Invest in yourself to build a big career

Leadership Track - Jeanette Siah

Jeanette Siah says taking advantage of leadership opportunities at university has given her the confidence to start building an impressive career at Keysight Technologies.

A future leader

While studying a Bachelor of Business and Commerce at Monash University’s Kuala Lumpur campus, the 24-year-old volunteered as Publicity Officer at the University's Accounting and Finance Club.

She says the experience not only helped to build her student network, it also highlighted what she needed to do if she wanted to become a future leader.

“I was able to hone my leadership skills and participate in interesting projects. One of my biggest highlights was organising a company trip to accounting firms Crowe Horwath and Symphony BPO Solutions,” says Jeanette.

“It was a great experience because everyone learnt a lot about the culture of those companies and what was expected of graduates.”

Building a strong foundation

Besides taking on a leadership role at university, Jeanette was offered a vacation trainee position in Audit and Assurance at accounting firm KPMG.

“It was a short internship but it did help me to understand auditing a lot better. It was very enlightening to see what auditors do, but in the end I had a bigger interest in corporate finance.”

Early management exposure 

Jeanette, who is a Business Process Analyst, has been at Keysight Technologies for just over two years and says one of the benefits of her current position is she gets to work directly with senior management.

“Because I report directly to the Finance Controller and the Finance Director, I get to see things from a management perspective. It helps me to understand why certain decisions are made, which in turn is an opportunity for me to learn about leadership and management.”

Confidence in the CPA Program

Jeanette says her biggest achievement to date was winning the Overall Best Graduate award and the Dean’s Honours List award at university. This was because she finished in the top two per cent of her class in the School of Business and Economics at University.

“It was unexpected because I never consciously tried to get this award. I just did my best along with my friends and we formed study groups and encouraged each other to do our best.”

Jeanette says her next big achievement will come when she completes the CPA Program, which is already having a positive impact on her career.

“The knowledge, foundation and practical experience required under the CPA Program has given me more confidence to do my job and the syllabus incorporates real world situations and at the same time it acknowledges the complexities that comes with making decisions.”

So what is next for Jeanette?

“In the medium term I would like to see myself advance to a managerial position and mentor team members. In the long term, I think it’s important to look at ways that I can give back to society.”

Jeanette Siah’s tips for students who want to build a big career:

  • Invest in yourself by taking time to upskill – the learning process should never stop
  • Stay positive – if a situation seems bad at first there is always something good that can be taken from it
  • Manage your time wisely because time is our most valuable resource

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