- Hi, I am Anita Pareek, CPA Australia, and a Chartered Accountant from India.
- In 2011, I qualified as a CA, started my career as a Credit Analyst, and by 2016 decided to immigrate to Australia!
- In 2017, even before getting our PR, my husband and I joined as a CPA Associate member and advanced to CPA status in late 2018. (Yes, the MRA between ICAI and CPA Australia was a blessing!)
- Fortunately, our PR came through, we quit our well-settled jobs and immigrated to Australia. It all paid off when we got our first full-time job in Melbourne within two weeks!
- Today I am the Group Senior Credit Analyst at Viva Energy Australia.
- Here is my story of how proper planning, good work experience, and the right qualifications (CPA Australia), helped me.
Forging my own career path
I was born and brought up in the city of joy, Kolkata, India.
I grew up in a family where my siblings and I didn’t have all the comforts of life, but my father (a very hardworking businessman) always made us realize the value that education would bring to our life.
When in class 10, I recollect talking to a few seniors where many of them had thriving careers as chartered accountants (CA).
As a school kid, I used to look up to them and was truly inspired to see how successful they were as professionals.
I too wanted to be like them, and it became my dream to become a CA one day.
Like most CA students in India, I started my CA journey from ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) while still in college.
I gave my best at every step and in 2011, completed my CA…I still remember the euphoria that I felt after achieving the milestone.
In 2012, I was selected with Federal Bank as a Credit Manager, large and mid- corporates in Bangalore, India.
I always wanted to have a job with loads of analysis and decision making, so this was a perfect opportunity for me…all my patience paid off!
Considering to immigrate to Australia
Over the years, I grew in my career and was doing pretty well. My career was definitely on an upward trajectory.
Fast forward, in 2016, my husband and I decided to go to Australia for a holiday.
(My husband, Bhaskar Purohit, a graduate from Sri Ram College, New Delhi, and also a Chartered Accountant, attained the degree in the same year, 2011. Bhaskar started his career with ONGC after completing CA.)
Once there, we loved it so much – the country, its culture, people, and diversity.
Further to this, my brother, who is an Australian Citizen convinced us to move to Australia. He assured us that this is a land of opportunities, and we would certainly make a great career if we move here.
It was a bold decision, as both my husband and I, had to quit our well-settled jobs and move to a new country. However, I had a strong inner feeling that things would work out well, and just like that, we decided to make Australia our new home.
MRA between ICAI and CPA Australia
I knew early on, that if we needed to find a job opportunity in Australia, having a local degree like CPA Australia would be of great value.
Through a networking event in India, I came across a few people who informed me about MRA that exists between ICAI and CPA Australia.
Listening to their story of how the CPA Australia designation helped shaped their career – I was like, ‘WOW!’, this is exactly what I was looking for.
We knew that having an internationally recognized qualification would always come in handy and be of great value even in India!
To add, because of the MRA between ICAI and CPA Australia, we were exempted from 5 subjects.
We were required to do only one subject, Global Strategy and Leadership, and the online module Better Practice Governance and Accountability to become CPA, and preparing for the same with a full-time job was doable!
All in all, we took a leap of faith and enrolled for the CPA program even before we could get our PR!
Qualifying CPA Australia & getting our PR
Applying for PR was a lengthy process and I can proudly say that both my husband and I did all of this ourselves without seeking help from any professional agencies.
We filed our expression of interest in October 2016, but our score was a bit below the cut-off mark. (Back then, the score needed to get you the invitation to apply for a visa and 189 was really high).
My husband attempted the IELTS/PTE test thrice before getting the desired score.
We then worked hard to improve our score and experienced a period where we felt that everything was so uncertain.
Fortunately, in October 2017, we got the invitation to apply for our PR visa, and since we were incredibly well prepared with all the documentation for applying for a visa, it all went pretty smoothly.
By January 2018, we got our visa! (We were surprised and over the moon that the immigration department granted our visa without seeking a single clarification within a span of two months.)
To add to the celebrations, we also passed our CPA exams in June 2018!
Landing a job within two weeks (thanks to my CPA Australia designation)
Everything seemed to be falling in place; however, we knew this was just one part of the challenge. The next was finding a job in Australia as a new immigrant!
By the end of May 2018, we landed in Melbourne and immediately started using the job search engines to apply for jobs (I didn’t approach any recruiters).
This may sound like a miracle, but by mid-June 2018 (within just two weeks of landing) I had my first job offer letter for a full-time position as a Credit Analyst at Eclipx Group, a prominent fleet leasing company based in Australia. Woohoo!
Trust me I was not referred to the job by any friend or contact, I got it based on my credentials, and the CPA designation added a lot of weight to my resumé and my professional profile.
(Needless to say, I did a lot of groundwork like improving my LinkedIn profile, perfecting my resumé, and having a local degree like CPA Australia got me noticed!)
Could I get a job without a CPA designation? It would have been an enormous struggle and I don’t think that I would have achieved what I had got without the CPA Australia’s designation.
Starting all over and progressing in my career
My career progressed rapidly after getting my first job in Melbourne.
Luckily, my job profile was similar to what I was doing in India, and I had the opportunity to work with an ASX listed entity and great colleagues. Thus, the transition from India to Australia was smooth.
Within 12 months, I was approached by recruiters, and offered an opportunity at Viva Energy, as a Senior Group Credit Analyst as they were specifically looking for a credit analyst with a CPA designation!
I wanted to expand my experience beyond banking, so I took it up!
It’s a matter of time, and once you gain local market experience, you would eventually get what you aimed for.
“Global Strategy and Leadership – how did it help me in practical application?”
Global Strategy and Leadership is truly the Capstone subject of the CPA Program.
Subject contents are designed to represent true practical aspects of strategies involved to manage the internal and external environment of the business.
I was able to relate the contents of the study material not only with my-on-the-job experience but also with the business environment.
In my current role, the paramount importance is to understand the macro elements of the entire economy, how are they impacting various industries and in turn, the business of my company.
GSL provided me with an effective understanding of the complex environment puzzle and placing it in the right perspective to help develop counter-strategies to combat credit risk.
“Do you believe in life-long learning?”
I do believe in lifelong learning.
After arriving in Australia, I regularly attended the CPD events here as well as many other events that my employer organizes for constant learning.
I recently attended a CPD event on AI and was surprised to know how it will change the face of accountancy, also, how we accountants would need to work in the future.
The speakers as well as the topics in several CPD events that CPA Australia chooses are very interesting.
I also follow the In The Black Magazine and the magazine from ICAI.
Since both of us got our first job in Melbourne quickly, we soon started enjoying our new life.
In May 2020, we bought our house in Melbourne, and soon after we were blessed with a baby boy in August 2020. Our love for this place has since grown leaps and bounds.
Some people said we are taking the wrong path and we would regret our decision later, however, we trusted ourselves and knew that if we have good work experience and the right qualifications (CPA Australia), we would definitely get what we want!
I think with proper planning, willpower, and positive thinking, you will succeed.
Last but not least, I have to tell you that it’s worth packing your bags, embarking on a journey to chase your dreams, facing numerous challenges, and overcoming them with your undeterred determination to achieve success.
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