How to become a director of a bank while studying
It doesn’t sound possible, but Shruti Verma, a Doctor of Philosophy (Accounting) student at Deakin, shares how she landed a role as a Director of a Community Bank branch by making the most of the programs and opportunities that Deakin has to offer.
How it all came about
In 2016 Bendigo Bank partnered with Deakin to open Deakin University Community Bank (DUCB), Australia’s first university Community Bank. As part of this partnership, Bendigo Bank launched the Deakin Students on Boards initiative. In 2018, nine Deakin students of different ages, backgrounds and career trajectories were selected to participate in a two-year directorship on Community Bank boards across Melbourne.
Now completing the second year of her directorship at the Pinewood Community Bank branch, Shruti had originally noticed the opportunity being advertised on the DeakinTALENT jobs and internships board while she was still studying her masters degree. She shares:
‘Even though it was a volunteer role, I eagerly wanted to apply as I wanted to contribute to the community through my skills and discipline knowledge. Being able to be a Director for a Community Bank branch of Bendigo Bank seemed to be a great opportunity.’
The steps involved
Shruti explains the actions you will need to take if you are also considering pursuing such an advantageous opportunity.
‘As an applicant, I had to go through a rigorous selection process. I had to address key selection criteria in the application document, pass multiple rounds of interviews and even appear for group discussion rounds,’ she said.
From Shruti’s experience, it is clear that consistency and resilience make a huge impact on the outcome of a student’s application.
The typical tasks of a director
To help us understand the daily tasks involved with taking on a director role alongside a strenuous study routine, Shruti listed some of the items on her to-do list:
- Participate in the planning exercises of the branch alongside the wider Board of Directors.
- Attend monthly meetings and actively participate in a range of decision-making activities (these areas of decision-making vary from HR, audit, investment and community engagement, etc.).
- Ensure that branch activities are in the interest of all stakeholders and that they are giving back to the community in the best possible way.
- Help note meeting minutes and formulate agendas for audit and corporate governance-related meetings.
Little things that can make all the difference
When asked about the range of Deakin Student Life services that Shruti has utilised over her studies, it becomes clear that her heavy workload has been adequately supported. Proactive to seek the advice of student mentors, study support and an International Student Advisor, Shruti has even popped into the on-campus medical centre from time to time.
If you, like Shruti, have a Deakin Life story, achievement or experience to share, we would love to hear from you. Contact us on the Deakin Life Instagram account today.
Deakin provides a range of services to help you stay healthy and supported throughout your studies – physically, mentally and spiritually. View Deakin’s Health and Wellbeing services.
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