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Financial Analyst – Cabot’s
Jacob studied Bachelor of Business (Economics & Finance) at RMIT University
What's your job about?
At Cabot’s we are the market leader of providing Woodcare products in Australia. Working as a financial analyst, my position involves working closely with all departments (Marketing, Sales, management, R&D, etc.) to provide support for decision making in addition to developing the commercial acumen of the broader business. A large portion of my role consists of month-end reporting, budgeting & forecasting & involvement in the formation of business strategy.
In addition to the day-to-day requirements of my job, I am also involved in a number of project teams, often acting as finance lead. This has led me to work on some really interesting projects including Mergers & Acquisitions and some large scale cost improvement initiatives – saving the business over $500,000 last financial year!
What's your background?
I grew up in Moonee Ponds, attending St. Bernard’s College in Essendon. Like most teenagers, I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to take, however knowing that the AFL dream was well and truly over meant the concept of entering a business course was pretty appealing!
Entering a business course that majored in Economics and Finance meant my options were pretty open and also included a year’s work experience with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, which proved invaluable when applying for a position with DuluxGroup.
Prior to starting with DuluxGroup, I spent a month in the United States and have set myself a goal to venture overseas annually since. This has been a critical tool I’ve used to ‘recharge the batteries’ as going from the laidback university lifestyle to full time work can be quite demanding – particularly on a psychological level.
Since commencing with DuluxGroup I’ve been fortunate enough to work across multiple departments and business units. I began my journey as a graduate in Corporate Finance, rotating through the various finance departments that service the business units of DuluxGroup. Since then, I have held the position of finance analyst for the Protective Coatings business to more recently the Cabot’s business, where I’ve been continually challenged and exposed to development opportunities along the way.
The words ‘growth’ and ‘development’ are used frequently in DuluxGroup, and for good reason. Whilst the business continues to grow and expand it’s footprint, so too does the investment in employee development, helping equip us employees with the tools we need in order to succeed.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach in finance. Whilst the overarching characteristics of embracing change, being results focussed and hard work apply to all in our team, background is of little importance. Whilst DuluxGroup employees are diverse in backgrounds and skill sets alike, a defining feature of our success is a strong sense of culture – this is a non-negotiable.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
Unlike most accountants in a similar stage of their career to myself, I’m constantly encouraged by my line manager to take time AWAY from the office. Whether it be spending a day with a sales rep, visiting our manufacturing plant or touring the R&D facility to experience how our products are made, I’m constantly encouraged to experience the business from it’s coal face and learn what makes the business tick. This helps build on my knowledge to excel in my every day role.
What are the limitations of your job?
Working as a financial analyst, often there are times of the year that require a high volume of work within a short time period of time (year-end, budgets, strategy, etc.). This can lead to working some extra hours to ensure everything is completed on time. Whilst this can lead to some heightened stress levels throughout these time periods, often when my workload returns to normality my line manager will take an active role in regaining work/life balance.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
- Continually challenge the status quo – Regardless of what stage of your career you’re in, it’s important to constantly look at innovative ways to work and add value.
- Don’t waste your energy focussing on that job you missed out on or subject you underperformed in. Instead, learn from it and redirect your focus to more productive, value-add activities.
- Life can be pretty unpredictable at times – Open yourself up to embrace the unknown and get comfortable with the uncomfortable!