From Kaplan graduate to international triumph: Amani Khairuddin drives the national agenda as an ICAEW chartered accountant in PETRONAS
“In my third year at PETRONAS, I was assigned the task of setting up the PETRONAS team in Mexico and training the locals on the financial accounting requirements of the PETRONAS group,” recalls Amani Khairuddin.
Despite being in a place far from home and in a distinctive community from Malaysia, Amani had the competency not only in technical matters but also in effectively managing a foreign community. This capability was made possible by the opportunity PETRONAS provided her to study in France.
Amani, an alumna of Sekolah Seri Puteri, received a scholarship from PETRONAS to pursue her studies in France immediately after high school. It was during her time there that she learned not only to survive but also to thrive outside her comfort zone. Over the course of four years, from her diploma to her degree in Accounting and Finance at Université de Lille (FFBC), she immersed herself in studying using the French language.
“Reflecting on my time in France, I must admit it was a rather lonely period for me. Being the sole Malaysian student in the entire university, I faced considerable challenges. Moreover, the fact that French was not my first or second language created a social barrier,” shared Amani.
Nevertheless, she demonstrated resilience and managed to integrate and adapt. She even participated in competitions alongside her French peers.
Following the completion of her degree, Amani once again embarked on a new journey in a foreign land—the United Kingdom (UK). She joined Flemmings Chartered Accountants, an accounting firm, while concurrently pursuing the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) professional qualification.
Solidifying technical competency in accounting and finance
After completing her studies in France, Amani joined Flemmings in the UK, where she had the opportunity to work internationally. However, gaining the trust of clients required immense effort.
By consistently demonstrating her technical competency and expertise, she gradually earned their confidence, highlighting the value of diversity and unique perspectives in fostering strong professional relationships.
To lay a solid foundation for her career, Amani studied with Kaplan in pursuing the ICAEW qualification. She completed the programme with Kaplan over a period of four years, emphasising the exceptional quality of the tutors.
Amani admired their professionalism and their ability to seamlessly integrate practical applications of finance while prioritising exam preparation.
As a renowned tuition provider for ICAEW, Kaplan played a crucial role in Amani’s educational journey. Amani’s experience as an ICAEW student, combined with Kaplan’s training, significantly contributed to her growth as an aspiring leader in finance.
The ICAEW qualification not only deepened her knowledge but also equipped her with the necessary professional development skills and business acumen to excel in the finance and accounting field.
Serving the noble cause of building the country through PETRONAS
Amani, 33, now holds the position of head of finance accounting (gas business) at PETRONAS. With her diverse international experience studying in France, working in the UK and in Mexico, Amani’s heart remains firmly committed to Malaysia’s growth and development.
Over the past six years, Amani has dedicated herself to PETRONAS, a prominent oil and gas company that holds significant influence over Malaysia’s wealth. As Malaysia’s only Fortune Global 500 company, PETRONAS has a profound impact on the nation.
With total assets worth over US$152.5 billion and a global workforce of more than 46,000 employees, PETRONAS contributes to more than 15% of the Malaysian government’s revenue.
In her current role, Amani has played a crucial part in the financial growth of the company. She recognises the responsibility of being in PETRONAS, describing it as an amanah (trust) to unlock the potential of Malaysia’s oil and gas resources.
Sources of encouragement and motivation
Amidst challenging times, Amani, a mother of three, attributes her perseverance to the unwavering support of her family. Her husband, who shares the same professional field, has been a constant pillar of encouragement throughout her journey.
Understanding the demands of the finance industry, especially at PETRONAS, he has been instrumental in her career growth and personal development.
Amid the occasional demands of late nights and weekend work, Amani is grateful to have a spouse who truly understands the nature of her job. The unwavering understanding and support he provides create a nurturing and harmonious environment that allows Amani to fully focus on her career.
With the comfort of a loving home awaiting her, she is empowered to tackle challenges and pursue her professional aspirations with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
Amani credits PETRONAS for unleashing her potential as a finance leader, attributing her strong technical competency and adaptability to her international experience.
When asked about her driving force, Amani highlights PETRONAS’ focus on individuals who are motivated to serve the nation. For her, the primary source of motivation lies in the sense of purpose derived from contributing to Malaysia.
“In PETRONAS, motivation is key. The more opportunities you seek, the more you will receive. Your chances will come,” Amani concludes.