Learning in Limbo

By Seth Robinson

A new found love of numbers drove Vismay Vadera to pursue a master’s degree in accounting, but 2020 had other plans and he ended up deferring his place for 6 months. Now, he’s ready for a new start in the new year.

Vismay Vadera completed his undergraduate studies here in Australia, studying Hotel and Tourism Management in Queensland. It wasn’t until the end of his degree, and an internship opportunity working in finance, that he discovered he had a passion for working with numbers. He applied for the Master of Management (Accounting) and moved to Melbourne, eager and ready to commence his studies and explore a new corner of the country. Unfortunately, Vismay’s plans changed with the onset of COVID-19.

Vismay Vadera
Vismay Vadera.

‘I arrived in Melbourne in February 2020, just in time to attend orientation. I think it was that same week the first COVID cases were announced in Australia, and things started changing really quickly. The Indian government started discussing travel bans, and I decided it would be prudent to head back home to India. I landed 2 hours before the travel bans came in place, which would have stopped me from coming into the country at all. I still had to undergo quarantine in a government facility, first when I arrived in India and then again when I returned to my home state, which ended up totalling about three weeks. At that point even though the University was shifting to online learning I felt like I was going to be too far behind, so I deferred for a semester.’

In Vismay’s opinion this worked perfectly, as it allowed the University and its lecturers time to get all classes online and figure out their new way of teaching. When he came back in second semester and began studying virtually from India, it was with a sense of confidence about the delivery and course content.

‘I think it was a learning period for everyone, staff and students alike had to adjust really quickly. I think coming back in second semester, there was a real sense everyone was up to speed and knew how they wanted to manage things. They’d changed course structure as well, where we learned in two terms, as opposed to the one semester, so things could be broken up a bit more.’

Once he was able to begin his studies, Vismay began working on the introductory subjects for his degree, and fast found himself fascinated by the course content.

‘So far, I’m still working on those introductory subjects, but I’ve loved it! Especially my accounting classes. For me the highlight is engaging with case studies and seeing how the theories we’re learning about are applied in a professional setting. It’s a very different learning style to what you might cover in India, where it’s more about learning the facts and figures, this is all about that real world application.’

Did you want to start your studies after deferring like Vismay? If you’ve deferred an offer at MBS and are yet to accept your new offer, get started here.

Returning now in 2021, Vismay is continuing his studies remotely, but he’s eager to keep learning and connecting with the University community.

‘Last semester I was able to do a lot of the inductions and some workshops online, which I found really useful, and felt like I was engaging with things the same way I would in person. I didn’t connect very much with the student societies or the events they were running, so that’s one of my goals for 2021, to take advantage of those opportunities.’

Vismay has another year and a half left in his degree. Like everyone he’s hoping things will change and that he may be able to finish his studies in person and go on to work in Australia, but for now he’s happy learning online and experiencing the university remotely.