It pays to think of yourself as a detective
Andrew Wong On-yu literally had to fight for his internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) with other potential interns from Hong Kong and the mainland. He got the job after winning first runner-up in the Hong Kong competition and the China grand final of the ACCA Job Hunting Competition in 2009. He talks with Wong Yat-hei.
What is your academic background?
I am studying for BBA (Law) and LLB at the University of Hong Kong.
How do you start your day?
Although my working life is hectic, I spare some time reading the news to start my day in the morning. The business world is dynamic and every piece of news may have a huge impact on financial institutions. While working with PwC, I updated myself with the latest changes in the accounting and regulatory fields every morning, and gave myself a time to think about their potential impact.
What does your job entail?
I work in the department of tax services. Apart from doing the computation of tax returns and drafting letters to clients, I am also involved in tax investigation cases and responsible for some data analysis. These tasks are certainty tough as they are completely new to me. Fortunately, my supervisors give me lots of support and guidance.
What has been your major challenge?
It is bridging the knowledge learned from the university and in the real business world. Working in real life requires more than good grades. The ability to work under pressure and communicate effectively with colleagues and clients are essential. It is very challenging for me to acquire such skills in such a short period of internship time.
What have you learned about your chosen career? What are your plans?
Attention to detail is crucial. A good accounting professional is like a detective in the sense that he has to work with a vast amount of information and get only the precise data. It requires strong analytical skills. I would like to get more experience in different industries so that I can look at the business world from different perspectives.
Any advice for potential interns?
It is often difficult to know how things will work out without actually experiencing it. The second best way to understand the business is to seek the opinion from of those who are already working for these posts there. The best way, however, is to really engage in an internship to try out the assigned tasks at work and observe how the experienced colleagues handle their responsibilities.