Learning the language of business

Shuai He

6 minute read

As his three extraordinary years of learning “the language of business” draw to an end at The Australian National University (ANU), graduand Shuai He admits feeling sentimental yet fortunate, as his final classes were completed remotely.

“It was my last semester at the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE), and I really hoped that I could visit my lecturers before I graduate. The College and the University have made tremendous efforts in their commitment to their students. The teaching staff offered online consultations and detailed illustrations for lecture examples, which showed their passion for teaching and providing students with the best learning experience possible given the circumstances. I am really grateful for all their effort and personally feel that my university learning experience was unique and barely interrupted,” Shuai, who will soon graduate with a Bachelor of Accounting, shares candidly.

In 2017, after completing his A-levels in China, Shuai was considering pursuing higher education in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore or Australia.

“At that time, I took into account the rankings, study options, programs offered and employers’ satisfaction of graduates. I finally chose ANU, as it was one of the most highly-ranked universities worldwide, with excellent researchers and world-class facilities. In addition, the variety of programs and flexibility available when choosing and switching majors were really the highlights of ANU,” says Shuai, who majored in Finance.

He believes that even before he arrived in Canberra, his transition was all the more comfortable  due to the reassuring CBE information sessions he attended in Beijing.

“I still remember the first time I met with staff from the College’s International Recruitment team. They helped me with the most elementary questions about selecting accommodation and transportation in Canberra. This really made my life easier, as I learned the essential details about staying there. I also found online webinars and workshops held by CBE staff introducing the ANU campus and various opportunities offered by the College very relevant and supportive,” recalls Shuai, who went on to become one of the College’s Student Ambassadors for two years, returning the favour by assisting others starting or considering studying at CBE.

CBE provides students with excellent learning experiences and an in-depth understanding of their area of study.

Through his three years of study, Shuai believes that he now not only understands why accounting is the “language of business” but sees his future in practical aspects of the field.

“I gained particular interest in financial analysis after I finished my Financial Statement Analysis course. My lecturer, Dr Ka Wai (Stanley) Choi, was instrumental in developing it, as he showed us how to interpret financial ratios and make industry comparisons with major competitors. Since then, I actively looked for internships and job opportunities in this space,” Shuai recalls.

The graduand landed one such opportunity through the College’s Global Learners of Business and Economics (GLOBE) internship program, where he interned with advisory firm Grant Thornton in Beijing. Shuai worked within their Business Risk Service Division from November 2018 to February 2019.

“I was a project assistant intern under the financial industry advisory team, and I participated in a risk assessment project for a state-owned company in Beijing. During this stint, I was able to successfully apply the concepts I learned from lectures at my internship,” he says.

Contrary to his pre-ANU perceptions about accounting being only about bookkeeping, Shuai asserts that he now sees the whole picture of his field of study.

“Accounting depicts the overall picture of a company’s financial performance, and how accountants facilitate the decision-making processes. At CBE I’ve developed interests and insights into auditing research. The College provides students with excellent learning experiences and an in-depth understanding of their area of study. My internship experience is definitely something I’ll highlight and expand on when I do job interviews,” he shares.

Now, having built a strong academic foundation and bolstered confidence at CBE, Shuai is already looking forward to his next scholarly destination at the Singapore Management University, where he will commence a Masters in Accounting Data and Analytics.

“Starting next month, I’ve decided to continue pursuing my interest in financial data analysis and discover more about how Big Data techniques can be integrated into the accounting and finance sectors to facilitate information processing and enhance efficiency. I have built up a strong academic foundation at CBE, and I will integrate the knowledge I have learned with the latest analytical techniques to conquer more issues encountered by businesses nowadays,” Shuai concludes.


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