Ka Man has an atypical career in finance

Key messages
  • Learning by doing
  • From Controller to F&A Manager
  • Guiding people who lost their jobs is not easy

She first worked as a controller and only then did tasks in bookkeeping follow. In her atypical career, Project Consultant Ka Man Mok recently had to do a lot of people management as head of department. Our client moved activities from Belgium to Portugal and employees’ contracts were terminated in Brussels.

Ka Man took over the daily tasks from the head of the department Finance & Administration who focused fulltime on the transfer of activities to the new Shared Service Center in Portugal. "Guiding people who lost their job is mentally difficult and I had no experience with people management. It was sometimes like walking on eggshells, but all in all the cooperation went well," she says.

Fortunately, I have a strong mentor to whom I can always turn for advice.

Ka Man Mok

"I worked mostly intiutively and listened a lot. I tried to empathize strongly with the situation of the twenty or so employees, some fifteen of whom lost their jobs, sometimes after decades of working for our client. Fortunately, I have a strong mentor to whom I can always turn for advice. Koen (Van Nieuwenhove, Project Manager at TriFinance) has experience in managing a Finance & Administration department. He advised me to mainly focus on the people who were still motivated, despite the fact that they lost their jobs."

Variation, speed and a lot of learning

Ka Man, who holds a master's degree in commercial engineering from the ‘Vrije Universiteit Brussel’ (VUB), has been working for the Brussels Blue Chip Boutique Transition & Support of our international network organization since 2017. "I chose to become a consultant because I lacked variety and speed in my jobs as an employee. I wanted to focus on finance and learn a lot in a short period of time. TriFinance, my third employer, makes that possible", she explains.

First she did financial controlling for almost two years as TriFinance’s Project Consultant at a car builder and since the middle of last year, she has been on a project for an international player in facility management that is mainly active in the food sector. After three months of business controlling, she became manager of the Finance & Administration department.

According to Ka Man, she has learned a lot: "As a controller, I had already made a dashboard and written and presented reports several times. This time, I got insight into where the figures come from and how to inject them as a basis for the work of controllers. The fact that I was given the opportunity to work with the BI tool 'Essbase' was a bonus."

I have a very multifunctional role today.

Ka Man Mok

The customer's Finance & Administration manager returned to his former job after the transition period of the move to the SSC. Ka Man was given a new project: to analyze, improve and document the procedures for the tasks that remained in Brussels. But when the manager dropped out, she took over his daily tasks again and took care of the liaison with Portugal.

Cooperation with Portugal is not yet fully operational. There are still issues to be solved. "I have a very multifunctional role today", Ka Man laughs.

Her project is coming to an end soon and she recently discussed her next career steps with her Blue Chip Boutique Leader. "So far, I have mainly replaced people in their daily work. I would like to work on a project basis for once. Gaining experience in an end-to-end assignment. That is why training courses have been planned in people management, communication and process management. I am very happy with that."