Helping companies manage and mitigate risks is, well, risky business. If you’re not able to correctly identify and anticipate what roadblocks a company is currently facing or is likely to face in the near future, there is always the risk of the company shutting shop forever. We believe only a daredevil can take on such a high-risk job and do it with such ease. Shiva Ramsingh is one such daredevil!
In a chat with GLEAC, Shiva spoke about the pros and cons of being a risk analyst and how his work impacts his life. Take a look!
GLEAC: Who do you have to thank for a decision that you made that got you where you are today?
Shiva: I have to thank my aunt, who was a professional in electronic banking, for encouraging me to get into risk management and internal audit. Her advice went on to explain that being in this field would allow me to gain an intimate understanding of strategy and operations within any industry. That resonated with me and because of this, I’ve been able to work within global organizations such as PwC, EY, and KPMG.
GLEAC: If a future version of yourself had to thank you for something you are doing right now, what would it be for?
Shiva: A future me would thank my current self for being resolute in bringing adaptive learning technology to the Caribbean. At present, students do not have a clear understanding of who they are and what their skills are. My team and I are working towards solving that issue so that future generations would have greater self-awareness of their skills.
GLEAC: What is your superpower soft skill? How do you use it in your job in your sector?
Shiva: My superpower in terms of soft skills are perhaps empathy and innovation. In an internal audit, we have to build rapport and show empathy with the staff of the functions which are the subject of an audit. By doing so, we are able to identify deficiencies in their operations and align our recommendations accordingly. At my current job, we are currently implementing the Enterprise Risk Management framework, and boy, it has not been easy. Given the risk framework is in its nascent stages, we have had to build each tool from scratch and train each risk owner in its use for effective implementation.
GLEAC: What hard skills and soft skills are needed for your job?
Shiva: The hard skills needed for my job are process mapping, internal controls, strategic processes, process re-engineering, risk assessment, and report writing. The essential soft skills include persuasion, empathy, tact, organizational skills, innovation, analytical skills, and critical thinking.
GLEAC: If you had to attract more talent to your team from another sector, who would you want, and with what skill sets?
Shiva: Risk Management and internal audit have to become more efficient in the age of Web 3.0. I would want professionals who have a solid understanding of data analytics, automation, and AI. Other skills usually inherent in current internal audit/risk professionals such as process mapping and internal controls can be taught. In terms of soft skills, individuals who are persuasive and have a sense of tact are desirable in my field.
GLEAC: Which are the 3 must-have soft skills for newbies looking to enter your sector?
Shiva: Three soft skills that newbies would need to be effective internal auditors/risk professionals would include persuasion, conversation, and innovation.
GLEAC: Which skills will those belonging to your sector have to acquire to become indispensable?
Shiva: Being able to understand Web 3.0 and the risks and opportunities it presents to businesses in any sector is imperative to becoming an effective advisor to senior management and the board. Further being able to adapt their soft skills to effectively interact with persons, especially in the Metaverse, are key skills that would make an internal auditor/risk professional indispensable.
GLEAC: Are there any soft skills you need to work on to better yourself?
Shiva: Communication because sometimes I get excited by what I’m talking about. It is filled with passion and I may speak too fast whereby people miss my words. Also, having not been trained to advertise me, sometimes people get confused about what I’m talking about because it is jumbled. So, enhancing my communication skills is a work in progress.
GLEAC: If you had to explain your job to a 5-year-old, how would you do it?
Shiva: I help companies figure out what can go wrong. I also assist them in determining the best response they can use to prevent these bad things from happening.
GLEAC: What is the one learning of your professional journey you would like to share with the world?
Shiva: While achieving in your professional career has its rewards, finding a balance between your work and life is desirable. It would keep you centered and focused on the goals you have for yourself.
GLEAC: Every career has its pros and cons. What are the good and bad aspects of your career?
Shiva: Internal auditors/Risk Management professionals provide advice to senior management and the board which keeps the lights on and the company wheels running efficiently. The downside of this is that in some instances – we as professionals – are not paid as much as “revenue generating” staff, even though we help prevent negative events from impacting organizations.
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