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European Union Special Representative in Kosovo
Senior Finance/Budget Officer
During a recent conversation, Driton Pustina shared more on his experience at PwC Albania and Kosovo - while also providing valuable career and leadership advice.
What drew you to PwC?
During my studies I had noticed that I have a deeper interest in accounting and finance related classes compared to other fields. Therefore, as a fresh graduate, I had decided to pursue a career in accounting and finance and luckily there were some open vacancies at PwC. At first, I was drawn to PwC’s prestige and reputation for quality and professionalism.
As an international firm, PwC works with international clients, and you can get exposure to some large global companies and interesting transactions that you may not typically face within the Kosovo market and local companies. Additionally, after starting work at PwC, I was even more impressed by the firm’s culture and vibrant energy that the colleagues brought to the office.
What were your early days at PwC like?
I first joined PwC Albania and Kosovo in 2013 as a Junior Tax Consultant in the Tax and Legal Department. At the time, the office in Kosovo was quite small compared to today, and we were a tax team of only a few people. As a new-joiner, I found every day to be a learning experience on its own as we provided a wide range of services for clients in various industries. At PwC I learned by doing, and feedback from senior colleagues helped me a lot at improving my skills and increasing the quality of my work.
How was your overall experience at PwC?
It was a great experience that involved a lot of learning and professional growth, not just in tax or audit, but in a more comprehensive business activities aspect. You also get to build a great network of people in the profession - colleagues within the firm but also other people working for the firm’s clients.
Any lasting lessons from your time at PwC?
I would say the high professional standards you adhere to at PwC will likely stick with you in any other position you take in the future.
Reflecting on your career at this point, what makes you feel the most proud?
I am most proud for building and maintaining positive relationships with the people I have worked with. I still stay in touch with many former PwC colleagues, and we share professional insights with each other which I think is great.
What do you think is most important in leadership?
Good leadership requires a lot of traits, but if I would have to pick the most important one, it would be integrity. Many leadership skills can be gained with experience, but things such as integrity, respect, or empathy cannot be taught and are essential in being a good leader.
What helpful career advice can you offer?
My career advice would be for people not to be afraid to explore different roles at different places. Its important to like what you do but also to get out of the comfort zone and grow by facing new challenges.
If you could go back in time and tell your 18-year-old self something, what would it be?
I would say to try to live more in the moment and worry less about the future. Sometimes we get too preoccupied with trying to build a better future that we don’t allow ourselves to enjoy the state in which we currently are.
Country Managing Partner, Tax and Legal Services, PwC Albania