Chef Turned Finance Consultant Proves It is Never Too Late to Follow Your Dreams

Taking the next step in your education journey can definitely be a daunting task. With so many options to choose from and so many possible paths to take, it is little wonder so many students are puzzled about where they should go and what they should do.

17 January 2023

For University of Birmingham (UoB) graduate Praveen S/O Paniar Silvam, his word of advice to students still unsure about applying for their next course of education is to ‘always begin with the end in mind’.

“Visualise where you will be five years from now and plan accordingly,” said Praveen who recently graduated from UoB’s Accounting and Finance programme and is currently a Finance Transformation Consultant at Ernst and Young. “Always know what is coming next and most importantly, take this opportunity to challenge yourself and make as many friends as possible.”

Praveen has certainly taken his own words to heart as the former chef knew from the start that he wanted a change in profession, hence his decision to further his studies despite starting later than his peers in his programme.

A key factor for why Praveen chose SIM to study at was the time it’ll take for him to complete his studies.

“My goal was to actually complete my education journey by the time I was 30. By coming to SIM, I managed to complete both my diploma and degree within a span of five years. And thinking back if I had gone another route, it would have taken me seven or more years.”

During the course of his studies, Praveen found himself unsure of which path to take as well, and he is thankful to his lecturers who offered him valuable guidance along the way.

“When I was still doing my diploma, I was still unsure as to which programme I actually wanted to pursue,” said Praveen. “I was also very grateful to have good lecturers along the way who advised me on what are the things I should consider. So, by the time I completed my diploma, I was sure that I wanted to do the University of Birmingham’s Accounting and Finance.”

It is thanks to Praveen’s lecturers and his own hard work and determination that led the Accounting and Finance student to graduate top of his cohort and earn a position at Ernst and Young prior to even graduating.

When asked for a word he would use to describe his experience at SIM, Praveen did not hesitate to say that it was ‘relevant’.

“The things that I've learned in SIM are being applied by myself in the current industry. Like machine learning, AI, finance implementation tools, and automation tools. These are things that we actually learn [in class].”

He added that aside from being relevant, his experience in SIM was also an ‘engaging’ one with the many things students can do outside of the classroom at SIM.

Having done an internship at SIM’s Career Connect Office, Praveen stated that one of his most memorable moments at SIM was when he was tasked to be an emcee for a Virtual Internship Career Fair.

“It was my first time emceeing for any event, I was very nervous, but I managed to push myself and pull through eventually and everyone actually praised me for being a good emcee,” said Praveen.

He adds, “[SIM’s student clubs] allow you and enable you to think beyond what is already there in the classroom and pushes you to actually go and pursue the truth in whatever the subject matter is.”

Click here to watch our full interview with Praveen and learn more about his personal experience as a SIM-UoB student.