Case study – Anya Bukshi

What is your nationality?Anya Bukshi

Indian

What/when did you study at Durham? 

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics degree from 2011-2014

What are you doing now?

I’m a Government Consultant on the Graduate Program at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

What does your job involve?

Being a consultant at PwC involves plenty of research, report writing, networking, and on the job learning. Working with the Government team makes me feel quite fulfilled as our work indirectly changes the lives of the citizens and residents living in the Middle Eastern countries we work with.

How did your time at Durham help you to succeed?

Being surrounded by a body of motivated, determined men and women made me want to do the best I could. The desire for success is contagious at Durham and I’m very glad I had three great years to learn as much as I possibly could from the people around me.

What advice would you give to current students?

Don’t let your degree get in the way of your education. Try new activities, go to the talks and debates that Durham’s societies organise. Be confident in who you are but be open to learning new things and self-discovery. Only then will you find what will make you truly happy!

Any other information you want to provide?

Don’t sell your soul to your employer. A healthy work-life balance keeps your mind, body, and soul healthy too!

 

Accounting success for Carol

Name: Carol Liu

Degree: Accounting & Finance BSc

Graduated: 2009

Nationality: Chinese

Employer: PwC

I have been interested in accountancy for many years. My interest was sparked by a visit with a friend to PricewaterhouseCoopers in Beijing. I found out more about the work they do and decided to apply for my course at Durham. I knew success required great dedication, so in my 1st year I visited the Careers Employability and Enterprise Centre for advice about gaining relevant experience. I was offered a place on the 3 day ‘Insight’ programme at PwC where I learned about the company, work activities and the working culture in the UK. The staff encouraged me to apply for the summer internship the following year and I was delighted when I was invited to attend for an interview and some tests. The Careers Advisers at university helped me to prepare and the day after the interview I was offered a place in the corporate tax department.

This was an amazing experience. I learnt so much about the profession from experienced accountants and attended many client meetings. My enthusiasm was rewarded because at the end of the internship I was offered a graduate position in taxation with PwC in Leeds.

I have been with PwC for 2 years now and have completed my ACA exams. I have worked with some interesting clients and my career has really developed as I am now a Senior Corporate Tax Associate.

To help future international students I would advise them to plan carefully and never give up. Also speak as much English as possible while at University. I had many English friends and this helped me to succeed in the interview.

Anika’s making changes at PwC in Dubai

Name: Anika Christine Mascarenhas

Degree: MA Management, 2010

Job: People and Change Consultant

Nationality: Indian

Employer: Price Waterhouse Coopers LLC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

I have been in the consulting world for two and a half years since my undergraduate degree from James Madison University, USA and graduate business degree from Durham University, UK. The consulting world has been both exhilarating and challenging. The learning curve is exponentially high,  given the breadth of knowledge required and industry expertise gained across a variety of sectors.

Prior to joining PwC, I worked with the Hay Group in Human Resource consulting. I delivered professional job descriptions in line with the Group’s project objectives, developed role accountabilities, key performance indicators, evaluated jobs using the Hay Group’s job evaluation system, undertook job grading, salary, benefits and reward assessments. The clients included the healthcare industry, media, oil and gas and the real-estate sectors through various HR consulting projects I was involved in.

As part of my MA at Durham, I completed a Dissertation on Change Management at Avis Rent-a-Car Company, who sponsored my research project. Through internal meetings, interviews and focus groups with employees I evaluated the changes and new management structure in place at Avis. During the research project I conducted a study on the external environmental and internal organizational factors, including a SWOT analysis and a change management diagnostic framework called The Burke-Litwin Model, in order to raise the performance of the organization. I would highly recommend that Durham students undertake internships or research projects inside organizations, as the practical learning experience is critical to succeeding in future career endeavors.  

Since graduating from Durham I decided to join the consulting world again. In order to secure my current consulting position, at PwC, I went through a combination of interviews with the Director and a Senior Manager and a case study of a company facing losses in the sports shoes market industry. The interviews were gruelling and intense but prepared me for a future consulting career at PwC. However, along with the prestige of working with a top consulting firm, I must also contend with long working hours, tight deadlines and travelling long distances to the client site that make life extremely hectic. I encourage graduates who are flexible and open to change to definitely consider a consulting career as it opens up a lot of avenues and doors, develops critical logic and strategic planning skills, writing and oral presentation skills, and provides real life exposure to the business environment across different industries that extends well beyond the realm of the classroom.