Daniel Lindsay CPA may only be at the beginning of his career, but he is already on the path to becoming a successful leader.
Studying for a career in the banking sector
The 24-year-old has been working in New Zealand’s banking sector for four years and says his passion for the industry started while studying an Economics, Finance and Psychology degree at Victoria University in Wellington.
“I really like the idea of working in a bank more than anything. It’s quite a cool industry to be in and you get to be involved in a lot of other industries,” Daniel says.
Graduate roles in the banking industry
After completing his studies, Daniel applied for the Graduate Program at the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) in Auckland, which is one of the country’s largest banks.
He believes one of the reasons why he was offered a position was because he was able to differentiate himself from the other candidates.
“You get so many people who graduate with accounting or commerce degrees, so my psychology studies really helped set me apart from everyone else. It was a big talking point in the interview.”
Since finishing the Program, Daniel has moved his way through various positions at BNZ and is now a Senior Analyst in the office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
He says while it is challenging to work directly for the CFO, it is a position that he is learning a great deal from.
“It’s really rewarding because I can influence important people in the business through the information that I provide them and how I communicate it.”
CPA Australia helps you reach senior roles faster
Daniel believes studying the CPA Program and being awarded the CPA designation in 2014 have helped him to reach a senior role in a short amount of time.
“As I took on different positions at BNZ, things kept popping up that I was familiar with because I had learnt them through the CPA Program. It has given me a big advantage.”
Volunteer work giving new prospective
Besides working at BNZ, Daniel also volunteers at ESOL, an organisation that offers free English lessons for people who have arrived in New Zealand from non-English speaking countries.
Daniel is currently working with a couple from Iran, and he is learning just as much from them in the process.
“I spend an hour or two with them once a week. I really enjoy it because I get exposure to other cultures and it gives me an appreciation for the basic things that we are fortunate to have in New Zealand.”
Over the next few years, Daniel plans to focus on improving his soft skills, which he hopes will help him to become a successful leader.
“After a few years at BNZ and finishing the CPA Program I feel okay with my technical skills. I really want to develop my leadership capabilities going forward.”
Daniel is now planning on extending his experience by working in the UK.
Tips for graduates applying for their first job:
- Don’t be too set on working in a specific industry
- Even if you get rejected, don’t stop applying for jobs
- Differentiate yourself by learning new skills