Inquisitive Interviews : Simmy Mathew – Auditor

Hi all we are back this week again with Inquisitive Interviews, yes it’s not been on for a couple of weeks, and I am to blame completely. However, this week we are back with something inquisitive for you guys to look at. The profile that we will cover today is that of an Auditor. Yes Auditors, the very same people that can give a shiver to many. If at all you wondered what they do and why people seem to be scared of them, well here are probably some answers.

For the uninitiated, Inquisitive Interviews, the feature was born out of the requests by some of the students who read this blog, requesting information regarding careers. And with a view to help them make a better choice, I have started to feature various careers from different people, starting with people I know and hoping to slowly reach many different people. The Inquisitive Interviews feature would not only help the students reading the interview but also the interviewees providing them with some Online PR of sorts, the benefits of which I mentioned in another post earlier.

 

[Q] Tell Us something about yourself (Things like Name, how many years you have been working and anything else you would like to add.)

 I am known as ‘Simmy Mathew’.

Lived in Dubai for the last 14 years and counting….

Work has been part of my life since the last 7 years.

[Q] What do you Do for a living and Where?

I work as an auditor for Ernst and Young, Dubai

[Q] Is the job what you had expected it to be?

Yes, and maybe a little more…I always wanted to be an auditor and I still remember when I was 16, telling my aunt that I wanted to be an auditor and work in the Big4.So, yes! I am living my dream! 😀

[Q] Is the salary what you had expected it to be?

Yes, I started off at the junior level and it was what I expected.

[Q] What is your average day like?

Well, being an auditor means you are never in office but at the clients – auditing their books.  So an average day is working in a team and trying to achieve deadlines. It varies – depending on the industry you are working in, the size of the entity you are auditing…They are times that I am at a client for months and they are times I am at the client for one-two weeks…. and no two days are the same.

 I work with different sets of people , which is a challenge in itself .

[Q] What’s the most interesting part of your job?

The exposure that I get is high and the learning curve is great. ..But I think the most interesting part of the job is multitasking – applying what you learned in different types of industry and getting your work done, supervising your junior staff work, being proactive and planning ahead.

[Q] What’s the most challenging part of your job?

People ….i guess in a country like UAE – you meet different types of people  – different upbringing, different cultures, different nationalities….so working with them…can be a challenge but I love challenges and embrace  them with open arms.

[Q] What’s the part of the job that you don’t like?

Actually nothing……Sometimes it can get monotonous hence maintaining a right mix of work is important.

[Q] Do you get bored at your workplace at all?

I have to say I don’t have time to get bored……so the answer to that would be no!

[Q] Do you report to someone? How much of an impact the person you report to has on your job?

Yes, I do but that varies…it could be a senior/asst manager/ manager.  Basically they are there to review your work and sort out any issues you have while auditing .

[Q] Do you use all the skills that you learnt in school / college? or where did you pick up the skills ?

well, I have to say what I studied in college as my degree was a bachelors in accounting and Finance definitely helped….Also. ACCA had been an added plus point on the growth path.

 Also, at Ernst & young, if you join as a graduate – they have the graduate development program which ensures you are up-to-date with the Ernst & Young methodology and the latest developments in the accounting world. So there are enough training to develop your career at Ernst & Young.

[Q] What are your Alumni? Where did you study?

School              : Our Own English High School, Dubai

University         : Middlesex University, Dubai campus

Currently pursuing my ACCA

[Q] Would you advice younger people to join in your industry?

Yes, I would. But it requires a little effort and being able to manage a lot of work in time pressure situations.

[Q] What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the industry?

Plan ahead. I f you are an university student and want to try a career, decide where you want to get in and plan how you are going to go about it. Have a roadmap to where  you want to go …and that will help you plan your direction.

[Q] Anything else you want to tell the readers?

Love what you do…no matter what industry you are …then work is all fun…otherwise all work and no play will definitely make Jack a dull boy! 😀

[Q] Any online resources you recommend for people taking up this profession?

ACCA website : http://www.accaglobal.com/ 

IAS plus : http://www.iasplus.com/

You can get in touch with Simmy on Facebook at here profile here: http://www.facebook.com/simmy.mathew

If at all you wondered what Auditors do, I hope this would have given you a better idea. Thank you Simmy for an insight into the world of the Auditors, hope you guys the readers are more aware of the work of Auditors. Until next time, Be Inquisitive.

