Ryan Perera

Ryan Perera

Monash University
Ryan studied Bachelor of Business (Accounting)/Bachelor of Business (Banking & Finance) at Monash University

What's your job about?

I am a graduate accountant working for Grant Thornton Australia Ltd. I work in Restructuring Advisory which is a sub-division of Financial Advisory. Restructuring Advisory primarily consists of insolvency work. In a nutshell, I work with businesses who find themselves insolvent (i.e. they are unable to pay their debts when they fall due). Working in insolvency allows me to work in all manner of industries and the work is interesting and varied. On any given day, I interact with people from all walks of life, from a café shop owner right through to bankers, lawyers and high profile celebrities. I also had the opportunity to assist in running a real business placed into administration. So, as a graduate, I am tasked with making real-time business decisions and providing solutions to many of the dilemmas which arise on a daily basis. In my role I am also tasked with undergoing thorough investigations into the affairs of businesses who find themselves insolvent. This allows me to become familiar with the ins and outs of the business, and in some scenarios, assist the business to trade itself out of trouble.

What's your background?

I was born in Melbourne and grew up in the south-eastern suburbs for the majority of my life (although I did live in the United States for three years). I am from a family of four and have a great relationship with both my sister and my parents. I am lucky to have travelled regulary with my family when  I was younger. This is how I got the travel bug and I love to explore the world. So far I have enjoyed travelling around North America, Europe and South-East Asia. I would like to travel throughout South America and Africa – I just can’t decide what to do first!

My journey with Grant Thornton Australia Ltd started in my penultimate year at university. I was a vacationer in the Financial Advisory division. After the vacation program, I was offered a graduate position at Grant Thornton in Restructuring Advisory, a subdivision of Financial Advisory.  I am currently a part of the Graduate Program, having worked at GT for approximately a year.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

Working in insolvency! There may be a big job where the company has been placed into administration and they continue to trade on the business whilst working out the best strategy for the company (i.e. whether they're better off going into liquidation, or a deed of company arrangement). I would be a part of the decision-making process, making real-time business decisions and providing business solutions for dilemmas which occur on a daily basis. I would be able to gain insight into all aspects of the business and interact with a diverse number of people which can be a great learning experience.

What are the limitations of your job?

In insolvency, I deal with emotionally charged situations (terminating employees, dealing with angry suppliers/customers, closure of businesses). It is inevitable that circumstances will arise where people are being made redundant, which is the worst part of my job. Some strories can be quite upsetting and although I’m not the one who has put them in that situation, employees may vent their frustrations to  me. This can be challenging, I have to be empathetic and understanding in order to do what I can to assist them through the whole process.

Pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

I would encourage everyone to be more active in university and attend the events which happen throughout the year, whether it be a camp organised by one of the societies or an after-exam party. University is such an exciting time where you find yourself with free time and minimal responsibility. Take the opportunity to go on exchange or travel the world – once you start full-time work, you will miss all the free time you used to have. Time becomes a commodity once you commence full-time work.