- Camille Woods CA says running a meditation school and teaching accounting are an unusual blend, but the disciplines are complementary.
- Woods is also chair of Young Chartered Accountants Panel and Treasurer of Bridges Aligned Service.
- She says the CA qualification requires discipline and tenacity, which are necessary for success in any career.
Tell us about your roles and responsibilities.
I’m an accounting academic at the University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University. It is fun teaching finance, tax, accounting, audit and marketing at university but I have noticed my students have very high stress levels about finding a graduate job. My interest in getting updates after graduation stems from the issues we all faced at university. What makes my day is when a student contacts me when they get their graduate job offer after we have been plotting for months. I am also the founder and director of Monday Mind, a corporate yoga and meditation school. It’s a strange blend but each role helps the other. It’s a dream come true. At Monday Mind, we do yoga and meditation classes in the office.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I get into my office at Fishburners, a co-working space in Sydney’s CBD for start-up businesses, and I begin writing guided meditations. It’s the highlight of my day. I’ve created over 200. Then I start preparing for my university classes. I am also Treasurer of Bridges Aligned Service, a mental health non-profit in Bundaberg, Queensland, so I need to prepare for board meetings. Then I am off to teach class and end the day with dancing and meditation.
What’s the most helpful tool you have for getting the job done?
Meditation. It changes your life slowly by uncovering your true self. As accountants, we often look for inconsistencies and details. Meditation helps to get the job done because it helps you manage your mood.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
One person’s success is their success and never limits your own. There is enough room in the world for everyone and success should always be celebrated.
Accounting gave me so much independence that I wanted to share it with the younger generation
Why did you choose to become a chartered accountant?
I wanted freedom – freedom to work the way I wanted, the freedom to dream big with the support of a fallback. The funny thing about accounting is that the further you run away from it, the more it tightens its grip. I could do my business full-time or be a yoga teacher full-time, but the joke is on me because freedom from numbers isn’t fun. I need to analyse businesses and that’s why I teach. Accounting gave me so much independence that I wanted to share it with the younger generation.
Have you been to a Chartered Accountants ANZ member event lately?
Yes, I am regularly at the CA building because most of my friends are CAs or work at CA. Each month I go to the Young Chartered Accountants Panel meetings and the inspirational monthly Entrepreneurs Discussion Group. What I like most about the CA community is our self-deprecating humour and how we know what accountants are feeling.
What do you think are the most rewarding aspects of your role?
The best reward is to share useful meditations. My accounting students at university say the meditations I show them help ease their exam stress and calm their nerves.
If you hadn’t become a CA, what would you have done instead?
That’s the beauty of being a CA. You still can do your dream job. It doesn’t limit your career opportunities.
Related: Success as a start-up owner
Cam Nguyen, CA, owner of Encountr Accounting & Tax talks about starting her own business, what sets CAs apart from the rest and why communication is a key for success.