Building blocks


4 minute read

Before coming to The Australian National University (ANU), Niranjan Gaikwad admits to never giving much thought to evaluating his way of thinking– something that has since become “a vital learning process”.

“My academic coursework, before moving to Canberra, primarily required me to focus on exams and not necessarily on the assessments. This was a very different and limiting approach to apply here at ANU, where all assessment is proof of learning and gaining metacognitive skills is everything. I can simply no longer ‘just memorise’ concepts. I need to think them through and know why they occur,” Niranjan shares candidly.

With a background in civil engineering from Mumbai, India and a dream to create more affordable housing, earlier this year Niranjan decided to pursue a Master of Project Management at the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE).

CBE provides all the necessary courses and programs in management...They are designed to encourage students to become effective leaders.

“I want to be a leader in my field and for that I need to be an effective manager. CBE provides all the necessary courses and programs in management, which focus on the tacit ‘know-how’ aspects rather than the explicit ‘know-what’ ones. They are designed to encourage students to become effective leaders, who could handle change while being agile,” Niranjan adds.

He found that his group assignments personally shaped him, particularly regarding his way-of thinking, and were perfect exercises for a future leader.

“Studying at CBE has provided me with an array of experiences, but the most important ones were the group assignments. The professors focused on the fact that the groups should comprise of students from different cultural backgrounds. Initially, we all seemed a bit hesitant of this approach, but as the assessment progressed, we understood that our culturally diverse perspectives helped us generate unique solutions. Such projects helped me to not only broaden my mindset and improve my perspective, they also advanced my interpersonal skills,” Niranjan adds.

Away from his family and the classroom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Niranjan believes he has received extensive support from the University during this difficult time.

“Our professors have been really accommodating and patient. University student bodies, such as the Indian Students' Association and ANU Postgraduate and Research Students' Association have provided financial support and helped students access daily essentials, as many of us lost our part-time jobs, making it difficult to support ourselves. Various ANU staff and facilities were assisting students with navigating these mentally challenging times. I personally received the most assurance from CBE, in particular through the College’s regular emails and updates,” Niranjan shares.


The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs. Click here for more details.