Updating Results

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

  • 500 - 1,000 employees

Valerie Wong

7.00 AM

I am not a morning person, so once my alarm goes off I dress quickly and grab a quick coffee and toast before I need to run to the station. 

8.00 AM

Out the door and on my way to the APRA offices in the Sydney CBD. I have a bit of a commute, but I enjoy my time on the train with a bit of music and the Harbour views. I look forward to my work and I am always in a good mood before getting into the office.

8.30 AM

I cheerfully greet my team, power up my laptop and check my emails to see if there is anything that needs my attention, so I can prioritise my tasks for the day. I also make sure I have the materials I need for the meetings I’ll be attending.

Valerie at her desk

Today will be a longer day than usual because I have a call with a European prudential regulator to discuss one of the entities in my portfolio that has operations in Europe and Australia.

9.00 AM

In my role as a frontline supervisor, I need to undertake quarterly financial analyses for each of the entities in my portfolio. Today I am reviewing the data prepared by our data analytics team on one of my entities - the review includes understanding their financial performance, how they’re tracking compared to their business plan and the previous quarter, and if there is anything essential that I should follow up on. I note some changes in the numbers, so I can follow up with the entity later today.

10.00 AM

I meet with one of my colleagues for a coffee. It is a lovely day so we sit outside on the balcony to catch up. As part of the graduate program we are partnered with a buddy who had been in the graduate program the previous year. These catch up coffee chats are a chance to pick her brain about her understanding of APRA and any issues or ideas I have. It’s great to have a sounding board who has already been through the program.

Valerie having coffee with a colleague

10.30 AM

When I get back to my desk I call my contact at the entity whose data I had been reviewing. We discuss the changes I had noted and they explain what had happened. Once we have finished discussing the matter I note the relevant matters in my analysis report.

11.00 AM

I have a meeting with my team and some of our specialist risk team members. The meeting is in preparation for an upcoming prudential review into a specific risk area of one of our entities. We spend the meeting looking into documents submitted for the review and making notes of matters to discuss when we meet with the entity. At the end of the meeting we have planned an agenda for the face-to-face meeting with the entity.

I enjoy meeting with the risk specialists within APRA because they’re very collaborative and happy to share their specialist knowledge.

Valerie in a meeting

12.15 PM

After the meeting I head out of the office with some colleagues for a lunch time game of netball. It’s great to get to know some of my colleagues away from the office, even though our team is more about enthusiasm than winning. Running around also helps re-energise me for my busy afternoon.

1.00 PM

After a quick lunch I have my weekly one on one meeting with my manager. We use the time to chat about how I am going, and it gives me a chance to raise any issues or to ask for his advice on the things I have been working on. I am still developing my general insurance industry knowledge and he is always happy to help me if I get stuck on anything. I have been stuck on the technical application of one of APRA’s Prudential Standards, and my manager talks me through the calculations and give me advice on how to understand the wording of the Standard. 

Valerie talking to her manager

1.30 PM

My team and I are part of a licensing review for an entity that has applied to operate in Australia. Our Licensing team manages that process, but we have been asked to review the application and develop a submission on the merits of the application.

We have a meeting to discuss the application tomorrow, so I spend time finalising our submission on our position as to its ability to meet the licensing criteria. I also make notes on what I would like to present to the Licensing team. 

3.00 PM

To make sure I am across the new and emerging trends in the industries we regulate, I attend an information session from our Policy and Advice Division. Today’s session covers a number of important topics, including details of some upcoming prudential standards and an update on the work APRA is doing with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

These sessions are really helpful in ensuring I have all the information I need to help my entities understand the new standard and what it might mean for them.

4.00 PM

The entity I called earlier today has resubmitted their data and I examine the spreadsheet, looking for any other areas of interest. I also pull out an industry-wide spreadsheet our data analytics team prepare every quarter and make sure that the numbers I personally received from the entity has been updated within APRA’s systems as well. I finish writing up my analysis on the entity before sending it to my manager for review.

6.00 PM

Because of the significant time difference between Sydney and Europe, my team and I finish the day with a conference call with the international regulator. Because one of my entities is headquartered in Europe, we make sure to catch up periodically to discuss the entities performance in both jurisdictions. I take notes on how the parent company is performing and consider if there are any areas to follow-up with the Australian entity. 

7.00 PM

My manager thanks us all for staying late and encourages us all to take an early mark tomorrow. Finally home time! 

7.30 PM

I walk to the local gym and attend a Pilates class, because it’s always good to move around after a busy day of work. 

9.00 PM

I come back home, relax with my family and catch up with some friends over the phone. 

11.00 PM

Sleep time.


Learn more from APRA past graduates here