Graduation Year: 2008 (Finance 4)
Associate at L1 Energy in the UK
LinkedIn Profile : here
Could you update us on your latest professional developments?
After graduating from ALBA I took a role as the financial controller in a successful family run Hotel Group in Rhodes Island - where I grew up. I worked for approximately two and a half years when I decided to move overseas to Australia with the intention to work in the financial services industry. During my time overseas I have worked for the investment bank arm of Royal Bank of Scotland in Brisbane (Australia) before relocating in Corporate Finance at Ernst & Young where I am currently employed. I have been with Ernst & Young for 2 years now and have gained considerable transaction knowledge and experience in a range of industries.
One of my key developments professionally has been the opportunity to work on projects involving blue chip clients with global operations across Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States. It has been such a steep learning curve to deal with businesses of such large scale operations which has with no doubt given me a wide range of skills and experiences to grow in the transaction world.
Further to this, while working full time for Ernst and Young I have been completing my CFA designation. I am currently studying towards the last cycle of the program.
How did ALBA help you in your career?
ALBA gave me the ability to realize my full potential. It gave me not only the technical and analytical skills to enter and compete in the world of finance, but also the confidence to embark on a career with endless boundaries. It was not only the quality in the curriculum but the superior quality of the tutors/alumni that made my experience highly valuable.
Share with us your fondest memory while studying at ALBA
My fondest memories academically were the challenging but exciting opportunities to work intensively with fellow students towards strict deadlines. The way the program at ALBA is structured is a reflection of how most multinationals operate. Collaboration and teaming is vital to succeed and at ALBA there is much emphasis on building your own personal brand and broadening your network. I strongly feel that the relationships built will last through time and definitely will be beneficial throughout my careers and my need to network on a professional level.
You left Greece for Australia when the job market was still strong. What made you decide to go ‘down under’ at time when very few grads left Greece? What advice would you share with fellow alums who are currently looking to leave the country due to the crisis?
Although I had a fairly secure and stable job back in Greece I always yearned and wanted to test myself and capabilities overseas. At a time when greater Europe was showing signs of instability and for other personal reasons, I chose to relocate to Australia as a place to attempt to further my career. To date my career has been progressing very well and within 18 months I have managed to see myself being promoted three times, despite the ongoing Global Economic Recession. Australia has not been immune to global economic uncertainty and in my time in Australia, due to turbulent markets, I have witnessed several rounds of redundancies in the workplace where surprisingly the first determinant has been the cost and secondly the performance.
Numerous times since I moved overseas I have been told by friends and colleagues that I perfectly timed my exit. The motivation for “relocating” has mostly been my curiosity to explore different areas of the industry I chose to aspire, challenge my ability to perform in an Anglo-Saxon environment and to gain experience in a more structured corporate environment. So far Australia has given me exposure to the resources and energy sector and to large scale public and private infrastructure projects.
My advice to other graduates would be that while deciding to move overseas for a career is sometimes easy to say, it has its challenges too. Things will not be easy for numerous reasons, such as no one guarantees that you will find the opportunity you are looking for, there is extreme competition while looking for a job and while employed that sometimes can be very dreadful for the morale.
The most important thing to remember is to make the most of your opportunity and never forget home. You need to be aware that numerous times when being overseas creates feeling of nostalgia for home, friends and family which needs a lot of courage and willingness to overcome and keep the journey happening.