When Alex Hu accepted a short-term contract to implement a system migration for an IT training company called Red Education, little did he know that two years later he would be still there. would find himself the Finance Director of a rapidly-growing global Authorised Training Provider.
Alex arrived in Australia from China in 2016 after completing his undergraduate finance degree on the island of Macau, although he swears that he didn’t set foot in a casino while he was there! His parents persuaded him to move to Sydney to study for his master’s degree, hoping that he would learn independence from living overseas. After he qualified, he decided to gain experience working in different industries, from media to construction, and then the system migration contract with Red Education. After a year he was promoted to the position of Senior Accountant and then once again to Finance Director in 2021.
Alex describes his role as Finance Director as having two main areas that each suit different parts of his personality. The first is financial accounting, which he says suits him particularly well as it appeals to his rule-based nature. On a day-to-day level, he ensures that necessary payments are made and reconciled, keeping the business running and managing cash flow. This is the backward-looking part of his role, focussed around record-keeping and ensuring compliance. The other part of his role is management accounting, which appeals to his forward-looking strategic side, using his analysis of the present and projected financial position of the business to forecast and advise on investments and future growth.
Financing international expansion
Working for a global company, Alex says he is excited to have the opportunity to work with many different countries, each with its own set of financial rules and regulations. Also, he enjoys being exposed to many different areas of finance, instead of just a small cog in a large corporate machine where the impact of your work can get lost. At Red Education, he says, everyone is working towards the same goal. He enjoys being part of a committed leadership team and appreciates the recognition he has received from senior management colleagues, along with the opportunity to join their ranks while still in his twenties.
Alex describes one of his best qualities as the fact that he is constantly curious. He says he is just as motivated in his spare time as he is at work, always interested in learning new things. Currently, he is teaching himself photography, coding, and to play the piano.
‘Keep growing, stay calm, and read some books!’
Alex says that it is important to have a growth mindset to achieve your goals, believing that people need to learn to manage their energy, not just their time. ‘Your time is limited, but your energy is unlimited,’ he says. He talks about the advice he would give to his younger self, summing it as ‘Keep growing, stay calm and read some books!’.
The pursuit of happiness
Alex says that, in the end, happiness is his ultimate objective. This is not selfish, he says, believing that happiness should be everyone’s goal. ‘If you are happy and you stay positive as well as working hard, then you are going to live a well-balanced and more productive life,’ he says.
With Red Education growing and expanding into new markets, he enjoys learning new skills to support the business. ‘It’s a win-win situation,’ says Alex. ‘The business is growing and the employees are learning new things every day. People are being promoted into new positions, and everyone is happy’.