Andra Nastasa, 26, previously working as an Internal Auditor at ArcelorMittal, found her new job as 'Financial Auditor - Senior' at Sara Lee Corporation, Barcelona through CareersinAudit. Here she talks to us about how her audit career has panned out so far...
Tell us about your audit career to date?
After graduating from Dunarea de Jos University, Galati in 2004 I was contacted by the Human Resources department within Mittal Steel Galati for a job interview.
The company’s Internal Audit Team was looking for a graduate who could take on the position of ´Junior Internal Auditor´. I worked for Mittal Steel for three years from 2004 until 2007 and consider myself very lucky to have worked for an international company and one which has such a professional work environment. I gained some great experience and worked on a number of diverse process reviews and audits.
In 2005 I received my first assignment as a team leader for a sales process audit, conducted in one of Mittal´s subsidiaries in Romania. After some intense training I was prepared enough to manage the teams. The training, thanks to a very good HR management, was particularly useful in helping me identify and overcome my weaknesses as well as develop my strengths. As my former manager use to say, 'It’s much easier to reach where you want, as long as you know where you want to reach!'
What was the defining moment or best decision in your career so far?
Looking back, my first best decision was to accept ArcelorMittal´s offer to join the Internal Audit Team (instead of working as a bank officer).
The second best decision and also the hardest one, was to find another position that would provide me with more international exposure, financial audit assignments and experiences in new business areas.
What motivated you to change jobs?
There were certain changes in my personal life which meant I had to move to another country, which acted as a catalyst, with me taking the next step in my career. I needed more international exposure, financial audit assignments and experience in new business areas. And those were the criteria based on which I was searching for a new job.
How much will you be travelling in your new job?
Fortunately my role will involve around 60-70% travel during work. The fact that during my former role, I was also travelling helped me much in taking the decision.
From my previous experience, I know that it is pretty hard dealing with the work-life balance, mostly when you are not able return home for four to six weeks because of an assignment. That’s why the manner of travelling required in the job is very important. In my case (woman, less than 30, married, no kids), travelling for two-three weeks per months and spending all the weekends with the family it is perfectly manageable.
What tips would you give to jobseekers thinking of doing a high-travel job?
1. I believe it is very important for anyone looking for a high-travel job to be aware of the responsibilities involved.
2. If you are young and restless, go ahead !!! It will worth every second of your time! You’ll learn more that in any other job, you’ll have so many experiences in different situations. You will also discover that you have developed more than planned, or even expected.
3. If you have family responsibilities, make sure you have your family support and understanding.
4. If you are at the beginning or in the entry/middle level of your career you should not miss this type of job. You will gather experience much faster than in any other job and in the end you will see that you have saved a lot of time achieving your professional goals much earlier than expected.
Do you have any tips on how to manage the job hunting process for other jobseekers?
There are a few steps that everyone looking for a job should consider in the job hunting process:
1. Plan your career for the next one to three years.
2. Decide what kind of job you need to fulfil your career plan.
3. Prepare the resume emphasising the skills and the experience required for that type of job; skip any unnecessary or irrelevant information.
4. Search for the dedicated websites (there are sites specialised in recruiting qualified personnel from a specific profession) and apply online as it can be a lot quicker and you have a good range of jobs.
5. Keep an accurate e-mail correspondence with all recruiters contacting you.
6. Prepare carefully before a telephone interview; search information on the potential employer on the internet, specialised magazines or publications, as you’d better have an idea on the business, read the competency based interview patterns in order to forecast your potential employer questions. Decide what you want - most employers will try and find out your expectations during the telephone interview.
7. If you have done your homework carefully and have qualified for the next stage (a face to face interview), go through the interview tips (there are plenty on the internet specialised pages), think of potential questions and situations that the interviewer might question you about. You may not be able to remember everything relevant from your previous job experience so think of what you’ll want to know about the company, the work environment, job responsibilities, challenges, etc.
8. Remember that you are at the interview in order to decide whether the job suits you or not.
9. Ask lots of questions!
What is your biggest lesson learnt from the interview process?
Be a good listener and cover all sides to the questions. Presentation skills will always be appreciated, so try to keep your answers short and simple, but complete.
To look for a new audit job, visit CareersinAudit.com, the leading job site for auditing vacancies.