There are many accountants around the world who lead extremely dynamic professions that transcend the workplace, careers that enrich their life interests that range from personal hobbies to competitive sports.
To share with you the nature of such exciting professions, we recently talked to Teh Wee Sheng, an ICAEW Chartered Accountant (ACA) and ICAEW member, about his own fascinating journey. While he enjoys a successful career as a Senior Financial Analyst at the Royal Bank of Canada, Wee Sheng is also Vice-Captain of Malaysia’s world championship dodgeball team.
Wee Sheng shares with us his thoughts on the ICAEW ACA:
1. There are other great paths to a successful career apart from a conventional university degree
When I was a teenager, I was initially interested in the natural sciences and aspired to go to medical school. However, by the time I was 16 years old I began to consider chartered accountancy after learning more about it from my older brother, who took up the ICAEW ACA qualification to pursue a career in business and finance. I was drawn to the fact that the ICAEW ACA qualification was recognised by top employers not just across Malaysia, but globally as well.
When I completed my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examinations, I decided to start studying for the ICAEW Certificate in Finance Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB). Once I completed the ICAEW CFAB, I proceeded on to the ICAEW ACA programme.
I opted to study for the ICAEW CFAB instead of first obtaining a university degree, because I thought it was an amazing opportunity that was available for school leavers like me – to be able to study for such a prestigious qualification without having to first obtain a university degree. In fact, Malaysia is the only country that offers this pathway for school leavers.
2. My ICAEW ACA journey has developed me into a holistic individual with success in both my career and sports
Pursuing the ICAEW ACA has enabled me to grow into a goal-driven person and step out of my comfort zone. Once I embarked on my ACA journey, I was constantly challenged to deliver my best in order successfully reach my goals – this was true throughout my studies, ACA training, and even in my career. Furthermore, the ICAEW ACA strengthened my critical thinking and change management skills, which I integrated not only into my career but also my passion for dodgeball.
As I learned to manage my time efficiently, I was able to successfully qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant while winning 2 world dodgeball championships. Indeed, my experience has positively contributed to my holistic growth as a professional and an athlete, as the tools I picked up from my ACA journey, such as collaboration and agile thinking, have spurred my growth into a more competitive athlete on the global stage.
3. A career as an ACA is dynamic and exciting
My experience as an ACA has been an exhilarating one, and the ACA credentials have certainly boosted my career with several great career opportunities. I completed four years of my ACA training with Deloitte Malaysia where I eventually rose to the rank of Senior Audit Associate. During my ACA training, I was empowered to interface with various clients across different industries in a positive and high-energy environment.
Today I have moved into a role where I work closely with the capital markets and product control divisions at the Royal Bank of Canada. As a Senior Financial Analyst under the Capital Markets division, I work closely with counterparts across the Asia Pacific region, so my professional scope has certainly become more international. Indeed, I am able to work in a multi-national environment due to the fact that my ICAEW ACA training has prepared me to adopt and thrive professionally with a global mindset.
My principle as always been: “When there’s a will, there’s a way”. Ultimately, I discovered that when you work hard and pursue things that you are truly passionate about, you will always be fueled with the energy to keep going and strive for greater heights.
Ready to Kick-Start a Vibrant Career Journey Like Wee Sheng’s? Learn about the ICAEW ACA and Full Scholarships Available!
If you’re considering kick-starting an exciting career journey like Wee Sheng’s then learn more about the ICAEW ACA to fast-track your professional career aspirations. You can contact ICAEW Malaysia via:
It’s worth noting that you don’t actually need an accounting background to study the ICAEW ACA. For school leavers, you can start the programme as soon as you complete the SPM or O-levels examinations.