DJ's journey since UWA.
Whilst at UWA, I was fortunate enough to be presented with the opportunity of a bookkeeping role at a restaurant. The real-world commercial experience complemented my studies at UWA. After I graduated, I agreed to stay on and became a restaurant manager for a year.
Since graduating from UWA, I embarked on an accounting career with property firm JLL. I am now their Financial Controller for WA as well as Business Networks across Australia.
How did you choose your specialisation?
I started as a Portfolio Accountant with the firm. Over the years, I am very lucky to have many opportunities presented themselves to me and it was a matter of picking the ones I am interested in.
What was your interview process like?
Our firm is big on cultural fit. During the main interview which lasted for an hour, they spent about 15 mins on technical skills to ensure I can do the role and the rest of the time was behavioural questions!
Suppose a student was considering your career. What would you advise them to study?
A degree majoring in accounting would obviously help. But try to do as many electives after that to broaden your horizon. For me, I did Business Law and thoroughly enjoyed it. The approach to accounting and law is different and learning both have proved to be beneficial for me.
Key soft skills to develop is the ability to adapt, communication and leadership skills, especially where people are our greatest asset in my industry. Being able to have your colleagues join you on the journey often mean successful projects.
Real-life work experience would absolutely be a huge advantage. Practical experience is unlike from theory and could be the differentiator for you and another applicant.
What does your employer do?
JLL is a global real estate services firm specialising in commercial property and investment management, providing investment management services to real estate investors.
What are your areas of responsibility?
I am the Financial Controller for Western Australia as well as Business Networks across Australia. In a nutshell, I provide financial analysis for our business.
Can you describe a typical workday?
There’s really no typical days! My current role is a dynamic role and my attention is drawn to where it is needed on the day.
The last thing I have worked on is re-forecasting our budgets to consider the impacts of Covid-19.
What sort of person succeeds in your career?
A proactive individual who tackles challenges constructively and then being able to articulate findings in an easy to understand the way to non-financial people!
If you could share one piece of advice with an international student at UWA, what would it be?
If you do what you have always done, you will get what you always got. Take a little risk and never be afraid to make mistakes – as long as you learn from them!