Interview with Akshata

Could you give us a bit of background on yourself?

I am a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA), and I have been working in finance for the past 10 years. Previously, I spent close to seven years in Equities Product Control. I moved to UBS a year back, working in Financial Controlling services (FCS). Apart from my work, which takes up a major part of my day, I am a mum to a toddler. I am also passionate about blogging and devote a good amount of time to nurture and grow my hobby.

What made you choose a career in the financial sector?

Being a CA, I was always keen to make a career in banking and financial services. I felt this was a field that would hone the skills I acquired during my training and propel my career.

What's your current role and what do you enjoy most about it?

I am in an enhanced supervision role with FCS, in Finance. This means I am accountable for key metrics like daily profit and loss, and the balance sheets of a few trading desks in the foreign exchange world. What I enjoy most is going a step further and exploring new things, digging into issues, challenging the status quo and working with people. I am also the editor for the Finance newsletter in India and the deputy lead for diversity and inclusion in Finance. Both of these are equally close to my heart.

Can you tell us about your team?

The team I manage consists of 3rd party vendor staff. I supervise their work, engage with onshore stakeholders and make sure the daily/weekly/monthly deliverables are met without compromising on quality. Interacting with a bunch of talented, enthusiastic people from diverse backgrounds who are keen to find innovative solutions is what makes this an exciting and enjoyable journey.

What does diversity mean to you and how do you see it implemented in the corporate world?

Diversity for me is harnessing the power of people coming from diverse backgrounds - gender, age, religion, community, differently abled, LGBT. An organization that aims to thrive in today’s competitive world cannot ignore the benefits of a diverse workforce in terms of what each individual brings to the table and how we can collectively work towards achieving our goals.

Gender diversity is an issue close to my heart. I write about women at work, gender issues in the workplace, how we can raise strong girls and engage with communities of women who are equally passionate about this. I believe a more focused effort is needed to bring more women into the workforce at senior levels and provide meaningful career progression opportunities.

If you had to pick one thing that sets UBS apart from the competition, what would it be?

I have only been here for a year, but I’ve have met some fantastic people. What encourages me is that people at very senior levels are open and do take your concerns seriously.

What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

Put your hand up to do the job that no one wants to do, and you are sure to look back and be glad you did it. When I joined UBS, I was clueless on how to solve some legacy issues. With time and help, I cleared most of them and that helped me forge relationships with my stakeholders and get me recognition.

What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

I love dancing and would have loved to have been a professional dancer or a drama artist.

How do you maintain your work-life balance?

By prioritizing and multi-tasking. I am an organized person and I take pride in that. Learning to say no (to oneself and others) is a big game changer in making or wrecking your work-life balance.

How do you relax?

With a toddler at home who constantly keeps me on my toes, this is a word alien to me at present! When she takes her nap, I like writing blogs, reading and interacting with my blogger friends online.

What is the best thing that happened to you during the past week?

I received a mail that my blog has been listed in the directory of “Top Indian Blogs,” which is a curated list of the top 200 Indian blogs in all categories. This was a big honor and it made my day.

Are you interested in joining our team?

Visit our job board and you may find something perfect for you.

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