing. To Mangala, economics is essential to understanding how businesses operate, providing insight into individual goods and services as well as the global financial market.

Monash Business School offers some of the world's leading researchers and educators in econometrics and Monash is one of the few Australian universities that offer the opportunity to conduct statistics-driven economic research, which instills valuable research skills as well as an inquisitive mindset.

The academic staff at Monash are very supportive, innovating new methodologies for students to learn in an enjoyable and interactive manner.

They emphasise the relevance of economics and econometrics in the real world, drawing upon real-life experiences to explain the need to develop a mixture of quantitative and qualitative business analytic skills across a wide range of sectors.

Read widely, keep up-to-date

Mangala’s advice is to read the news and keep up-to-date with business trends, which will take your learning outside the classroom − being able to identify the root causes of tax policies or what actually drives fluctuations in interest rates will equip you with lifelong skills.

Maintain an interest in the mathematical aspects of economics − studying econometrics and business statistics as part of your degree will open up career opportunities.

Finally, polish up on your report-writing skills – use a methodical, scientific approach and cite credible sources.

Outside of work, Mangala regularly looks for opportunities to contribute to the community by positively influencing and empowering the youth.

Presently, he is the Oceania Region's Alumni Representative for Beta Alpha Psi and the Deputy Regional Lead for GovHack Victoria. He also mentors students through the Monash Business School Industry/Alumni Mentoring Program and Melbourne High School Junior Leadership Program.