Achieving my ambitions - my journey from WBS to Dubai

05 August 2019

BSc Accounting & Finance Alumna Kiran reflects on her experience at WBS and how the WBS CareersPlus team supported her to kick-start her career at PwC in the Middle East.

I am part of the Warwick Business School (WBS) class of 2016, and I graduated with a BSc in Accounting & Finance. I currently work as a Senior Associate within the financial services assurance practice of PwC Middle East, based in Dubai. When I was researching various universities and business schools in the UK for my undergraduate degree, I was looking for a university that was ranked at the top for my preferred course in Accounting and Finance. I also wanted to make sure there was a good choice of extra-curricular activities and societies that I could get involved in, and WBS was the right fit.

As part of the Indian higher education system (CBSE), we were required to select our preferred education stream in high school. I selected commerce and business studies as I wanted to become a chartered accountant. In order to align my career goals with professional qualification requirements, I found that the modules included within the Accounting and Finance course at WBS provided the perfect match. Furthermore, I had heard lots of good feedback from previous students who had graduated from the BSc Accounting & Finance course at WBS, which influenced my decision in choosing where to study. 

Growing up, I always looked up to my Dad who is a chartered accountant, and he inspired me to become one too. My experience at WBS as well as various internship opportunities throughout my undergraduate degree, helped me reach where I am today. During my final year at university, I applied for a graduate role at PwC Middle East, Dubai. The process included an initial application, a round of psychometric tests, a HR interview, an assessment centre which took place in PwC Birmingham, and finally an interview with a business leader. The application process was not easy, especially whilst I was in my final year with the pressure of my upcoming exams. I remember booking an appointment with the WBS CareersPlus team, and feeling completely unsure about the job application process. The team advised me to draw an outline of my career path leading to my end goal, and helped me to understand each stage of the process clearly. Thanks to the career support at WBS, I was able to practice my interview techniques by participating in mock interviews and mock assessment centres, which made a huge difference when it came to the real thing.

Working as an external auditor within the financial services business unit, my clients range from multinational banks to financial institutions. Audit is largely based on accounting modules like financial reporting, financial accounting and financial management. I chose to pursue a career in the Middle East because I was raised in the Gulf, I was born in Kuwait and brought up in Bahrain. After living away from home, I wanted to work somewhere within the Middle East region, and Dubai provided me with that opportunity.

I have really enjoyed my experience at PwC Middle East so far, both within assurance and outside of audit. Recently, I worked on a project called ‘Tomorrow, Today’ that aimed to drive the digital upskilling of the entire PwC staff in the region which gave me a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and skill set. Beyond audit life, I like getting involved in lots of extra-curricular activities. I have been involved with the #Iamremarkable campaign, which is an initiative by Google to help women and other underrepresented groups promote themselves in the workplace and beyond. I enrolled to become a facilitator, and delivered my first session last month. For anyone who wants to work within assurance practice, I would say that external audit provides the ideal opportunity to gain exposure to various industries, and a variety of clientele from all over the world. PwC takes great pride in its global network, and encourages diversity in the workplace. I am very glad that I have chosen this career path, and I am proud of the company that I work for.

Feeling inspired by Kiran’s story? Find out more about the degree Kiran studied, BSc Accounting & Finance.

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