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Eye for detail and communication skills are crucial to job

Published on Thursday, 25 Aug 2011
Linda Yiu
Photo: Edward Wong

The opportunity to work at global internet media firm Travelzoo has enriched Linda Yiu’s understanding of financial and managerial accounting – from bookkeeping to financial analysis. Thanks to career services at her school, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), she was recommended for an interview with Travelzoo Asia-Pacific. After interviews and tests, she was offered an internship at the finance department. She talks to Wong Yat-hei.  

What is your academic background?

I am an HKUST student, majoring in accounting, with a plan to double-major in finance. 

How do you start your day?

I start my day by collecting relevant information from different sources and preparing reports for management and operational use. I assist with the gathering of results for [Travelzoo’s] local deals business.  These are placed in the company’s system and checked for accuracy. I work in the regional finance team, so I am exposed to working with different foreign currencies. I also assist with the company’s monthly and quarterly closing. 

What does your job entail?

Travelzoo is a global internet media company and the most trusted publisher of travel, entertainment and local deals. My job is to assist in collecting relevant information from different sources and write reports. I am also exposed to its accounting operations at the regional level. I believe being detail-oriented and articulate are key to this position. For this job, I need to communicate with different teams in the region and learn their culture. 

What have you learned about your chosen career and what are your plans?

I have learned that the knowledge we acquired in school may not be applicable to all situations. Textbooks present the norm, but there are always deviations in real life. We cannot use the same rule in every scenario. Working in the business world is often challenging, but I am fortunate to be guided by the seniors in my team. After the internship, I am determined on pursuing my interest in commercial institution accounting. I want to be a certified public accountant first and gain experience. In the long-run, I hope to excel to reach the top management level. I believe holding a more senior position can give one better influential power, allowing one to contribute more to the firm. 

Any advice for potential interns?

I believe the eagerness to attempt different tasks is the only way to gain insights and enhance one’s capability. The opportunity to learn is always present but it is up to you to grab it. In turn, these opportunities will help you prove your ability and excel in your career. Learn from the senior staff because you will benefit from their experience. 

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