Alumni Alumni Stories Pursuing a Fulfilling Career and Achieving Success Through Ongoing Professional Development

Pursuing a Fulfilling Career and Achieving Success Through Ongoing Professional Development

Pursuing a Fulfilling Career and Achieving Success Through Ongoing Professional Development

Meet our alumni, Kadyrzhan Yerikov, from the Bachelor of Business (Majoring in Financial Management and Marketing) programme at James Cook University, Singapore. He accomplished a coveted milestone — securing a position at Ernst & Young immediately upon graduation. Read his story here.

Kadyrzhan Yerikov

Why did you choose James Cook University in Singapore over other universities?
The reason for choosing to study at James Cook University, Singapore, was to experience both the Australian and Singapore education systems and study environments simultaneously.

What sparked your interest in your chosen course?
I initially joined the university for its Pre-University Foundation Program. At that time, I wasn’t sure which direction to go after graduating, or what major I should choose for my degree program. I remember that one of the lecturers in the Foundation Program, Kris Koh, recommended that I continue with financial studies. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I made in life and provided me with lots of opportunities and skills to build my first career.

Did any modules stand out as a favourite?
One of my favourite modules was Investment Portfolio. Beyond helping me in my daily tasks,  
attending this class also resulted in a positive outcome as it motivated me to establish my portfolio.

Were there any lecturers who left a personal impact during your studies?
Although I encountered numerous lecturers, Kris Koh, from the Foundation Program remains the most memorable. He inspired my choice to pursue financial management.

Did the trimester system help you in your studies?
The trimester system greatly supported my studies, as it enabled continuous improvements in academic skills, and provided avenues to reach career goals. While the trimester system shortened holiday periods, I believed the positive outcomes outweigh the drawbacks.

Share your fondest memories at James Cook University, Singapore.
While studying at JCU in Singapore, I loved the diverse cuisine available on campus, including Chinese, Malaysian, Western, and more, with options for Muslim students as well.

What is your favourite aspect of Singapore?
Singapore is one of my favourite countries, and I’d want to visit again maybe in the next 1-2 years. My favourite place in Singapore is Marina Bay Sands — it has beautiful views. Also, the kindness of local Singaporeans — their patience and helpfulness when I asked them for directions.

How did your course, or the experience you had at James Cook University align with your current career?
I studied for a total of 3 years at James Cook University, Singapore (1 year for foundation and 2 years for Bachelor's degree). I got to meet students from other countries such as China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and my home country Kazakhstan too. We still keep in touch until today, and my experience at JCU provided this great opportunity to foster international relationships.

Additionally, the financial course I studied helped me build a solid foundation for the financial world, and contributed to my career growth.

Share more about your current role, and how you overcame challenges in your job.
I’m a Financial Analyst at Ernst & Young in the Evaluation & Strategy department, and based in Kazakhstan. In my role, I conduct business evaluations, as well as analysing and modelling financial statements.

Joining Ernst & Young after graduating is one of my greatest achievements. JCU's courses equipped me for this role. The academic portion allows me to complete my day-to-day tasks at work, and the diverse study environment fostered interaction with people from different international backgrounds.

It is important to continue enhancing your skill sets to overcome any challenges that you face in both your career and studies.

Do you have any advice for students pursuing a similar course or career path?

Singapore offers a comfortable living environment with a good education system. You get to experience communicating with people from different cultural backgrounds, expanding your horizons.

It’s important for you to keep improving your English skills, alongside other skills (such as business) that you might use in your daily classes. Also, always keep an open mindset when you are learning new things.

Summarise your JCU experience in a few words.
Thank you, James Cook University, Singapore for giving me lots of opportunities, good education, and a nice community with friends and professors coming from both local and international backgrounds. It was a memorable experience that contributed to my career journey.