Name: Angela Dong FCCA
Job title: Global Vice President – GM of Greater China
What inspired you to become a finance professional?
In my mind, finance and accountancy is a career that connects facts with guts, for striving to make the best business decisions and to create optimum value. When I decided to start a career in finance, I searched for something that would help me to progress and excel in both professional knowledge and business acumen.
Why did you feel ACCA was the best route for you professionally?
I was born in Shanghai and brought up in a pretty philosophical household. I wasn’t academically trained for finance, but joined my first company, Proctor & Gamble, in the finance pipeline. After a while I thought it was time I learnt more, so I picked one of the most respected finance qualifications - ACCA.
I wanted to have international exposure, so I chose something that would support me on an international journey and ACCA is a globally recognised brand for finance professionals. Everything I learned through ACCA, the logic, the thinking, the approach allowed me to see the bigger picture more clearly, to analyse and to put a strategy in place. These days I no longer flip through the books, but all the logic and the rational remain deep in my mind.
Can you talk a little about how you got to where you are now?
I’ve spent my career in multi-national companies (MNCs), Proctor & Gamble, British America Tobacco, then Coca-Cola China. For the last 12-13 years I’ve been with Nike, where I started as Finance Controller, before moving into CFO roles, which prepared me for my role today as Global Vice President, General Manager of Greater China.
I chose MNCs because I love international platforms and there is an increase in demand on your understanding and appreciation of different cultures. You have a broader perspective and you have to make sure you understand people. Then you have to get yourself understood, and then you can operate at a truly international level.
Can you describe your current role?
It’s incredibly varied, but what I really enjoy is throughout the entire week I meet with folks on Nike’s campus to discuss product innovations. This is where my passion lies, helping people unleash their full potential, this is the best part of my job.
The 20 of us coming from 10 different countries and regions means there is always a spark at our discussions. Sometimes you take things for granted, but people may ask a question you’d never thought about.
It’s certainly my passion to lead trends and to create great momentum in this market. I would like to make China a leading force globally in terms of creativity and innovation. As a CFO, I need to balance the short-term versus longer-term investment, but nevertheless, innovation is the core focus.
Nike has been a very rewarding journey for me, it has covered everything – finance, planning, strategy, tax, law. It covers a lot of aspects that make me a better professional. Additionally, working at Nike, your hobby, your career and your life can all come together. Ever since I started working at Nike I’ve fallen in love with sports and exploring different types of sports.
How has ACCA helped you achieve your career ambitions and goals?
ACCA is one of the best investments I’ve made in myself. For me, firstly and most importantly, ACCA represents a lot of values and qualities that I believe in: integrity, professionalism, business intelligence and value creation.
What does being an ACCA member mean to you?
The ACCA membership means we are members of a great family that stands for these values and qualities. ACCA also stands for high standards and consistency. This is a professional organisation that has delivered decades of professional advice and guidance, and developed tens of thousands of professionals throughout the years. I truly appreciate the global platform that ACCA provides to all the finance professionals and business leaders to share knowledge and experience. I also appreciate the diversity in perspectives across geographies, cultures and industries.
With ACCA I think there are many people of similar minds coming together and there’s a lot of sharing, and not just restricted to finance. I think it’s the connections, the networks, the community aspect that grows this organisation.
Watch Angela’s full interview