Inquisitive Interviews : Adithya Suvarna – Advertising

Inquisitive Interviews, the feature was born out of the requests by some of the students who read this blog, requesting information regarding careers. And with a view to help them make a better choice, I have started to feature various careers from different people, starting with people I know and hoping to slowly reach many different people. The Inquisitive Interviews feature would not only help the students reading the interview but also the interviewee providing them with some Online PR of sorts, the benefits of which I mentioned in another post earlier.

[ Q ] Tell us something about yourself ?

My name is Adhitya Suvarna.  I have been working for over 10 years in the mass communications field, namely TV, Online News, Corporate Documentary Film making and Advertising.

[ Q ] What do you Do for a living and Where ?

I live in Dubai and work in a mid-level advertising agency.

[ Q ] Is your job what you expected it to be ?

Yes and no. Yes in terms of the industry I wanted to be in (media) and no in terms of seniority and responsibility that I currently have. Yes in terms of a wonderful office environment with lots of freedom and comfortable working relationships built over the last 5 years. No in terms of almost reaching a point of stagnation and the dreaded blank wall.

[ Q ] Is your salary what you expected it to be ?

The honest answer is no. But that would be a blinkered vision. I did not get a good start in terms of salary since passing out of my masters programme. I never fought for ensuring i get paid for what I am worth. Now, I earn a decent income but it could have been really comfortable if in the initial years of my career, I had stood my ground and been a little more informed.

[ Q ] What is your average day like ?

Office begins with checking emails that my client would have sent the previous evening as I leave office earlier than they do. Then briefing the creative department for new jobs or designs that the client wanted. I also follow up with artworkers in the studio for jobs undergoing minor revisions and sending the same to the client.  Meanwhile, client’s call up to check on jobs status, discuss new jobs or request media plans or rates and other sundry items. I also sit with my junior to discuss jobs that I have handed over to him to do.

[ Q ] What’s the most interesting part of your job ?

Thinking of new and innovative ways to communicate the same message in a new way to the audience. Also, no day is the same as the other as the adverts, the communications differ each day.

[ Q ] What’s the most challenging part of your job ?

Trying to understand what the client  actually means in their vague emails or telephone conversations. Also to try and coordinate with suppliers to meet with the really tough deadlines for delivery of jobs for the clients.

[ Q ] What’s the part of the job that you don’t like ?

When after days and months of us doing a lot of work to create something, it is dismissed in one email by the client as not required.

[ Q ] Do you get bored at your workplace at all ?

Yes and it is normal for when you are bored, the really rush days look very interesting and exiting.

[ Q ] Do you report to someone ? How much of an impact the person you report to has on your job ?

I report to my Senior Account Director and the Managing Director. Both have direct and tremendous impact on my job since the amount of freedom and trust they place on me helps me do my job better and more professionally.

[ Q ] Do you use all the skills that you learnt in school / college ? or where did you pick up the skills ?

I use some of the skills I picked up in my masters programme. The rest of the skills have been on the job. I did not pick up anything in my college or school that is has helped or is helping in my career in any point of time.

[ Q ] What’s your Alumni ? Where have you studied ?

Schooling                     : Bangalore, Panjim, Cuttack, Patna and Kolkatta

Pre University               : R S Krishnan, Trichy

Bachelor’s Degree        : Canara College

Master’s Degree           :  Manipal Institute of Communication

[ Q ] Would you advice younger people to join in your industry ?

Absolutely. There is no better reward than promoting a brand and making sure people know about it and in the right way. It is also a great field for learning a lot about every other industry without actually having to be in that field.

[ Q ] What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the industry ?

My advice to the young crowd is to join when you are young and not wait for a masters degree. Get the hang of the advertising world and after a couple of years, you will be ready to know whether you want to stick around or continue and if the latter, then you will also know exactly which masters programme to do. This industry requires a lot of passion for what you do, whether creative or servicing clients. The rewards come only after a couple of years, so don’t expect to be greatly rewarded on joining. Also, when joining an ad world, try and join a very reputed one, preferably the top 20 agencies that have tied up in your home country. Make sure when you join, you are working for a known brand. That helps lay the foundation, so even after a few years you get an unknown brand, you will be in a position to take charge and give the best to make that brand know.

[ Q ] Anything else you want to tell the readers ?

Always remember to try and chart where you want to be in 10 years time. It is difficult, but a vague idea really helps. In the first few years of your career, don’t stick to a job that does not make you happy doing it or if it is underpaying you. Once you have a few years as a work experience, then try and stick on in jobs for at least a couple of years before leaving as the older you get the more stable your CV should look. Employers won;t look at CV’s that look like you have been hopping more than a rabbit.

