On The Job with Matthew Ryan, Assurance Associate at PwC

Matthew Ryan studied Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) at Curtin University and is now Assurance Associate at PwC
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Tell us a bit about your background and who you are.

My name is Matthew Ryan and I am 26 years of age. I graduated from Curtin University in Western Australia with a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) – completed by correspondence - with distinction in June 2017. As part of my university experience I completed a short exchange to the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel for approximately 3 weeks in 2017.

I grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, am an avid surfer and love all things sport.

Tell us about your disability and how it impacts you. 

I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome during my last years of high school and still manage the condition today. This limits my work/life choices, being able to be active a maximum of 4-days a week, the remaining time spent recuperating. My most significant challenge is managing my energy levels to ensure I can be active 4 days a week. Work for me is a choice on how to best spend my active days.

This has instigated discussions with my employer, PwC, about how reasonable adjustments can be implemented in order to support me to best meet both my personal goals and the requirements of my role.

What is your job all about?

I commenced employment at PwC in June 2018. PwC are a global professional services network whose goal is to help businesses, not-for-profits and governments create value and improve the way they work.

I am employed as an Assurance Associate completing external Audits. My role is to work with clients to ensure there are no material misstatements in their financial statements. I spend the majority of my day working as part of a team and interacting with employees of my client to understand how their business operates and functions, while working from their office. 

When and how did you tell your employer about your disability?

I told PwC about my disability during my initial application. PwC have a section as part of their application where you are able to request reasonable work adjustments. Requests can be made without disclosing your disability, and are kept confidential.

Has your disability provided any obstacles in the workplace? Have you needed, or has your employer provided, any workplace adjustments to assist you?

My disability has provided obstacles in the workplace, primarily through the inability to work a 5-day work week. PwC has allowed me to work part-time, and adjust how many days I work, both up and down based on my energy levels and how I am managing my disability.

There is also a dedicated wellness team to help provide support in managing your health/disability.

What three pieces of advice would you give to current students with disability?

  • Never fear rejection in your job search. Every opportunity you don’t apply for results in the same outcome as having applied and receiving a rejection.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A well-researched question about an organisation can be a unique differentiator, and ultimately provide the benefit of better understanding whether this opportunity fits your interests.
  • Make choices that are right for you