When did you decide to pursue a career in Audit?
I studied a degree in Business and Business Administration in the Netherlands which gave me a broad background in business but I really wanted to have some specific knowledge of finance and financial reporting. When I spoke to people for advice, a job in Audit seemed the natural progression and would provide me with some fantastic experience. I then moved to Lyons in France and studied a Masters degree in Audit and Financial Reporting.
Did you look at getting any work experience or internships?
Yes, whilst I was studying my Masters, I did two internal audit placements. The first was at accountancy and consultancy firm Mazars and then I worked at an IT company.
When you graduated last year, what type of job were you looking for?
I was looking for an auditing role in an international company. I was keen to travel and be able to use my languages – I speak Arabic, French and English.
What did you do next?
After getting my CV in order, I applied to a number of different recruitment agencies and jobsites including CareersinAudit.com who have links with a wide range of international recruitment agencies and help graduates find their first job in audit. The process happened fairly quickly and I was called up by recruitment agency Renaix regarding the job at Johnsons.
Did you mind having to relocate to Belgium?
Not at all, I was looking for a big change and I’m used to living in different countries. I lived in Morocco until I was 17, then lived and studied in the Netherlands for four years and moved to France for my Masters degree.
What tips do you have for graduates, particularly ones thinking of working abroad?
You need to be able to adapt quickly to your new environment. If like me your job involves lots of travelling, I probably am on the move 60% of the time, then you have to be prepared to keep up with the rest of your responsibilities at work. You need to be 100% focused on the job. At times be prepared to put your personal life on hold.
How have you settled in to your new job?
Really well. Johnson Controls had a re-location team who were a great help with the move. Also the team I work with have been really welcoming, everyone is quite young, between the ages of 23-33, and we all have a good relationship. Settling in has been easy. I feel very lucky. I couldn’t have found a better job and I’m getting tremendous experience.
To look for a new audit job, visit CareersinAudit.com, the leading job site for auditing vacancies.