Qistina Faizal

Qistina Faizal, the Senior Associate of PwC Malaysia, describes her journey with PwC in this article.
Qistina Faizal
Qistina Faizal
Senior Associate
Qistina Faizal_Rising Stars_PwC


  • BA (Economic and Social Studies) (Honours) in Accounting and Finance, University of Manchester, 2020 

How did you get into your current line of work?

I applied for a position after my internship with the firm in 2019. I knew from my internship experience that I wanted to join PwC Malaysia as the people and culture suited me best. I was informed about PwC’s Tax Management Trainee (TMT) programme – a two-year programme that offered me the chance to do four rotations in Tax and Assurance, six months each.

I joined the fourth batch of TMTs in October 2020. My first rotation was in Tax Reporting and Strategy (TRS), and while it was a challenge, it was also a blast. The challenges were mainly due to my transition from student life to working life while familiarising myself with the work and world of TRS. Adding to it all was the Movement Control Order due to COVID-19, so working virtually was unexpected.

What do you do day-to-day on the job?

My daily routine would differ from time to time, and, depending on the rotation, I would generally classify the activities as discover, discuss, and deliver.

  1. Discover: I do background research on the entities and their business, any available opportunities, and technical tax readings to understand how the industry generally operates.
  2. Discuss: I compile all the information and present it to my team/supervisors to gain better insights and suggestions for the team, given the varying experience and exposure.
  3. Deliver: Transforming the information agreed upon from the previous two stages into various deliverables that clients require, be it in the form of a presentation, report, or even essential discussion points for a meeting.

What would you say is the coolest thing about your current role?

The rotational aspect of the TMT programme is the best part of my career so far.

As a new graduate, the chance to rotate across different business units provided me with exposure to other parts of the business and the opportunity to expand my business acumen. I learn new things about myself by challenging my limits and discovering the line of work most suits me.

As a bonus, the rotations allowed me to meet new people and build relationships that blossomed into lasting friendships.

What were the most challenging parts of your role, and how did you overcome them?

Every new task is a unique learning opportunity, even when it might not be delightful, and I know I have to deliver to the best of my ability.

I try to break down the tasks and challenges into different stages, and measuring my performance at each step makes it achievable and more accessible for me to do my best. I also get to test my limits and perhaps even change my perception of the job or role.

What essential skills do you think are needed for your role?

Managing upwards. In this case, it is communicating well and aligning with your managers on the deliverables and expectations. This could also mean communicating your capacity, capability, and any opportunities you seek to your supervisors, allowing them to assign suitable tasks and challenges at your level.

Practising this skill builds trust in the working relationship by demonstrating your capability to perform your assigned tasks and helps develop your managerial skill.

Do you have any advice for your fellow graduates/juniors?

Be flexible to learn and have a growth mindset. Whatever you learnt during your university years may not be directly applicable but always be enthusiastic about every opportunity and challenge that could help you learn something new.