NU alumnus of 2015.
Currently, I'm working as a Supervising Senior auditor in KPMG Lower Gulf Limited in Dubai office, UAE.
How did you get to where you are now
I have just joined KPMG Dubai in November 2018. Before that, I was working in KPMG Audit LLC in Astana office, Kazakhstan.
My 3-year journey in KPMG Kazakhstan has helped me to achieve great experience in understanding of the business environment in Kazakhstan and gain much work experience in audit.
My first acquaintance with KPMG was during the Audit week that the firm launched back in my senior year at university. I was excited that the firm provides on-the-job training, business trips, opportunities to the annual promotion, and young and ambitious staff. During that week we’ve met with the company’s management, solved business cases and that helped us to gain some understanding of the Big 4 companies life. After the week-long event, we had an opportunity to obtain job offer through test and interview. Unfortunately, I failed the interview part and didn’t take the job offer. The reason for that fail I think was on my uncertainty to work in audit – I was dreaming of working in international institutions such as the World Bank or the United Nations. Nevertheless, when I started searching for a job closer to graduation date, I made a list of criteria of where I want to work – that should have been an international firm with young and friendly staff, business trip opportunities, learning and development opportunities, and opportunities to work in different industries. All these criteria matched my expectations from audit work.
An important point of this experience is that my expectations were matched with the reality when I started working in KPMG in September 2015.
I was able to work in a lively atmosphere with many challenges and that helped to learn a lot in a limited period of time.
As a result of two years at KPMG, I get double promoted and worked as a supervising auditor for the third year in the firm.
Becoming the senior auditor helps to find a job in the international market, so I applied and received an offer from KPMG Dubai office in late 2018.
What did you get from studying at NU
For me, the most important thing I get from studying at NU is the ability to keep conversations with people around me on different topics from politics and economics to technology and engineering.
The university gave me a broad knowledge in different areas and showed me the importance of critical assessment of any information we obtain.
What was/is the most challenging in your life after NU
Since I have studied economics and international relations at NU, I faced challenges while preparing for exams to obtain ACCA qualification.
The exams require knowledge in accounting and finance that were not familiar to me.
So the challenging part for me was failing exams several times and I have almost given up to go on with ACCA qualification.
But through the motivation, I get from my friends and family and incredible desire to open new opportunities for myself, I have achieved this qualification just recently and become a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
This lesson helped to understand once again that everything is possible when you have an overwhelming desire and a bit of patience and persistence.
What drives you
I have my own plans and objectives for the short term and long term. This is what drives me to achieve my current goals.
Also, I have much support from my family and close friends to move forward and see the world.
Obviously, I also have times of sadness and lack of motivation. At that times I try to treat myself with things I like - sweets, watching videos, listening to music, talking to my friends.
How do you balance work and life
Firstly, I would say that it is every person's choice to have a balance in work and life or not.
If in that particular period of your life you want to focus on career and put work in the first place, it's totally fine.
Currently, I have managed to keep my work-life balance. I think the key is to be more productive during work hours so that you can forget the work after you are back home.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be
I think I would have chosen Computer Science or Robotics. To my mind, this profession gives you an enormous free zone for creativity.
Alternatively, I would have chosen arts - music composition and songwriting.
What are your favorite memories of life at NU
There are many good memories I have from our university life - starting from foundation year when only ID 2010 was at university and on campus.
I remember and miss our cozy evenings with tea and coffee in our new dormitory and special 00-00 happy birthday songs almost every day on campus.
But my favorite moment that I remember in details is when we raised our graduation hats on the ceremony in June 2015. I felt so happy!
What advice would you give to new NU graduates
There are a lot of opportunities now to fresh graduates in Kazakhstan or anywhere in the world.
But the hardest thing for you would be to make a choice.
I would say do not be afraid to make this choice.
But if you are still in doubt, I read a perfect quote recently in Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean in" book: "There is no perfect fit when you're looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around."
In short, just make a choice and then work on it to make it the best one.