Alumni Q&A - Farai Kasukuwere
Bachelor of Commerce (2019)
Current role/company: Commercial Credit Assessor, ANZ
Where in the world are you? Melbourne
Tell us about your experience since leaving university. How have you come to your current position? Is this the sort of role you always wanted to be in, or were there some twists and turns along the way?
First things first, I miss The Spot! While trying to ingest a gruelling Econometrics or Derivative Securities lecture, The Copland Theatre’s ‘popcorn’ design pleasantly served as a visual opioid to the mind and has become a permanent fixture of my Snapchat memories.
At the end of October 2019, I was lucky enough to find myself working at ANZ Bank’s picturesque headquarters located in Docklands, Victoria as an Assistant Manager in their Small Business department. Further to this, I’ve recently moved into a new role as a Commercial Credit Assessor. As a holder of a double major in Economics & Finance, my current role is perfectly in tandem with my finance background although I must admit that my true love will always be economics and hope to one day work as an Economist.
How have you adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g. moving on-line, working from home, etc? Have you learned anything about working flexibly/digitally that you were surprised by?
Barely five months through my foray into life post-academia, COVID-19 hit and we were all soon working from home. Transitioning to work from home was surprisingly smooth for me. So smooth that I believe I became more productive from home! I credit this to replacing the 1-2 hours a day I would normally spend commuting to and from work with morning runs. It sounds like an oxymoron, but I’m more energetic during work if I take a run in the morning. To counteract the loss of in-person social gatherings at work, a few trivia nights on Microsoft Teams can go a long way in reviving the social side of work.
What method would you say is best for reaching out for connections and networking?
I’ve found that the most effective way to create connections has been through events such as career fairs and online platforms like LinkedIn. You never know who could be at an event you attend or who could come across a post or comment you’ve made. Many times the conversation doesn’t have to be direct. You might bond with a potential connection over a common hobby you both share or a book you’ve both read.
What do you think the most valuable skills for new graduates entering the workforce are?
The most valuable skill a new graduate could have today is the ability to think laterally. In a world whose natural speed of change has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, thinking sideways and out of the box has never been more valuable. Refusing to adapt will be to our detriment. Inertia may be one of the most powerful forces in the world, but change is the only constant in life.
If you’d like to ask Farai more about his experiences, connect with him on LinkedIn and mention you have read the Q&A.