Graduation: a time to remember and reflect

Gurisha Gupta

5 minute read

Gurisha is graduating from The Australian National University (ANU) College of Business and Economics (CBE) with a Master of Finance.

Developing a keen interest in finance after completing her undergraduate degree and Honours in economics, she wanted to deepen her expertise in this discipline, and chose to pursue studies at ANU.

“I chose ANU because it has a strong reputation amongst employers. The campus has state-of-the-art research facilities and infrastructure for students,” says Gurisha.

“The professors at ANU come from different backgrounds and are specialists in their fields.”

It wasn’t just the excellent academic courses on offer or the high-quality teaching that enticed Gurisha to study at ANU.

“The University also offers hands-on experiences like the Student Managed Fund, CBE Internships and the Special Industry Project, which allow students exposure to a range of industry settings,” she explains.

“Also, as an international student, safety is a major consideration. Canberra is known to be one of the safest and most student-friendly cities, which was very reassuring to my parents.”

During her studies, Gurisha was involved in multiple student activities and remained an active member of various clubs and societies, including the Postgraduate and Research Students’ Association and the Indian Student Association, representing the best interest of students.

She also spent time volunteering at 180 Degrees Consulting, a society representing ANU students who are aspiring to become consultants worldwide.

“These experiences not only enriched my academic life but also honed my leadership and community engagement skills,” she says.

In this interview, Gurisha provides a retrospective on her studies and the people that made her time at ANU one to remember.


Q. How has the ANU Master of Finance changed or enhanced your career goals?

I can confidently say that my studies have profoundly reshaped my career goals. The University’s student-first approach to learning and teaching has been instrumental in this transformation.

ANU emphasises pushing your limits and exploring knowledge beyond conventional boundaries. This was evident in the assignments, which were designed to test our technical understanding and build essential soft skills such as accountability, collaboration, and corporate engagement. These skills are invaluable in finance, where teamwork and effective communication are often as crucial as technical expertise.

The teaching staff’s methods, which emphasise student autonomy within a structured framework, allowed me to tailor my learning journey. I could focus on areas that were most relevant to my career aspirations, such as financial analysis or international finance, while still adhering to the comprehensive curriculum.

Perhaps most significantly, my professors' readiness to provide support helped me understand complex concepts, and taught me practical applications in real-world scenarios. This experience gave me a taste of how these concepts are applied in the finance industry.

I now feel more inclined towards roles requiring strategic thinking and innovative problem solving. I’ve also become confident in my ability to take on leadership roles in finance, thanks to the blend of technical knowledge and soft skills I developed. The program has been transformative, and has equipped me with the tools to excel in the dynamic and challenging world of finance.

Q. What was your favourite course and who was your favourite lecturer? Where was your favourite place to study?

My favourite course was undoubtedly Advanced Investments. This course stood out for several reasons, primarily due to the depth of knowledge it offered and the way it challenged me to apply theoretical concepts in a practical, real-world context. The curriculum covered a wide range of topics, from utilising the asset pricing model in investment analysis to deriving and performing empirical tests of the classic capital asset pricing model, which shaped my analytical and decision-making skills in investments.

Dr Alexander A. Vadilyev was my lecturer for this course, and his expertise in the field of investments was evident in every lecture and discussion. His combination of extensive knowledge and teaching methodology made the classes exceptional. He made complex concepts accessible and engaging, and his lectures were always interactive. Dr Vadilyev brought in real-life examples and case studies, which helped bridge the gap between theory and practice, a crucial aspect for anyone preparing for a career in finance. Moreover, his willingness to provide guidance outside of class hours made him a mentor who was genuinely invested in our learning success.

For studying, I recommend the quiet corner of the Hancock Library. The serene and focused atmosphere of the library provided the perfect environment for delving into complex investment theories and working through the intricate financial models that we were learning in class. The library's resources were an added bonus, offering a wealth of information crucial for my course work and my intellectual curiosity.

Q. Why would you recommend the Master of Finance to other students?

I would highly recommend the program to any student considering a career in finance. ANU has designed the course in such a way that it equips students with industry-relevant skills. I find myself well-equipped to tackle difficult financial challenges, thanks to the rigorous training I received in my Masters, and I feel prepared for the dynamic and fast-moving finance sector.

Q. Did you have a favourite spot in Canberra? Where was it, and why was it your favourite?

When it comes to Canberra, many people outside Australia are not aware of this beautiful city, and I always take this opportunity to educate them that ANU is the only national university, and it’s located in the nation's capital. It has an excellent global community: living here, students get to interact with students from diverse backgrounds.

Canberra gives you a taste of different cultures. There are many locally owned restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world. The city has different festivals to bring the community together, like Enlighten and Floriade.

One of the best parts about Canberra is that, close to the ANU campus, we have the Haig Park Village Markets every Sunday to enjoy the warm sun in winter with freshly-baked croissants.


Find out more about studying a Master of Finance at ANU.

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