Tell us about your career path. Why treasury?
My choice of the finance field was determined by DNA: my aunts and grandfather held accounting and financial roles. In addition, I have a strong background in mathematics which helped determined my choice.
I got my Bachelor’s degree with honours in Business Administration and Accounting in Kazakhstan, at an international university which was established when the country gained independence. I had a great opportunity to be educated to an internationally recognised level and to work with some of the best professors from around the globe. I managed to graduate earlier than the normal curriculum and was eager to apply what I had learnt in practice.
After careful consideration of the big four auditing firms, I chose to start work at Ernst & Young, whose clientele covered the majority of major oil and gas firms in the country. I was involved in complex auditing and IPO projects. Those two years at Ernst & Young set an important foundation for my professional and personal development.
During my third year there, I took academic leave to pursue my Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Upon my return, I made a conscious choice to move from auditing to corporate finance in the oil and gas industry.
Having held different roles in project finance and management in the oil and gas industry in Kazakhstan, I decided to take the next step – a change of industry and country. I moved from Kazakhstan to the Netherlands and after a year and a half I was transferred to the Singapore office, where I’m currently covering the Southeast Asia controlling.
What is your next major objective?
My objective is to further expand my duties regionally. I believe it will boost my professional and personal development further.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given in your career so far?
When I was in audit, we had a golden rule – the 15-minute rule. When you face a challenge, think about it for 15 minutes. If you don’t find a solution within 15 minutes by yourself, then seek help. I apply that rule to my whole life now.
If there is one thing you could have done differently in your career path, what would that be?
I strongly believe that whatever happens in life is for the best. All the conscious choices we make will give us the necessary experience and develop particular skills that we might need at some point later in time. I once took on a role of project manager in an industrial automation project, which was quite a shift from my financial background, but developed vital skills that I am still utilising now. All the roles I’ve taken have helped develop me into a better business partner.
What is your motto in life?
If I can dream it, I can do it.