[ Q ] Any online resources you recommend for people taking up this profession ?

www.adsoftheworld.com

www.ihaveanidea.org

www.adage.com

You can get in touch with Adithya at the link below :

On LinkedIn    : http://ae.linkedin.com/pub/adhitya-suvarna/7/87/9a4

On Twitter        : www.twitter.com/adkutz

As always I would like to thank Adithya for some very good advice and some interesting insight into the career of Advertising. So next time you have an innovative idea to implement you might want to run it through someone like Adithya just to make sure its not been over used. For the time being this is Adithya and Me signing off, and as always Be Inquisitive.

Inquisitive Interviews : Jason Prince – Marketing Engineer

As mentioned in a post earlier about Inquisitive Interviews, this blog is attempting to provide some real helpful information to students and professionals alike. Once a week this blog will feature an Inquisitive Interview of a professional from daily life, from really varied professional backgrounds. No part of this interview has been edited or modified in any way.

I kick start this series with one of the best Marketing guys that I personally know, being part of the events initiative we started, Jason has been an important person within Inquisitive Events. I would request you to add in your best wishes and comments for Jason below.

[ Q ] Tell us something about yourself ?

Name is Prince. Jason Prince.

Born and raised in Dubai, went to Canada, came back with a degree in electrical engineering, got a job 3 months later. Started my MBA program parallely with work.  Been in construction industry for 7 years now & loving it.

[ Q ] What do you Do for a living and Where ?

At the moment, I am a Marketing Manager for a company called InoSafe Lighting Solutions based in Dubai.

[ Q ] Is the job what you had pictured it to be ?

It is my 3rd job in 7 years and it is closest to the picture I had in mind!

[ Q ] Is your salary what you expected it to be ?

It was. But i was surprised to know that there are many other industries that pay much better, for example, media industry.

[ Q ] What is your average day like ?

That is the best part of being a Marketing Engineer, every day is different. If there is a huge project, like an airport; we take a week to design it as perfect as possible, 3 days to make a good presentation out of it and another 3 days to present it the client. If it is a smaller project, one day is good for each one of these activities.

On off peak times like summer holidays and Ramadan, mornings are usually set for meetings and after lunch for paperwork.

[ Q ] What’s the most interesting part of your job ?

Meeting people. Usually, the relationship that forms is lifelong and it is interesting to see how each relationships takes form.

[ Q ] What’s the most challenging part of your job ?

Deadlines usually. Sometimes, these deadlines can get impractical. And the frustrating part of it is that the deadlines becomes tight when someone along the “work-chain” didn’t complete their work on time.

[ Q ] What’s the part of the job that you don’t like ?

Sometimes, the people who take decisions take advantage of their position. Dealing with these people are never fun or challenging.

[ Q ] Do you get bored at your workplace at all ?

Sometimes. But that is good. It gives a chance to change things. Every company appreciates a positive change. If you can suggest it to improve the company’s turnover and your role in the company, grab it.

[ Q ] Do you report to someone ? How much of an impact the person you report to has on your job ?

Yes, I do report to my manager. And the manager can have a huge impact on the work that you do. As a fresher, I believe it doesn’t really matter who your boss is. If he has good qualities, adopt it. If he has bad qualities, add it to the list of things-not-to-do-if-I-ever-become-a-boss. It is all part of learning.

If you are going to look for a job at senior level, then it is important to check the chemistry you have with your manager because firstly, you tend to get a lot crankier by now & it is hard to gel with anybody like before & secondly, he could really have an effect on your growth up the ladder.

[ Q ] What would you say are the growth aspects in this Industry are like ?

Initial growth is slow. But once you gain like 10 years of experience, you are king! You can command whatever you want with respect! But of course, it is hard to generalize. It differs from industry to industry.

[ Q ] Do you use all the skills that you learnt in school / college ? or where did you pick up the skills ?

70-80% of the skills are the ones you picked up at the job itself. But the remaining 30% is crucial too. The person and the habits that you have picked up reflects on your work. For example, there are some people always looking for shortcuts. This stems up from the fact that they were always looking for shortcuts while studying. While there are others who were always looking for the whys and how’s and they have more research type attitude. Mind you, they are both good and required. You just have to pick a job profile that best fits.

[ Q ] What’s your Alumni ? Where have you studied ?

Schooling                     : Our Own English High School, Dubai

Pre University               : Tandem Institute of Engineering, India

Bachelor’s Degree        : University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Master’s Degree           : University of Southern Queensland, Australia (campus in Dubai)

[ Q ] Would you advice younger people to join in your industry ?

Construction industry is not the best option right now in Dubai right now. You might not get the salary that will best match your expectations. If the company is concentrating on growing third world countries, it could be an exciting opportunity.

