01 Jul Interview with Roslyn J. senior financial and business processes auditor
MBA Strategic Planning and Finance – Roslyn J. is senior financial and business processes auditor for one of the world’s leading producers of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
What I Do
I am responsible for leading and performing financial and business processes audits, information technology reviews, and repair-and-maintenance reviews at various business units—from manufacturing to specialization and outsourced functions—throughout the company in North America, including Canada and Mexico.
The company has a global presence in nearly 40 countries and is active in all major aspects of the industry—technology, mining, refining, smelting, fabricating, and recycling.
My role includes assessing overall business risks to the company, issuing comments, and making recommendations. I also cross-train on environmental, health, and safety audits. Facilities audited consist of groups with revenues from $5 million plus. I travel on a monthly basis on an average of 50 to 75 percent of the time (two- to three-week intervals). In addition, I lead and participate in process improvement teams within the internal audit group.
What I Enjoy Most
I have the opportunity to see the entire company by examining all the various business units to audit each facility and evaluate the overall business risks. I also enjoy meeting the employees and management and engaging in problem-solving issues, discussing strategic plans for the business, and recommending corrective measures. Corrective measures I might recommend involve everything from conformance with company guidelines and policies to financial standards and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. I also enjoy the travel aspects.
What I Enjoy Least
While I assess a facility’s weaknesses and risks, I am not always able to find out the end results because I do not implement the changes. Also, an audit impacts a facility’s overall future and, if deemed necessary to the business, it can lead to personnel changes or reductions. That is difficult to do.
Why I Chose This Career
To gain greater financial, business, and manufacturing experience. I enjoy working with individuals on problem-solving and strategic planning.
While audits are historical in nature, this role is focused on the future of the business. I also look closely at what equity research analysts come up with.
Desirable Traits to Be Successful in This Career
Key traits are interpersonal skills and ability to adapt to a variety of different processes, people, technology, and changing economics. In addition, you need analytical skills and the ability to work and communicate effectively with people of different backgrounds, levels of experience, and knowledge.
Words of Advice If You Are Considering This Career Path
Choose your work experience wisely, from internships to first major jobs; each step affects your choices in the future.
Be clear and direct about your career and direction; make sure it is what you want to do and that you enjoy it. If you are unsure whether you will enjoy it, ask specific questions during your interviews to ensure that you know what is expected of you. Find out specifics related to the management structure, cultural climate, and personal flexibility.
Don’t underestimate the potential value of military experience as a way to develop leadership [skills]. Staying in the Army Reserves for an additional year also enabled me to have partial tuition paid by them. Employers found it very interesting that I was able to move from enlisted ranks to officer ranks.
What I Did Before This (Including Pre-MBA and Post-MBA Jobs)
Pre-MBA, I was in the United States Army Reserves, 339th Combat Support, from 2006 to 2009. I was in the Finance Corp as a cadet officer (ROTC), and I was a finance intern for the finance department of the Army Corps of Engineers from 2009 to 2011. My military experience gave me great exposure to managing people. When I was 20, I was managing people 10 or more years my senior.
Post-MBA, I was a senior accountant in the capital markets group of Mellon Financial Services, from 2011 to 2013. I have been in my current role since graduating with the MBA.
Educational Background (Undergraduate, MBA, Other)
- MBA, Columbia Business School (Columbia University, NYC) strategic planning and finance, 2011
- Bachelor of science, Point Park College (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), accounting and business management (two degrees), 2006
In MBA Programs, I’d Suggest You Look For…
Strong reputation and an active career services office that maintains strong alumni relationships.
In addition, seek an innovative and creative business program. Research the ranking of the business school carefully in relation to how it competes with top business schools. To determine this, inquire about the trend of alumni career paths, companies that employ them, and positions maintained.
As someone looking to enhance and potentially switch careers with an MBA, I approached my MBA experience from an investment perspective. The investment was my future and all the aspects that are needed to survive in this competitive, challenging, and fast-paced global business environment.
Seek an MBA school that will equip you with marketability, adaptability, and interpersonal skills, which are key success factors.
Look for an ongoing relationship with the school. I enjoy going back to Columbia as a recruiter for my company.