Department of Internal Affairs Graduate Profile

Meet the Department of Internal Affairs at the CDES Business and Law Expo on Tuesday 12 March!

Krystal Song

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance)
  • Public Sector Finance Graduate Programme

Did your career plans change as you studied?
When I started at university, I didn’t have any future career plans. Eventually I got an understanding of what I enjoyed studying in my accounting and finance papers. I was particularly interested in the forward-looking aspects of accounting and tax, which inspired me to be a forecasting and tax specialist. Working through different assessments allowed me to establish a work style I enjoyed. I love group work, communicating with others and I was curious to learn a variety of business field knowledge. Therefore, I wanted to work for public sector or multinational enterprises rather than traditional accounting firms.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
I am currently doing my first rotation of the three-year Public Sector Finance Graduate Programme. After three years, I hope to develop my accounting skills and be confident in the area I want to continue with. I want to be a professional accountant and understand more about business strategies and operational works, I will continue to learn in the workplace and get my professional qualification in the next few years.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing managers, and developing into a great team leader myself is something I’m really excited about. I’d like to be seen as someone with deep expertise in not only the professional area but also having critical and sagacious thoughts to contribute to the operational management.

How valuable was your internship and work experience for you as a student? How did this help you fine-tune where you wanted to head?
Work experience is crucial for us to build up our practical and soft skills. It helps us to recognise our strengths, weaknesses and makes us truly develop ourselves by pushing us out of our comfort zone.

I did several internships and part-time jobs before graduating, some of them were relevant to my majors and strengthened my accounting skills which provided clarity about my future.

For instance, I was a tax intern at Huawei, the biggest Chinese technology company. Working at this sizeable multinational firm provided a great learning opportunity. It gave me a deeper understanding of the differences between tax affairs in New Zealand and overseas. At the same time knowing talented individuals who used to work in subsidiaries from other countries in the world. So I could see the bigger picture of the organization and the telecommunication industry, rather than merely doing daily transactional work.

I also had retail experience and was a tutor while I was studying, those experiences developed my customer skills and communication skills. I became more confident presenting in front of others and it helped me with my job finding after I graduated. This will continue to have a positive impact on my career path.

To summarize, work experiences helped me to have comprehensive developments by connecting myself to society. The real business cases inspired me to pursue a career in accounting.