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Senior Associate - Risk Consulting at PwC
Rosie Rhyder studied Bachelor of Information Technology at Swinburne University of Technology.
What's your name?
Elisabeth Rhyder – I go by Rosie.
What’s your job title?
Senior associate, Risk Consulting, PwC.
What did you study? When did you graduate?
I completed a Bachelor of Information Technology at Swinburne in 2016.
Where did you grow up? Tell us about your education and any experience abroad or previous employment you have held.
I grew up in suburban Melbourne and was home educated by my parents right throughout the school years. When I was 15 I started working part-time at a local pharmacy and completed a Certificate III in Community Pharmacy as well as becoming a dispensary technician. Several years after completing my home education I decided to apply for university as a mature-age student and sat the STAT entrance exam. I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do, so started with a general Bachelor of Information and Communications Technology degree. One semester into university I was offered a place in the Bachelor of Information Technology scholarship program, which was industry-sponsored and involved combining study with two six-month placements. It was full-on, and I loved it!
My first placement was at PwC, in the Fraud and Forensics team and I discovered my skills aligned well with the work. I enjoy problem-solving, using my attention to detail to identify potential fraud, developing a deep understanding of client data and presenting our findings in a meaningful way with business intelligence.
I enjoyed travelling overseas before and during my degree; one highlight being a social impact study tour to India with fellow students. We got to provide hands-on IT support to small regional schools and showcase technology to the students. I learnt a lot about the culture from staying in small communities and travelling beyond the usual tourist spots.
How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?
I started with PwC in 2015, completing a six-month work-integrated learning placement. I returned to PwC in 2017, joining the same team as a graduate, after completing my degree. Two years in and I’m a senior associate, enjoying the development opportunities, team culture and mentoring others.
How did you choose your specialisation? Were you weighing up any other alternatives before choosing this specialisation?
When I was considering university, I had no idea what I wanted to study. I knew from being self-taught that I enjoyed programming and anything technology related, but I thought this was just a hobby; I didn’t realise I could make a career of it and I didn’t have any female role models to look up to. IT was my second preference when I applied, but thankfully that’s where my offer came in and I haven’t looked back since.
What was your interview process like? What kind of questions were you asked?
I got to know my team really well during my six-month university placement. It was great to start as a graduate within a team who already knew me and who understood my skills and capability.
What does your employer do?
In Risk Consulting, we do a variety of work. I predominantly use data analytics to inform investigations, identify anomalies and facilitate program management.
Can you describe a typical workday? What was the last thing you worked on?
Recently my days have involved Structured Query Language (SQL) scripting, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) editing and debugging, Tableau dashboard development, test results analysis, mentoring new joiners and creating workflow tools to effectively manage a team of 20+ people working together.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Your background sets the foundation, but you learn so much on the job. I’d encourage anyone with the motivation to learn, to apply. As long as you have the right attitude and a willingness to grow, you can do it!
What do you love the most about your job? Which kind of task do you enjoy the most?
I really enjoy working through a problem, either individually or with my colleagues. There is nothing more satisfying than coming up with a creative solution and then being able to execute it effectively. For me, these are most often code-related tasks, eg coding a feature in a workflow tool that saves other people time in their work.
What’s the biggest limitation of your job? Do you bear a lot of responsibility? Do you have to work on weekends? Are stress levels high?
PwC trusts its people and this is prevalent in the teams I’ve worked with. My team trusts me to get the work done. Sometimes this means longer hours, but they are flexible and allow me to meet personal needs too. When the workload piles up, there is always support. I never feel as if I am on my own.
Which two pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?
- Take initiative! Get involved, speak up, show up, do your research and have something meaningful to share.
- Have fun! Get to know your fellow students – they really can help you develop your professional network as you go out into the workforce. It’s also so much more fun to go through university with friends, not just acquaintances.