Carmen Chan

Balancing Books and Ambitions: The Journey of a Commerce Graduate in the World of Accounting and Finance

Studied Business at HELP

Carmen Chan's Profile

Picture this: Carmen Chan (Carmen), a student with a passion for balancing books and counting coins, diving headfirst into the mesmerising world of finance and financial systems!  It was not just a passing fancy, it was a full-blown fascination that drove Carmen to explore the inner workings of the financial universe.

Carmen, a proud Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) degree holder from the University of Queensland, Australia, embarked on her remarkable journey right from her GCE A-Levels days at HELP Academy. As she fondly reminisces about her time at HELP, Carmen’s story unfolds, revealing a vibrant tapestry of friendships, challenges, and growth.

Studying at HELP Academy was not just about hitting the books for Carmen. It was a time of forging enduring bonds with peers who remain her closest friends today. With a twinkle in her eye, Carmen recalls, “The best experiences at HELP were studying and hanging out with my course mates, with some I still keep in touch with now and consider life-long friends.”.  These friendships were more than just camaraderie, they were the support system that helped Carmen thrive.

But it was not all fun and games. Carmen navigated the choppy waters of university life with an impressive blend of coursework, extracurricular activities, and a part-time gig at Switch—an authorised reseller of Apple products. Her secret? A meticulously crafted daily schedule that ensured she met all her commitments while keeping a watchful eye on looming deadlines. Carmen attests, “Juggling my time between studies, extracurricular activities, and a part-time job was a challenge, but having a good support system, friends and family, a schedule, and being mindful of what skills you are learning through all this helped me to overcome the challenge. If what you are doing is something you enjoy, that helps a lot as well.”

Indeed, Carmen’s dedication paid off as she proudly credits her university education for laying the foundation of her successful career in the accounting and finance industry.  Fast forward to 2023, and she is a Senior Analyst at PwC Sydney, Australia, specialising in merger & acquisition transaction services.

She shares, “It’s fulfilling as I’ve learned so much about how mergers & acquisitions work and what goes into a good deal. I am also exposed to high-profile deals and play a role in significant financial decisions.”

But Carmen was not just a study machine. During her collegiate years, she enthusiastically dived into student organisations like The International Council of Malaysian Scholars and Associates and Business Society. These experiences were not just about resume-building, they were about personal growth. Carmen reflects, “Joining these organisations taught me the importance of time management and communication skills, and to be a more proactive and open-minded individual.”

As she looks back on her university journey, Carmen has some advice for the next generation of students: “Keep an open mind, be proactive, don’t be afraid to participate in different extracurriculars, and have a good support system.” She wishes she had put herself out there more and maintained a consistent routine—a testament to the constant pursuit of self-improvement that defines her journey.

Carmen’s story is one of balance, determination, and the pursuit of dreams. From HELP Academy to PwC, she has proven that with the right mix of passion, perseverance, and a dash of fun, anyone can turn their ambitions into reality.