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Real Business : Issue 1 2010
29 cpacareers.com.au FUTURE PLANNING Everyone s an expert with 20 / 20 hindsight. And no one thrives in business without being prepared to go beyond a university degree. But, if there is one thing Krissoulla wished she d known back when she was studying for her undergraduate degree, it is just how important having that extra qualification would be. Having those three little letters after her name has allowed her to embark on a particularly rewarding track. "When I started CPA Program, I recognised that CPA Australia was a good organisation but I didn t realise the extent of the opportunities that would eventuate through being a CPA. I m only just beginning to fully understand the returns now." Krissoulla is quick to point out, though, that looking good on paper lasts for only so long. Qualifications need to be backed up with top performance. "People here [at Suncorp] have impressed me. ey re smart, dedicated, passionate, driven and really results orientated," she says, and that matters to her. "You have to have passion for what you do. Some look at a CPA qualification as a way of getting an added $30,000 to their salary package but I didn t do it for the money. I did it for the growth. I m passionate and driven and I know I have the studies behind me to allow me to move up the corporate ladder. And the result is that I have been recognised for my hard work," she says. "I m in the top percentile for commercial insurance and workers compensation." What s impossible to miss about Krissoulla is her total dedication to networking. She has always found the time to mingle with her peers and fellow CPAs for the sake of making connections. "You ve got to network -- got to connect and build relationships with the right people," she explains. Such contacts, of course, are invaluable for young financial professionals looking for new opportunities. At 29 years old, she can claim to have met a sizable number of Australia s CEOs and CFOs at CPA Australia functions. Top performers tend to build solid connections and relationships. Krissoulla knows only she can control her future and building connections now will ultimately be its own reward later on in her career. Not surprisingly, she has a number of mentors within the CPA Australia family. " ere is a community of people I call regularly that I trust to help me along the way and introduce me to all the right people." is has helped her to build up a profile not only within Suncorp but among CPA Australia members. It s much easier to retain employees by giving them responsibilities, variety, growth and flexibility, as well as visibility at a high level and a connection with senior management. In this regard, Krissoulla feels appreciated. ose in upper management at Suncorp know who she is and acknowledge how swiftly and easily she can adapt to new challenges and cope with any mounting pressures. After planning and embarking on her Suncorp career path, Krissoulla says she s content to stay where she is. "I ve done a lot of interesting things but there is a lot more I can do, either in wealth management or banking," she says. Happily for Krissoulla, Suncorp recognises the importance of having strong corporate values -- not least in its communication of the value proposition of professional development and, in particular, being part of CPA Australia, with its firm code of ethics: integrity, independence and trust. To Rob, sustained career development and growth potential go along with a healthy and robust company culture -- they are both promises that must be delivered upon for a talent-retention strategy to be successful. Loyalty is the key to retention. To win loyalty, businesses must keep proving they mean what they say about providing a trusting environment and great opportunities. So, although Krissoulla s success and loyalty proves the current strategy works, Rob says Suncorp is always looking for new ways to continue improving its learning and development. Most recently, Suncorp worked with a Queensland university to develop an e-learning curriculum that is not only available in-house but is increasingly being adopted by other organisations as well, ensuring that all young Suncorp employees, like Krissoulla, remain at the cutting edge of their industry. *RIGHT: CPA Program has helped Krissoulla Anagnostopoulos advance through the ranks at Suncorp GIO. For more information visit, www.suncorp.com.au
Issue 2 2009
Issue 1 2012