5 minute read
Between lectures, full-time work, running a lakeside coffee-cart and maintaining a modest social-cricket batting average of 30 at his Sunday matches, graduand Nikunj Agarwal finds it hard to find a dull moment.
After working in the business development and finance sector for eight years, Nikunj moved to Canberra from Pune, India with his wife in July 2019 – a move he has found to be full of personal and professional adventures.
“In the past four years, I have lived in three different countries – England, India and Australia. The easiest transition, however, has been to Canberra – its lifestyle, people; the whole package that has made the journey quite smooth and enjoyable,” shares Nikunj, who has now graduated with a Master of Accounting from the ANU College of Business and Economics (CBE).
Ever since he scored 97 per cent in his Year 12 final exams, Nikunj has had a passion for numbers and accounting, which he eventually decided to pursue as a career.
“I was in an apartment in London when I decided to apply to CBE. Through my web searches, I found the College consistently popping up as a leading institution. Soon after applying, I was excited to receive my invitation to commence studying at Australia’s national university,” reflects Nikunj.
Since the beginning of his CBE journey, Nikunj has received helpful advice from the College’s student-support services and enjoyed taking part in their initiatives.
“From the onset, I remember CBE Career Consultants assisting me with my CV, the courses I should enrol in and the opportunities I should look out for – essential guidance that I believe stood me in good stead,” he admits.
My final semester at CBE involved hybrid learning, and I think there was a great balance of in-person attention and online classes. I was able to plan my studies without hampering my work schedule and vice versa.
Nikunj cites his experience with the CBE Internship course as a pivotal moment for him.
“In my field of study, there is a distinct gap between theoretical and practical knowledge, but my CBE Internship at the ANU Tax Clinic comprehensively bridged this gap, while also giving me great insight into the real-world working environment. Dealing with clients provided me an experience that I would not have gained in the classroom alone,” Nikunj adds.
Through this opportunity prior to graduating, Nikunj was able to secure a job as an analyst for procurement services at the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC).
“While securing this job in itself is a massive achievement, it’s been equally humbling to have fellow CBE peers reach out to me via LinkedIn about my CSC and ANU Tax Clinic experiences,” he adds.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted companies, activities and travel plans, and forced many students to study remotely. However, these circumstances didn’t deter Nikunj’s academic plans.
“My final semester at CBE involved hybrid learning, and I think there was a great balance of in-person attention and online classes. I was able to plan my studies without hampering my work schedule and vice versa. The CBE Student Services team was always available to help, if needed, and my overall experience was not compromised,” he shares.
Now, having secured his Masters, Nikunj is pursuing a Chartered Accountant certification, as he aspires to work in the Australian accounting sector and apply his skills towards aiding social causes.
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