Meet a financial controller – Ladia Brinckman
Where it all started
Working in finance was a dream of my mother’s. She wanted me to grow up to be a successful accountant or finance officer. In the Philippines, it was expected that children followed their parent’s instruction. So, I did.
After I graduated from university with a finance degree, I worked as a Finance Officer in the motor vehicle industry for three years and later migrated to Brisbane with my husband.
One night, my husband asked me ‘What job do you want to do?’ I had no idea. I was now living in a foreign country and I did not know where to begin. One of my friends recommended that I could study a master's at KBS to develop my managerial skills. I went to their information session. The courses were affordable, taught by industry experts and supported by a good student experience team. So, I decided to enrol into the Master of Professional Accounting.
My first day at KBS
On the day of my Orientation at KBS, my bank reported that there was a delay on the financial transaction I needed to pay for my tuition fees. I was very worried. From my past experience at university, you cannot enrol in any units until the tuition fees have been fully paid.
When I arrived on campus, I told one of the KBS staff there about my situation. Instead of telling me that I could not enrol, she said that the bank transfer should come through shortly and I could enrol into the units now. I was very surprised at this response. She was more concerned about me starting my studies at KBS than receiving the tuition fee that day. She planted a seed in my heart that the people here at KBS value their relationship with their students and believe in them. When I struggled with my studies, it was the Careers Advisors who reminded me why I started my master’s in the first place and that motivated me to keep going.
My KBS family
What I love about KBS is that the lecturers don’t just lecture. They get to know each student well and use different ways to encourage you and challenge you to improve. When I admitted to a lecturer that I was struggling with completing an assignment and presentation, she took the time to give me advice and provided the steps and resources available to help me complete it.
When I think about my KBS journey, I think about the word ‘family’ because the staff are empathetic and want you to succeed. They are the first people who made me believe that it’s possible for me to have a career in Australia. I did not feel like I was just a number but part of a jigsaw puzzle – the school is not complete without everyone working together. I loved the diversity of students and the different perspectives they offered.
In my opinion, the Careers Central team are Career Coaches and Life Coaches. Frida, one of the Career Advisors, is skilled at empowering, encouraging and believing in you. You only need one encouraging person to help change and improve your situation. Frida predicted that I would be a financial controller and she was right! I have been working as a Financial Controller at FBT Group for 4 years.
My current role
What I love most about working at FBT Group is the people. If you enjoy doing your work with the people you are surrounded with, it makes a big impact on your personal development. As a financial controller, I have opportunities to work with different teams at different levels of the company on financial and non-financial matters.
Today, FBT Group has an industry partnership with KBS. Whenever we have a job vacancy, KBS is my go-to place. I call Frida and she finds the right people for us. Now we have 6 KBS alumni (including me) working at FBT Group!
During my studies and my work, the key lessons I have learned are:
- Believe in yourself. You are more capable than you know.
- Surround yourself with encouraging people. They are your greatest asset.
- Build relationships with people in your industry.
- Networking with others can lead to career opportunities. A lot of job vacancies are not advertised because companies can get quality candidates from referrals. Who you know is just as important as what you know.
- Be humble.
- It is easy to be proud as you rise, but you need to reflect on how you started and be grateful for what you have and the people who helped you. Do not just focus on your own career but be encouraging to other people and help them feel appreciated. Good managers serve other people first before they serve themselves. That’s true leadership.