Lianne Kong

"I truly enjoyed my time as an undergraduate – I attended some of the best social events, made some amazing friends and secured a full-time job offer prior to graduation."

Course: BSc Accounting & Finance
Year of Graduation: 2014

What do you do now? What do you enjoy about what you do now?

I am working in UBS AG as an APAC Finance Business Partner. As an independent and strategic business partner, I provide financial analysis and insight to assist the business with decision-making. In this role, I work closely with the APAC Chief Financial Officer and President. I regularly coordinate and collate information from broader finance functions and prepare presentation materials for key management meetings.

UBS has a great culture of collaboration and diversity. Working alongside talented colleagues, I have learned so much about Finance and how I am able to grow my career in the firm. I am grateful for the opportunity given to me through different short-term rotations in the firm and being able to attend talent development training in Singapore. Apart from my daily role, I enjoy connecting with my mentors who provide excellent guidance and support throughout my career.

Why did you choose to study at the Business School?

The Business School has an outstanding reputation as a top-ranked global business school. The BSc Accounting and Finance degree has a strategic partnership with ICAEW which offers up to eight exemptions. I was certain that I would be pursuing the Chartered Accountancy qualification and the structure of the degree encompasses all the important skills and knowledge to excel in the field of accounting and finance.

How has the Business School supported you in your career journey, and helped you get to where you are today?

The Career Services team was exceptionally helpful during the internship application process. I was able to get my CV reviewed and received feedback on how to improve on my interview skills. There were also many networking events to meet with professionals from investment banks and accounting firms based in London. I always reminded myself to ask questions and be open to connect with alumni and graduate recruitment teams at the event.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

The course attracts a diverse student cohort, and it is always interesting to learn from others with different backgrounds and cultures. There was an opportunity to represent the Business School at the Deloitte Consulting Case competition and I had a great time working together with a few classmates during the competition. Furthermore, the networking events with ICAEW representatives provided a great insight into a professional career that will equip me with high-level business skills and prepare me for future challenges.

What was the hardest part of your course?

The final year project. In my penultimate year, I was offered a one-year placement in Goldman Sachs. Returning to campus after the placement, I learned to cherish my final year and enjoy being a student! It was hard to juggle final year modules (which were more challenging compared to year one and two) and doing things I enjoyed in my spare time. Nevertheless, I was able to manage my time well and obtained a little more guidance from the professors and dissertation supervisor.

Were there any lecturers who particularly inspired you?

I truly enjoyed the Corporate Finance lectures with Mr Peter Hahn. Not only was he very engaging with students, but also very open to share real life examples of working in a bank, explain complicated equations and never failed to catch students falling asleep! He is a great professor with many years of experience in investment banking, and I am very proud to have been one of his students.

What was your favourite part of being a Business School student?

The campus is always walking distance to some of the best hangout spots in London – from brunch places (The Modern Pantry), food market (Exmouth Market) and coffee shops (Prufrock) to the nearest pub for Sunday roast (The Peasant) and speakeasy bar (Nightjar at Old Street). These places bring back great memories of catching up with friends during university days.

If you could give one piece of advice to a prospective Accounting & Finance student, what would it be?

Your student experience will be amazing at the Business School! I truly enjoyed my time as an undergraduate – I attended some of the best social events, made some amazing friends and secured a full-time job offer prior to graduation. My advice is to enjoy your time as a student, make the most of it, find things you enjoy doing and strike a good balance.

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