Thriving on responsibility

Ruolin (Alex) Mai

4 minute read

Since she arrived in Canberra to study at The Australian National University (ANU), Ruolin (Alex) Mai has enjoyed the lifestyle of living on campus and has learnt the positive effects of taking on responsibilities through her studies. Alex recently graduated from the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE) with a Bachelor of Accounting and a Bachelor of Finance.

“This place never fails to surprise me. A lot of students at ANU are living on campus where the community is much closer than other places. I live in one of the student accommodations near CBE, where the convenient location allows me to quickly move around campus,” shared Alex.

Born and raised in Guangdong province in Southern China, Alex travelled to Australia for the first time when she was 14 years old, spending three weeks in Sydney. This planted the idea of studying in Australia in her mind but it was what ANU had to offer that cemented her decision to study there.

One of the key reasons I chose ANU is because of the four year flexible degree it offers.

One of the highlights of her time at ANU was her involvement in the Student Managed Fund (SMF). Through the course, students manage over A$0.6 million worth of investments, comprising of donations made to the University, with the intent that the funds be used to support philanthropic activities.  

“I joined the SMF back in Semester 2, 2018 as a Relationship Manager and was given the responsibility to generate content used in external communications,” she said.

Alex saw her skills develop through the responsibility and leadership entrusted in her as she faced new challenges through the SMF.

“My course convenors offered me tremendous help and advice, and trusted me as a leader within the team. I was promoted to the role of Chief Investment Officer in my second semester, which was a challenging position with significant responsibility that led to my personal and presentation skills gradually improving. The SMF allowed me to run the in-depth stock valuation, where my technical skills and the understanding of risks inherent in investment profoundly improved,” shared Alex.

Her experience not only gave her confidence but also reshaped her personal outlook.

“I would say ANU has made me an overall more confident person and the SMF not only provided me with a career and technical perspective, but more importantly, it made me feel that I have the passion to learn and grow as a person,” she said.

As Alex reflects on her time at ANU and in Canberra, she maintains that it will always be a place of significance to her.  

“I am grateful that my family supported my decision to come to Australia. Canberra witnessed one of the most important periods in my life and is a second home to me,” she shared.

The ANU College of Business and Economics offers an extensive range of specialised programs in Accounting and Finance.