In conversation with Nidhi Nagori, Senior Internal Auditor at Lincoln Electric. She started her career at K.S Aiyar & Co. and then worked at KPMG and D.E Shaw India Pvt. Ltd. before becoming a Senior Auditor at BDO USA LLP. We would like to understand the role of a Senior Internal Auditor from her and How to become one.
I am a Chartered Accountant and got my US CPA recently. Currently, I work for Lincoln Electric, a US Manufacturing company, in their internal audit and compliance team. My role involves making sure all our global locations are legally compliant with US laws. I travel across the globe to work on SOX, compliance and corporate projects.
My daily routine is pretty simple:
There are no specific skills that a person requires to be in a place where I am in. However, you have to be willing to learn and be committed to your professional goals. When I moved to the US, I had no working idea about SOX or the US laws in general. I knew I had to give the best in every task I undertook. I read up on all areas and projects I was allocated, scheduled time with my managers to understand their expectations, followed up to get more work if I had time and availability and focused on learning something new regularly. In addition, it is important to not give up. Being a vegetarian, there are times when I have not found proper food on my trips and have fallen sick. I also gave my CPA exams while
working, which meant that I had to study at the airport, planes, trains, mobile apps and even in random countries. However, I push myself hard every day, every week and on every trip.
There are both Pros and Cons to my profession.
Coming to the Pros, you get an amazing global experience since you keep traveling, learning and working with locals, which is equivalent to living and working in new countries. Since we get the weekends off, we are free to explore the cuisine, people and landscapes of a new country. Travel is extremely educational and can teach you real-life skills. Therefore, the exposure and experience you get is a plus point.
There are also a lot of cons as well, for instance, you are mostly away from your family when you are traveling. I am married to a cardiologist who is also extremely busy. We do not get a lot of time together, but we need to do what is best for our careers. Secondly, you have to be okay with jet lags, even if you are jet-lagged on Sunday, you have to go to work the next day and give your best. Thirdly, finding food especially if you are a vegetarian is another con associated with this profession. Also, working out when you are on a tight schedule and having that level of commitment is difficult at times. Lastly, studying while traveling is also very challenging and requires a sheer amount of dedication.
I am an immigrant- I was born and raised in India. When I moved to the US, I did a lot of research, scheduled coffee meets with people and asked them questions. I made sure my research was thorough and well structured. Even though I was an outsider, I made sure that this never interfered with my work profile.
I also read upon immigration laws, visa laws and my status in the country. If you want to get into this field, I suggest you research the role, the country you want to move to and the immigration scene there. When you network with people, make sure your questions are very crisp and thorough. Cold calling is a thing of past- make sure you ready to jump in the moment you spot an opportunity.
This line is not something that you can get into without having any prior experience, but what you can do, is make sure that through your Articleship or your work experience, you can learn about different industries and internal audit roles in those industries. If you want a job where you can travel the world, start traveling before waiting for the ‘dream job’. It is difficult to do well at a travel job when you have not traveled much by yourself. So start saving for travel and put your efforts right. It is also crucial to start learning about what the role demands- read up SOX, corporate compliance and how these things work. Try to look for such openings
and see if you can connect with people in such departments. See what the organizations are specifically looking for because when you interviews for such positions, you need to perfectly fit into the role and team. And voila! You will find a job that pays you well and lets you travel the world at the same time.
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“I’m a Commerce graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and have completed CA (Rank holder), CFA(USA), FRM(USA), CAIA(USA), CCRA, CIPM, AIM and CS. At present, I am a visiting faculty at St. Xavier’s College, NSE, BSE; B-Schools like iLead, BIBS along with several other institutes; am a full-time trainer for CFA, FRM and SFM – CA Final. Provide trainings at organizations like Tata Interactive Systems, Volvo-Eicher(VECV), Genpact, AIITA, EIRC-ICAI, Saregama, Quaker Chem, Century Ply, AUM Capital etc. on Finance and Advance Excel.