Cynthia Whelan inspires incoming ASB undergraduate students

Thursday, 7 March 2013  Features

Cynthia Whelan, a Bachelor of Commerce Alumna and ASB Alumni Leader, addressed first year undergraduate students this week to welcome new students into the Australian School of Business Community.

As Chief Executive of Barclays, Australia and New Zealand, Cynthia Whelan is one of Australia's most senior women in investment banking. After an early career as a professional ballerina, she enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce at ASB eventually majoring in Finance and Japanese Studies. She told students this introduction to Asia had a "profound effect" on her time at university and her subsequent career.

After her studies at ASB, Cynthia secured a graduate position at UBS before moving into roles at Merrill Lynch and Barclays. She spent three years in Hong Kong and was appointed CEO of Barclays Australia and New Zealand in 2010.

She advised students to be well-rounded, to get involved in clubs and societies, do some volunteer work and participate in activities outside study.

"Don't try and predict exactly what path your career will take. Be open to new experiences and find a way to differentiate yourself." Cynthia said.

She assured students she sees a positive future for those seeking a career in business and the finance industry.

"The industry is robust and cyclical. The financial markets have an incredible ability to withstand volatility...there are lots of exciting opportunities out there for you," she said.