Student gets the edge with Coca Cola’s top executives
11 October 2012
Eseniya Latfullina is no ordinary young woman. With a science degree in microbiology already under her belt, the 25 year-old now knows what it's like to work with Coca-Cola Amatil's top executives as part of her accountancy studies.
Eseniya moved with her family from Kazakhstan to New Zealand 14 years ago, to seek a new life in what they felt was a safer place with better opportunities.
Now as a Graduate Diploma in Professional Accountancy student at Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology, Eseniya recently completed an Executive Insights Programme placement with the multinational organisation.
The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants selects a limited number of up-and-coming accounting students to participate in the programme, to spend three days with a host organisation, meet senior executives, and observe them in action.
Unitec’s Bachelor of Business Programme Leader, Andrew Slessor, knows just how tough it is to achieve what Eseniya has.
“Only 22 students were selected nationwide for NZICA’s 2012 Executive Insight Programme,” says Mr. Slessor. “Competition is tough as they refer students to some of New Zealand’s most well-respected multinational companies to learn on the job.”
It seems Eseniya was sought out by the Coca-Cola team, to work alongside its business leaders in gaining practical experience within the industry.
“They called me back late that night to say the Coca-Cola representatives wanted me specifically. I felt quite good about that,” says Eseniya.
The Executive Insight Programme is aimed at third and fourth year accounting students, and aims to give students insight from the executive level right through to the manufacturing floor.
“These days, Chartered Accountants need to have a much deeper understanding of the whole business, not just the financial components,” says Eseniya.
Executive Insight gives students the chance to link up with an organisation to work and build on experience of becoming a successful Chartered Accountant.
“For me it was the perfect way to see how the senior executives manage their business, and find out about executive career paths.”
“My mum runs a small accounting business from our home in West Auckland, Accounts Plus Services. But we want to grow the business and find a local office space.”
“As a family, we’d like to see how far we can go with this business. My sister is currently studying administration, so she will have the skills to help us take our family business to a new level.”
By completing the Executive Insight Programme, Eseniya had first-hand experience in identifying the key values and visions of a multinational organisation, the relationships they have developed and their performance measures, and the importance of how large organisations deal with global issues and combat the effects of recession.
“I would recommend this programme to any student doing a business course, especially accounting students because it helps to set a context in which to interpret the course material but also because it helps to then become more engaged in study and apply it more realistically rather than just theoretically.”