Hi, I’m Gary and I’m from Hong Kong. I had the privilege of studying at the University of York from 2006 to 2009, where I pursued a degree in Economics. With its incredible careers service and inspirational teaching, York helped me map out my future and ultimately launch my career.
Invaluable careers service
The Economics course at York really helped me find what I’m passionate about. This plus the University’s careers service were invaluable in guiding my career path.
The dedicated careers advisors provided personalised guidance. This helped me explore various career options within the field of economics and provided valuable insights into the industry. They organised career fairs, networking events, and employer presentations, which allowed me to connect with professionals and gain exposure to potential job opportunities.
The University’s careers resources were also instrumental in my career development. CV writing workshops and interview preparation sessions helped me refine my job application materials and develop strong interview skills. The careers support team helped me tailor my CV to the requirements of employers in the accounting and finance sector. This support helped me present my skills and experiences effectively, increasing my chances of securing internships and job offers. Not only that, the University’s online job portal provided a centralised platform where I could explore internship and graduate job opportunities. The portal featured postings from reputable companies, making it easier for me to identify and apply for relevant positions.
My journey so far
After graduating, I embarked on an exciting career path in accounting and finance. I recognised the field could combine my passion for numbers and analytical thinking with real-world applications. I soon secured a position at a prestigious Big Four accountancy firm which was the start of my professional journey.
Working at a Big Four firm provided me with invaluable exposure to a wide range of industries and clients. I had the opportunity to work on complex audit and advisory engagements. I conducted financial analysis, ensuring regulatory compliance, and providing strategic financial recommendations. The experience allowed me to sharpen my technical accounting skills, gain a deep understanding of financial reporting standards, and develop a keen eye for detail.
As I honed my expertise and built a strong foundation, I sought new challenges and opportunities to broaden my skill set. This led me to transition into the role of Finance Manager at an international law firm. In this capacity, I am responsible for overseeing financial operations, managing budgets, and providing strategic financial guidance to support the firm’s growth and profitability.
My proudest moment
One notable highlight in my career was my involvement in reviewing and overseeing a Hong Kong-listed client that issued a substantial US$300 million senior note. Successfully executing the issuance not only provided the client with crucial funding for their expansion plans, but also showcased my ability to manage complex financial transactions and collaborate effectively with stakeholders.
Advice for current students
The job market can be daunting, but don’t be afraid. Based on my own experiences, here are my top tips:
- Make use of the careers support services at York
- Develop a strong foundation in your subject
- Network and build relationships within the industry
- Commit to lifelong learning and stay updated on industry changes
The careers support services at the University of York were instrumental in shaping my career path. The guidance provided by the careers advisors, along with the workshops and resources, helped me explore career options, refine my application materials, and connect with professionals in the industry. These support services, combined with the knowledge and skills I gained from my economics degree, have been pivotal in my career journey in accounting and finance.