The Numbers Game

By Seth Robinson

Kavleen Kaur first came to Melbourne to study in the Bachelor of Commerce. Now, she’s nearing the end of her studies in the Master of Finance and is preparing for her next step into the working world.

Kavleen’s family relocated from India to Melbourne, just in time for her to begin her studies at the University of Melbourne. She enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), majoring in Actuarial Science.

‘I think the decision to enrol in Actuarial Studies for me was really driven by my love of numbers. It was an incredible experience, and it gave me the opportunity to learn about that discipline, and also to get a taste of what I wanted to do next. I took a couple of finance subjects in my undergrad that really piqued my interest. I also have a mentor who is an actuarial professional, so I had some good conversations with him about where I want to go, and how I can best get there.’

Kavleen Kaur
Master of Finance student, Kavleen Kaur.

Kavleen fell in love with finance, and the potential to use her mathematics skills in a diverse field with lots of opportunity. She enrolled in the Master of Finance, eager to hone her skills and take the next step in her career.

‘I think for me, the love of finance comes from the way financial maths works. I would love to end up working in a financial analyst kind of role. That was the appeal of the Master of Finance for me, it would allow me to build on the knowledge I gained in my commerce degree and develop these really specialist skills that will make me highly employable.’

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Kavleen has also become involved with student clubs and societies such as the MBS Student Association (MBSSA), and Enactus, connections that have proven invaluable throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

‘I joined Enactus at a time when it had stalled a bit. Those of us who joined decided to really get involved, and see how much we could make those projects grow. Now it’s a really successful and high impact organisation, which I’m personally, really proud of. MBSSA has also been one of my main avenues for making friends and staying connected. I think this has particularly been the case since joining the committee and the onset of COVID-19. Normally, all of these events MBSSA runs would have been in person. We can’t do that now, so we’ve adapted things to go online. It’s been good learning how to engage with our members in this new way, and again I think we’ve now reached this tipping point where the online events are becoming really successful. These are really fantastic memories that I’ll cherish forever.’

A Finance Specialist role in Telstra’s graduate program, for the start of 2021 has also been secured.

‘I initially thought I would go work for one of the big banks, I never imagined I would work somewhere like Telstra, telecommunications and banking are very different industries, but when I saw their graduate program, I took a shot and applied, and I’m really happy I did. It’s a finance role, and the sort of stakeholder engagement they’ve discussed throughout the recruitment process sounds fascinating. It’s also been really interesting being on-boarded online, they’ve been fantastic to work with so far, and I have a couple of friends who are already in the program and have told me great things, so I’m really excited.’

Kavleen has some advice for students thinking about the next step in their own university journey.

‘I think it’s really easy to be overly prescriptive, and give really set advice, like “I did this and you should do that”, but the reality is, this is my journey and it’s going to be really different for everyone. The one thing I will say, is to know your successes are your own, as are your failures. Own those things, and learn from them, then when the right opportunity or the next step comes along, you’ll know the best way to take it.’