Veneon Siew Soon Waei

Currency Manager

Veneon studied Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance

How did you decide your career path?

The goal in my career planning was to ensure that I‘d have a continuous learning environment. So, I was more open to different career options. I didn’t know what I wanted to do (typical millennials), though I knew what I didn’t want to do. I didn’t want to work in repetitive data crunching kinds of jobs or to work in a languorous job environment. In the end, I settled for a Treasury Back Office junior executive job 10 days after my last exams paper (true story). It still had some mundane transactional work, but I was happy that it was also a dynamic type of job. Because in life, you give and take.

How did you get the job?

I dropped by one of the career fairs organized by Taylor's University campus when I was studying there. I remember dropping a few resumes around, but it was Siemens that first called me up two weeks later for an interview. First time interviews are really nerve-wracking. Thankfully my hiring managers were friendly although they had some intricate questions. The key to a successful interview is the authenticity in our questions and answers for both interviewers and interviewees.

What are your day to day tasks in this role?

My job is to manage Foreign Currency Risk in businesses within the ASEAN region. I’ve worked on hedging strategies for the South Bangkok Power Plant in Thailand, San Gabriel Power Plant in the Philippines, MRTA and BTS trainline projects in Thailand to name a few. I ensure Foreign Exchange risks are mitigated to prevent market volatility from diluting the project’s profit margin over the long tenor. I also have to ensure that the hedging strategies are compliant with both Treasury and Accounting Guidelines.

In your line of work, what are the most important soft skills and hard skills to acquire?

The most important soft skills are problem-solving and communication skills. As different projects have different business natures, I analyze and devise hedging strategies that are suitable in consideration of the Country’s Central Bank regulation. Handling different countries means dealing with people from different cultural and language backgrounds. Discussions will require tolerance, patience and clear understanding in order to get messages across. The most important hard skill would be a good understanding of the accounting guideline and financial instruments in the markets. My job requires me to wear two caps, an accountant and a treasurer. A hedging strategy must be able to mitigate fluctuation of the foreign currency exchange and in parallel ensure that the consequential accounting impact from the strategy does not result in significant accounting impact booking in the books.

How did you adjust your lifestyle from being a student to a working adult? 

The transition of a student’s mindset to a working adult, is to acknowledge that there is a difference in the theory and practice. As a working adult, you put learned theories to practice. Akin to experiments, you test on what works in the given situation and you navigate your way through new facts learned in your journey. There are responsibilities and ownership when you work in a position. You are contributing in a system that bears a result to society. By ensuring that you know what the system contributes, you will know that your daily effort in a position contributes to something you believe in.

The criteria below are rated from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) stars based on what my thoughts are on the organisation!

Culture: ★★★★★

Work-life balance: ★★★★

Travel opportunities: ★★★★★

Professional development: ★★★★★

Personal growth: ★★★★★