Meet Dara - A Day in Life as a Senior Executive in Financial Planning and Analysis at Urbanland

When Dara graduated, he settled at Urbanland as an accountant and has not left since. He is now a Senior Executive in Financial Planning and Analysis, who has been working at Urbanland for over four years. One of the factors that keep Dara here is the openness of its people and culture.

What is your typical day at work like at Urbanland?

On most days, I start with a cup of coffee by my desk in our headquarter's office at Raintree Building. I spend about 10 to 15 minutes mapping out my tasks and planning what I need to do for the week. I tend to have small breaks throughout the day or perhaps small chitchats with colleagues to decompress after hours of intense work. In our department, if there is something that bonds us, it is definitely food and drinks. Our whole team often orders snacks like sandwiches or cookies that are door-delivered around 4:00 or 5:00 PM. This allows us to not only unwind after a long day of work but also to take the opportunity to mingle and strengthen our bonds. This is just one of the examples of how we embody our company’s identity, which is to create inspirational spaces for people to live, work and play in.

Do you consider yourself effective?

I'm always looking for better ways to do things because accounting and finance works are a never-ending cycle of new problems and solutions. I believe in the phrase "There's always a better way." I have the tendency to come up with multiple solutions for any problem I encounter and compare my options to evaluate which one is the most efficient and effective for me and the others involved.

Tell us about a bad habit you want to break

People have many things they want to change about themselves. I am not perfect, either! Some of the things I want to change about myself include taking that first step. Taking that first step, starting something has always been difficult for me, and that is something I am working on every day to improve. The other one is to stop taking things too personally. I have been told that sometimes, I tend to take things that were said or done toward me way too personally. That is why it is great to have colleagues constantly reminding me about my flaw so that I can work on them.

How do you define friendship?

My definition of friendship has changed drastically since my graduation from college. I used to think that friendships are about having fun together and sharing good times, all the time; however, I now understand that friendships are also about being there for each other through rough times, seeking advice from one another, and being open with each other even when we are apart for a long time at times. The friends that are dearest to me are those who are patient with me when I'm going through tough times, and those who don't mind lending an ear when I need someone to talk to.

What is your view on the stereotype that accounting is a women’s job?

It is a misconception that society perceives accounting and finance as a "woman's job." For the longest time, it's been known that the field is dominated by females due to its less physically demanding nature. After joining the industry, I realized that the gender gap is not as big as it seems. In my team, for example, the ratio between male and female accountants is 50-50. Apparently, anybody with the right skill and mindset can thrive in this field.