[ Q ] What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the industry ?

Like I said, it is not the best time and it might take a while to establish. Patience & luck goes a long way!

[ Q ] Anything else you want to tell the readers ?

Keep a hobby. And actively pursue it as you grow at work. It will help.

[ Q ] Any online resources you recommend for people taking up this profession ?

Nope, you learn everything at work. Some companies invest in personality development programs. Those are great!

You can get in touch with Jason here :

On Facebook    : http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691991915
On Linked In    : –
On Twitter        : –

Thank you Jason, the readers would really appreciate your insights.

Inquisitive Interviews cos Google is your next Interview

Google has been the cornerstone of the Internet’s expansion for some time now, I know there would be a few readers that would disagree with me on a more technical level, however Google did to the Internet what windows did to the desktop PC. Gave it a shape and a voice. Today we cannot really think of a life without Google. We use the search for everything, even the term Google It is now in the dictionary as a synonym of search. One of the industries that really did well with the explosion of the internet was the Job Search industry, going from newspaper ads locally right to the internet job search sites like Monster.com to now the very popular Linked In. Most people use the common routes of the internet for job search, i.e. search for a job on a job site, send in your CV and wait for a response. However there are more innovative ones among us that are using the Internet resources differently for job search, more on that later. The tried and tested route is great for beginner jobs and for intermediate jobs. However a you grow up the ladder this method starts to fall short. Main because head hunters look for people in higher places, as well as referrals and contacts take over.

Through all of this, one thing is emerging as a major trend in the Job Search / Hunt industry. Google. Most people these days are Googling potential candidates to search for information like credibility, recommendations etc. Linked in is one of the most popular of these sources that shows up, on a close second would be Facebook and Twitter. It would be logical considering that these sites are as big as they are, Linked in with over 100 Million users and Facebook with a staggering 500 million users. Googling a person can bring about the information about a person that he may or may not be particularly proud of. Like that drunk party you were at, or someone blogging about your inefficiency etc.

Based on this it becomes imperative that you really go out there and start Ego Googling once every few months, just to make sure that the information about you is current and relevant and in fact you are Googlable. What do I mean by that ? well for starters make it easier for people to find you on Google, make sure that there is good information about you and not too much dirt. Once this process is done you will see that a person looking for your information might be able to find, that you are indeed an achiever as well as have some evidence to back it up.

The entire process above is called Personal Branding. What it means though is that you are working to promote yourself similarly as a brand would do. I am working on something similar for myself, if you Google Melvin Pereira, you would see that most results are between a namesake and of course me. The namesake is a renowned photographer of Jet Planes and has been quoted over the internet a lot. Which makes him easier to search than for example me. But I have an advantage, this blog. Having a domain name with my name and a blog has ensured that I am searchable, and findable. My thoughts and knowledge base is this blog itself. I know a lot of you are thinking is this really relevant to me ? Well for starters you don’t always need a blog to be findable on Google, you only need to compete with all your name sakes in order to reach the first page and the top results there. Here are some steps that might help in the process :

  1. Google Yourself regularly : What does come of that exercise is you can see how far off from the first page are you. Only when you know how far back you are, can you know how much work is required to put you to the front pages.
  2. Online Participation : Participate in websites where interaction would lead to increased visibility. Read and comment on blogs that are related to your line of work, try to help others out online, e.g. educational forums where college students ask for answers. Etc.
  3. Linked In : Have a great Linked In profile. Filling in all the sections as well as providing as such relevant work related information as possible. Considering that Linked In profile would be one of the first pages that show up for your name, the more information it does have the better the impact it would have.
  4. Repeat Step 1 every few months, or every month initially.

In the process, I will also be able to help. On this blog I am starting a section called Inquisitive Interviews, a series of Interviews that are well, Inquisitive to start off with. I was being asked the question by some college students on if there line of work is correct and what are the growth prospects, although I am not qualified nor experienced enough I thought that by providing them with information related to how people work ? What did they study to get there etc, it might help to make some good decisions regarding their career. Complimenting this, it would also provide some visibility for the person in the interview on Google, as my Blog is now quite frequently visited by Google.

There are many different ways through which you can be famous online, by putting up really stupid pictures of yourself (which might not be the best for your career) also by helping people, and getting recognized for it. For the benefit of a lot of my readers, I hope Inquisitive Interviews will provide some value too, making the interviewee Googlable and help them advance in their career. If you want to get featured in Inquisitive Interviews get in touch with me at me[at]melvinpereira.com. Additionally I would request you to share this section with more students in the hope that it will be helpful to them