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Noor Hafizah Ismail

Climbing mountains is a metaphor that when you set your eyes on the end goal, you direct your whole energy and focus towards achieving that goal.

Fiza's journey since UWA

A Malaysian born girl that left all that was familiar to her to pursue her undergraduate studies in accounting and finance at The University of Western Australia.  

Graduated in 2009, she then commenced employment with the State Government of Australia as an auditor. Having completed her Certified Practice Accountant (CPA) qualification, she was well known as ‘the accountant that climbs mountain’, and not your typical boring accountant. 

Having worked as an auditor with The State Government of Australia for over 6 years and a half, dealing with top tiers firms of Australia’s top 100 Listed Companies, made me realise that no matter what stage of our career we are at, we all have further mountains to climb. Not only up the corporate ladder but also in other areas of our lives, our emotional and mental growth.  

What about the mountains that excites me? 

Climbing mountains is a metaphor that when you set your eyes on the end goal, you direct your whole energy and focus towards achieving that goal. It’s not for the faint-hearted and requires a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and fearless execution. 

I made a decision to resign from my accounting role in January 2019 and that led me to launch my own business in February 2019, focusing in the development of human minds, bridging the gaps in what’s missing in future leaders today. 

For me, UWA provided a foundation to step into the outside world, and after that, you carve your own journey, in whichever ways you decide to.

How did you choose your specialisation?

I have always been curious of attempting new things, and when the role (compliance investigations officer) was advertised, I loved the idea of it and I could definitely see myself doing it. 

The job description relied heavily on your interactions with the clients, building rapport and understanding the client’s business operations. It involves going to the clients' premises, identifying any problems that arise and educating them. This particular job requires a lot of communication skills and I have always pictured myself to be out there talking to people and not your typical sit down behind a laptop kind of person. 

What was your interview process like?

I had a panel of four people who sat in my interview process and it was an hour-long. 

I was nervous and overwhelmed, to begin with, but I went in there with an open mind to have fun and let the conversations flow. 

The questions revolved around as to why was I fit for the job, how would I handle difficult conversations, how would I be able to manage tasks with different priority levels and would I be comfortable dealing with the public.

Suppose a student was considering your career. What would you advise them to study?

I believe any kind of degree would be a great foundation in any given career and most of the technical skills, you will learn and develop on the job training. However, I would encourage students to actively work on their interpersonal skills (i.e. public speaking, presentation skills, personal grooming, soft skills) during uni years. I would strongly encourage students to read beyond their uni textbooks, watch TedTalk shows, listen to podcasts, and get on board on any volunteer roles. 

What does your employer do?

I am the CEO and Founder of ‘Move-Mountains Coaching’, launched in February 2019. 

Combining my experiences as an accountant, I focus on business engineering and human engineering, with a slight twist. 

With today’s modern technology we often get overwhelmed with a lot of information, instant gratifications, but somehow in the midst of all this, we lose touch to what truly matters in life. We are caught up in the ‘doing’ rather than the ‘being’, we conform to society’s expectations, we choose to stop chasing after our dreams and stop taking massive inspired risks. 

It’s all about the next level, what do you want and what are you willing to sacrifice to get there. 

What are your areas of responsibility?

My key responsibilities include building brand awareness for the company, creating contents for training deliveries, recording videos to build social media platforms, establishing new connections at networking events, producing blogs and many more. Being the sole owner of the business pushes me to learn new things, execute the plans and learn from the things that didn’t work. 

Can you describe a typical workday?

My day to day activities changes all the time. It involves from attending networking meetings, one on one consultations, planning and marketing my future events, designing contents, recording videos for social media platforms, tuning it to podcasts up to writing contents for future blogs and podcasts.

My last project was the ‘5 weeks Wonder Women Programme’ that combined the elements of boxing and self- awareness methods to create a safe transformational learning experience to a group of ladies. The concept is to bring awareness that no matter how many ‘hits’ you take in life, career, business, relationships, physical and emotional, learning how to handle them is what builds character in you. 

What sort of person succeeds in your career? 

A person who is curious and hungry to go to the next level.  A person who doesn’t settle to the norm, who questions if there is more to life that this? A person who doesn’t stop learning, a person who is teachable, a person who is open to being vulnerable and a person who wants to make a difference to the world.  A person who believes that nothing is impossible to achieve and has the attitude of ‘whatever it takes’.

If you could share one piece of advice with an international student at UWA, what would it be?

One of my favourite quotes that I stand by is, 

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive’ 

Always, always have an open mind and be curious to new learnings because you don’t know what you don’t know…..and to be ok with the uncomfortable.