Today on 7 Questions With, we’re chatting to Hasaan. Hasaan graduated from Aston in 2019 with a degree in Accounting and Finance. He’s now enjoying a career in finance!
If you read Hasaan’s interview and you’re curious about a career in this sector, make sure you come along to our virtual Business Fair, Tuesday 27th October, 10am-4pm. Get all the details here.
What do you currently do for a living?
I currently work for Deloitte as an M&A tax analyst specialising in private equity deals.
What motivated you to work in finance?
As cliché as it may sound I’ve always enjoyed working with numbers and statistics as it has always been a natural strength of mine, therefore I felt like finance was a good fit for my skillset. I also found the variety of opportunities available within finance and the scope for progression very attractive.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
I will usually start the day by responding to any emails that I’ve received overnight as well as looking at my schedule for the day ahead, which will normally consist of a mixture of client calls and internal team calls. For international projects in particular, calls with overseas Deloitte teams will take place regularly throughout the lifecycle of a project and can sometimes take place outside of normal working hours due to time zone differences.
In between the various meetings that I have throughout the day (obviously restricted to Skype and Zoom at the moment!) I will usually have other project work to take care of which could be anything from drafting initial engagement letters to finalising our reports ready for a client. Maintaining a to-do list to prioritise the responsibilities I have is crucial to managing my time effectively.
What do you enjoy about the work that you do?
I enjoy the variety I get as a result of my role being very project oriented although this can sometimes mean tight deadlines and late evenings! Working with very large well-known clients is great and the work itself is stimulating as it involves a lot of problem solving.
Some deals attract a lot of media attention and it is always exciting seeing news of a large deal you have been working on for the last few months break in the press. There are times where this isn’t always positive and I can remember one instance of a deal that was affected by a news scandal which impacted its share price and meant that we had to pause our work whilst the company dealt with the implications it had on the deal.
Can you describe the journey you went on to get to this point in your career?
My journey towards a career in finance began with my A-level studies where I studied Accounting, Business, French and Mathematics, it was also around that point I first started to look at specific careers within finance and decided that accountancy was the best fit for my future plans. Naturally, I then followed this up by studying Accounting for Management at Aston University. The integrated professional placement year was a key reason why I chose Aston University as I knew how much I could potentially gain from it.
I managed to secure a placement with Enterprise Rent-a-Car as a management accountant at their regional head office. I had a great year with them and returned to university for my final year with a much clearer sense of what I wanted from my graduate role. I had learnt a lot about my own working preferences and decided a career in tax, with its ever-evolving legislation, would provide me with variety and the fast-paced environment that I wanted. After a long and arduous recruitment process I was able to secure my graduate offer with Deloitte in January, thankfully well before my summer exams. I have now been at Deloitte for over a year and have very much enjoyed it thus far.
Do you have any advice for students considering a career in finance?
My advice to students would be to thoroughly research the type of career within finance that you would like to have and to really get to know the companies that you would like to work for. The word “finance” itself is a very broad term and encompasses many different career paths so it is vital that you know the sector well. I would however advise against narrowing down your opportunities too early as any experience is positive and you will gain invaluable transferable skills especially early on in your career.
If you can show that you have been proactive in gaining knowledge around the sector through either research or practical work experience (e.g. internships), this will instantly make you stand out in the recruitment process once you begin your applications.
What is your ultimate career ambition?
I think it is important to set ambitious goals and at this point in time my ultimate career ambition would be to continue progressing within the firm to become a partner at Deloitte. I also highly value giving back to others through initiatives such as mentoring and volunteering and therefore I would want to continue progressing within the firm whilst also having a real impact outside of the firm as well.
Interview with Hasaan Khan