What's your job about?
I am an Executive Assistant and Business Analyst to the MD & VP of AGCO Australia Ltd. AGCO is a key leader in the R & D and manufacturing of Agricultural Machinery since 1990. My key responsibilities are within Senior management and Financial analysis. By the title, you have probably noticed that I have 2 roles within the company. Challenging but exciting, which means I do not have a single boring day and no one day is the same as the next one. The senior management part is the most exciting and surprising, it consists of the daily management of company processes, such as maintaining Reception area and receptionists, Diary management of the MD, Planning & logistics of meetings, events and conferences, Employee contracts, Oversee the travel requirements for internal & external staff, Uniform provisions for staff and Adhoc projects relating to management, for example, new contracts for hotels, new software implementation, tending to overseas visitors and our dealers…etc. The best portion is I get to travel and attend the conferences I coordinate.
Amazing isn’t it? I consider myself very lucky in that sense. It is always rewarding to be acknowledged for your hard work and seeing happy guests. The financial analysis part is the more demanding part of the job; end of month financial reports – Market share and Order board reports, profitability analysis and transfer pricing of machines from overseas, Senior management report for our region for the MD, maintenance of our Strategic business plan database (quarterly update) and Strategic projects administrator.
What's your background?
I was born and raised in Mauritius. All my schooling was luckily done in English our official language. The educational system is very daunting on the island and competition is ferocious. I was always hardworking and determined and I manage to finish my first degree in 2005. After that, I struggled to find a job in my field as the island’s economy is mainly tourism and textile. After a few years working as a sales rep for an insurance company, I got the opportunity to come to Australia for studies. The decision of leaving the family behind and starting a new chapter of my life and career was very hard, considering I was the first female in my entire family strong enough to attempt going overseas and break the tradition and culture to embrace my freedom.
The decision as you could imagine was not welcomed by elders but the younger generation encouraged me. Living in a foreign country has built up my strength, motivated me and shaped me into the strong-minded woman I am today. Finally, after my second degree in Australia, I was employed by AGCO 2016. One of the most memorable days of my life and my first step towards my dream career in the Agricultural Industry with a sprinkle of Finance to top everything up! Sometimes I think to myself what a strange coincidence that this role matches exactly with both of my degrees. I remember one of my tutors saying, “Knowledge never goes to waste, things you learn in life always comes handy”. Absolutely true.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes, someone with a different background could do the job, but not as effectively as I can perform with my background. It will require more hard work, more training time, learning and dedication as Agricultural and financial terms are not easy to understand and grasp quickly. The skills that would come handy to be effective and professional in this role are Organisational, Communication, Excel, multitasking, self-motivated and interpersonal skills. The characteristics would be resilience to fit in this industry and above all a passion for Agriculture. A background in Agriculture helps with product description and technicalities and a background in Finance helps with financial reporting and profitability analysis and Budgeting and forecasting.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
The one thing I like most about my job is to be able to work independently. Some might say it’s not a big deal but to me being able to manage my time, plan my day, make my own decisions, achieve my goals and tasks and to be on top of everything I do without having my boss or colleagues over my shoulders constantly is great. Though I do like group work at times during meetings and workshops, I suppose I thrive in both environments well. I am lucky that my boss entrusts me with projects and tasks and I work autonomously in a very effective way.
What are the limitations of your job?
As any jobs mine has limitations too. There is a constant need of attention to detail, whether it’s planning the logistics for a conference with over 100 attendees or uploading data in over 1000 lines in excel under pressure. Some days I try not to blink in case I miss one number, sounds funny but not so much when you have to re-start the whole sheet when the totals don’t match. Worse is, if you get distracted by someone coming to see you and you don’t have a closed office, you could simply mess everything up and pull your hairs in agony. Trust me I’ve had bad days.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
Firstly: “Never Give up, you are stronger than you think”. I’ve had times when I thought I was alone and weak and that it might have been different if I was a man. Guess what? I found strength when I least expected it and I was stronger than my partner.
Secondly: “Follow your passion”. There is nothing worse than studying a subject that you dislike just because it might be a high paid job in the future. Pursue a career path that you are passionate about and that makes you happy.
Thirdly: “Take care of your body & soul”. A good mental & physical health is priceless. You can achieve anything if you are happy and healthy.