The best way to describe Camille Woods' eclectic career journey is 'anything but ordinary'.
Camille's first job was as a Financial Services Auditor at Ernst & Young. After graduating from UTS with a Bachelor of Accounting, she moved into the construction industry working as an Internal Auditor and Fund Accountant for Lendlease.
From there she joined Sydney Ports Corporation as a Financial Accountant, followed by a Joint Venture Accountant role at Peabody Energy, a mining company in Brisbane.
"One thing I've learnt about myself through these different roles is that each job you do brings something else to your skillset. Every single job you do, builds something - and then you have a whole list of tools that you can draw on and use," Camille says.
Surprisingly, with this wealth of experience in financial roles across a variety of industries, Camille didn't always identify with being a "numbers person".
"I was always good at English in high school. English, drama, that kind of thing. Maths was never my favourite topic, so when I got accepted into the Bachelor of Accounting at UTS I was really surprised. I wasn't sure if I could do an accounting degree. I wanted a challenge, and I thought, let's try this," she says.
Today, Camille splits her time between teaching accounting students at UTS and her role as Director of corporate meditation and yoga school start-up, Monday Mind.
"I started Monday Mind because I thought it was sad that people always complain about Mondays. I thought, 'How sad is that?' Out of seven days of the week, you're going to hate one for the rest of your life?," Camille says.
"What I love most is the creativity that comes from teaching yoga and meditation. It's really fun to see everyone and have all of our yoga mats in a circle, and all laughing and doing poses, and just trying our best. Yoga is about being comfortable in the uncomfortable."
Camille knows first-hand that the work of an accountant can be stressful, which is why she has made it her mission to give professionals an outlet for managing their stress, with the aim of empowering them to achieve their best work.
"I really care about office workers, because I'm an office worker. You're there for a long period of time each day, so I think it's really important that you have fun, feel comfortable, and that you feel you've got room to make mistakes and grow as well. Stressful work environments can bring out the worst in you. I'm passionate about bringing out the best in people, and empowering them to do their best work," Camille says.
"The key piece of advice I give students who are interested in a career in accounting, is definitely go for it, because you'll start in accounting and then you can end up wherever you want to. Being a Chartered Accountant means a lot to me. It means you are part of a community, supporting each other, and always learning."
When it comes to seeing a noticeable change in those taking her classes, Camille says for some just a few sessions can make all the difference.
"It feels really good when you can see the difference that yoga and meditation can make to an office worker. You see their confidence change, or the way they go about doing things change," she says.
Having completed the CA Program herself, Camille has now come full circle - teaching Audit and Assurance at UTS and acting as finance module facilitator for the CA Study Masterclass. She looks forward to seeing her students experience the excitement she felt when she successfully completed the Program.
"I had never felt so knowledgeable. I just felt like the world was my oyster. When my students get to the end of the Program, it's really going to be amazing," Camille says.
Miraculously, Camille also finds time in her schedule to serve as treasurer on the board of The Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia and Bridges Community Care. Camille's involvement with these organisations was borne out of her desire to put her CA qualification to good use; to make a real difference in the world by helping build the organisations' financial position and stability.
While Camille's positive demeanour, determination and passion for helping others have been vital factors in helping her achieve so much in her career to date, she also credits the CA Program as one of the reasons behind her success.
"The key piece of advice I give students who are interested in a career in accounting, is definitely go for it, because you'll start in accounting and then you can end up wherever you want to. Being a Chartered Accountant means a lot to me. It means you are part of a community, supporting each other, and always learning. The CA Program has helped me so much and I don't think I would have achieved what I have without it," Camille says.
"When you feel like you've made a difference in someone else's life through your job, it makes it so much easier on the days that you don't feel like going to work. You never know what day it is that you're going to help someone."
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