In today’s competitive industry, Internships have become the building blocks of success. Internships offer students the chance to apply their learning into a real-world environment. Whilst academia will teach theories and strategies, an Internship allows students to apply these practices in the workplace. Here at bellabox, we understand the benefits of an Internship, and love nurturing the next generation of young professionals. We provide our Interns a safe environment, where they can foster their skills towards relevant workplace tasks.
Jason Yao started his journey at bellabox in 2017 as an Accounting Intern. His hard work and initiative lead him to be offered a permanent position. Four years later, Jason is now working as our ‘Finance & IT Manager,’ studying towards his CPA and is tutoring in finance at the Australian National University. This is his story.
How did you start your career at bellabox?
In 2017 I was further developing my employability skills in Accounting at "Performance Education". In my last three months of studies, I was required to complete a Professional Placement. At the time, bellabox had a partnership with the Institution, and offered me an Internship at their company.
Describe your experience as an Accounting Intern at bellabox.
The Internship was fruitful. I learned a lot of technical skills in Accounting and boosted my overall confidence in the workplace, thanks to my helpful supervisor and the team as a whole. After three months of Interning at bellabox, I learned a lot about business in general and felt ready to jump into my career.
Around the same time my Internship was ending, my supervisor left bellabox. Before she departed, she recommended me join the team. I started working full time with bellabox, soon after.
How did your Internship differ from full-time work?
During my Internship, my Supervisor guided me along the way. English is my second language, so I struggled to communicate. At the time, my language skills were academic driven, I knew all the words and the terminologies, but encasing them in a fluent conversation was challenging. My Supervisor was understanding and helped me grow in confidence.
Every week, I would report to my Supervisor, and she would pass this along to Andrew, the CEO. This guidance helped me tremendously and facilitated my growth into the full-time role.
To be transparent, the transition from Intern to ‘Assistant Accountant’ was difficult. I struggled in the beginning because I felt intimidated by Andrew's high level of expertise and experience. But I needn’t fear, Andrew always gave me time to explain myself and guided me when I made errors. I made a lot of mistakes at the start, especially within my communication. Andrew would consistently encourage me to practice my English through reporting and regular meetings. I am thankful for his patience and guidance throughout this time.
During this period, I also used my own logic and skills to understand the business, and soon, I became at ease. After a year, I was promoted to ‘Finance Manager.’ Now, I had my own opportunity to be a supervisor and guide an Intern. It was surreal to see my career progression, and I was excited to teach someone else all that I had learned.
What was your experience like being a supervisor?
I like teaching the next generation of professionals. I had some incredible students who I believe learned a lot from their Internship. The opportunity for students to learn through an Internship is invaluable, and I’m honoured to be part of the process.
After some time, I was promoted again to ‘Finance & IT Manager.’ I had to shift my focus and needed additional help with the accounting side of the role.
During this period, we had an Intern, Ankita, who came from the same Accounting program as I did. She was very passionate about bellabox and showed great promise. Ankita’s dedication to this company, and willingness to learn, lead me to hire her as our ‘Accounts Officer’. I’m very proud of her.
What is some advice for aspiring Accountants?
Aspiring Accountants should hone their computer skills. In order to have a promising future in Accounting, young professionals need to be well trained in programming and IT. It’s an important cross major to gain, as technology is taking over jobs.
Right now at bellabox, we use programs that remove human error. Ten years ago, I would have manually calculated the figures over hours, now our program does it in seconds. Instead of fighting the use of technology, I recommend learning how to use it to your advantage.
Attention to detail is also very important in the Accounting profession. Using critical and logical thinking will boost you from a Junior level to a Senior.
Where are you now in your career?
I am now working across both Finance and IT at bellabox. Specifically, I work with our Accounts Officer Ankita, third-party tax advisers, and CEO Andrew to fulfill all accounting and finance functions. In the meanwhile, I liaise with our overseas system developer in terms of system maintenance and updates.
I am also currently sitting exams to become a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA). Being a CPA is a mark of high professional competence. It indicates a quality of accountancy knowledge and an ability to implement learnings throughout 3 years of professional practice.
It is challenging and time-consuming to attain this certificate. I am very thankful to bellabox for supporting me throughout my studies. I have been granted time off to study for exams and have been allowed a generous level of flexibility. I am so grateful to this company, for fostering my career progression and studies.
What are the benefits of being a CPA for bellabox?
The CPA Program goes beyond the numbers. It teaches skills in leadership, strategy, and business. This internationally recognised program educates students on content that is highly relevant, so I’m now up to date with the latest industry innovations. I can now apply this knowledge of taxation and financial reporting in my work at bellabox.
What are your future career aspirations?
I would love to be in Academia. Along with my work at bellabox, I am currently tutoring in Finance at Australian National University. One day, I would love to harness all the skills I have gained from working and put it towards crafting a new educational curriculum. The team at bellabox has been so supportive in allowing me to follow my dreams. I hope that one day, I can give back, and teach future generations.
Describe the bellabox team in 3 words.
Fun. Supportive… I’m going to cheat and say a sentence; helped me to grow and build up my skillset.