Graduates of Global Distinction Part 20: Alex Gombera (NBS 2013)

Alex Gombera, ACCA
Manager, Assurance and Advisor
Deloitte, New Zealand

Our Graduates of Global Distinction (GGD) can lead in any location and any sector and #20 Alex Gombera is no exception. Alex joined Norwich Business School in 2010 from Harare, Zimbabwe to study for a BSc in Accounting and Finance and graduated in 2013. While at UEA he made the most of extra-curricular activities such as the UEA International Society. Upon graduation he returned home  and landed a role in the big 4 Accountancy giant, Deloitte. He remained in Zimbabwe and became a Chartered Accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in 2017 before starting the next chapter of his life in New Zealand.

Director of Employability Dr Graham Manville wants to promote student self-efficacy and aspiration by showcasing professionally qualified (Chartered) alumni as they serve as vicarious role models for our students and recent graduates.

Graham believes that whether you study Marketing, Human Resource Management or Operations Management, becoming a chartered professional is an essential step in establishing yourself as a manager and subject matter expert.

Alex is a fantastic role model and ambassador for UEA and Norwich Business School. He truly is a global star as he has moved from Norfolk, to Zimbabwe and now in the picturesque New Zealand. We said Kia Ora to Alex and caught up with him after all those years.

Please explain how your career has developed since graduating?

After graduating, I joined Deloitte, in the Audit and Assurance team in Harare, Zimbabwe. During my time with Deloitte I serviced clients within the banking, financial services and mixed industrial holdings industries. I also completed my professional accounting exams and qualified as a chartered certified accountant, whilst working with Deloitte.

In September 2017, I left Deloitte, packed up my bags and headed to Auckland, New Zealand, where I joined KPMG, as Assistant Manager in their Financial Services Audit department. My portfolio mainly consisted on banking and insurance clients. One of the highlights of my time with KPMG, was being seconded to the Cook Islands, where I audited one of the resorts, fulfilling the dream of living on a pacific island. I left KPMG in July 2019 and joined Deloitte in Auckland as a Manager in their Assurance and Advisory team, specialising in accounting advisory.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your current role?

What I appreciate most is the variety of my role. The nature of the work can be completely different depending on what the client needs, and being in an advisory role means I really feel like I get to make a difference and add value.

What steps did you take in finding employment?

When I moved backed to Zimbabwe, it took me a few months to secure my role with Deloitte. During this time, me and my friends used to go around different companies, with our CV’s and drop them off with the respective HR representatives, a process we dubbed, “dropping off mix tapes”, which is what prospective hip hop musicians used to do with record labels, before the advent of youtube and social media. The objective was to put a face to the CV and hopefully make an impression with these people we came in contact with.

What are the key skills you learned as part of your course?

One of the key skills I learnt was the ability to work with people from different backgrounds harmoniously for group projects. Working in a global firm like Deloitte I’m constantly working in teams with people from all over the world and I find

How have these skills, or your course, made a difference in your career development?

This is a skill which later developed into being able to identify people’s strengths and use them to complete projects efficiently and effectively.

Did you develop further skills in other ways during your time at UEA?

I was the president of the International Students Society, at the time it was the largest society on campus and was a recognisable face to many international students. We organised an event every week and I had to manage my time very effectively in order meet my responsibilities there and still satisfy my academic side.

You can find Alex on LinkedIn here

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