‘Explore every opportunity’: graduating student Akshitha’s advice for uni success
Everyone who starts a uni degree has the same end goal in mind: graduation! But the journey isn’t always easy, and it can sometimes be hard to stay focused or feel like you’re on the right path.
That’s why it’s so helpful to hear from other students and apply the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Akshitha Menon has been studying a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) at Burwood since 2019 and is now in her final trimester.
Throughout her degree, Akshitha has had to manage Covid, online learning and homesickness, but has navigated these challenges to make the most of many academic, networking and social opportunities. As she prepares to complete her final units and say farewell to Deakin, Akshitha shares her recipe for uni success.
As you look back over your time at Deakin, what are some of the highlights?
I have explored every opportunity and never stepped back from the learning process. One of my most cherished experiences was the opportunity to intern with the Deakin Business Development Clinic, where I got firsthand industry experience working closely with a real-life small business.
In 2021, I was elected President of Beta Alpha Psi – a Deakin Business School-supported club for high-achieving students pursuing a degree in finance, accounting and information systems. I learnt about faculty proceedings; represented Deakin at numerous seminars, conferences and forums; and built industry and professional networks.
I’m also a Student Partner, working with academics to research and co-author content that will be used for future Deakin students. I am looking forward to sharing our research outcomes and experience at the Deakin Learning and Teaching Conference 2022.
And what’s been challenging or unexpected?
The COVID-19 pandemic was the most challenging and unexpected event in my study journey. As an international student far from home and living in Melbourne with immense restrictions, it was a tough period.
Deakin was able to smoothly transition into online learning and keep the trimesters going without any disruptions. I chose to visit my family during the pandemic and my unit chairs gave me flexible assignment deadlines and alternatives to ensure my study wasn’t disadvantaged. I am truly grateful for the consideration, support and motivation provided by Deakin staff throughout the tough times!
What would you tell yourself as a first-year student?
‘Trust the process and have faith in your pace!’
The first year at university is overwhelming, filled with confusion and lack of direction. Over time, I grew mentally and learned about the different directions and made choices for my own journey. I used my time to connect with more people and form a network of professionals that will contribute positively to my life at university and beyond.
To all the first-year students out there: ask more questions and explore every opportunity. Connect with the academics, build meaningful relationships with the unit team, ask for opportunities to assist and don’t be afraid to reach out to people. You must go to classes (offline or online), be prepared, connect with your group members, use unit resources wisely and make the most of your time from day one.
What are the best services, resources or programs you’ve used at Deakin?
Smarthinking allows you to submit an essay and a tutor will comprehensively review your work and give feedback on how to improve your writing and structure. I plan my assignments well ahead, allowing me three to four days to refine my work.
The feedback allows me to submit a well-answered essay with no grammatical errors and better language as suggested by the tutor. The Smarthinking writers handbook contains templates for different types of reports, showing you how to frame the body of the report, how to structure different essays and much more.
I have used DeakinTALENT to review and improve my resume to match industry standards. They prepare you to answer interview questions and you can book in a drop-in session to learn more about career pathways. I have attended career workshops and used the career coach service to give more clarity on my path after graduation. Students in their final year: you must use these services!
Do you have plans for your next stage following graduation?
I’m really excited to have secured a full-time job as a graduate accountant, starting after T2 exams. I look forward to beginning my CPA (Certified Public Accountant) course and moving ahead in my accountancy career. I also aspire to secure a PhD in Accounting one day, and will work tirelessly to achieving this goal.
I would like to thank Deakin for this wonderful journey filled with joy, happiness, ups and downs, achievements and much more. I am eagerly looking forward to officially becoming a proud Deakin graduate!
Congratulations Akshitha on your achievements and best of luck for the future!
Akshitha’s top resources for uni success
- Smarthinking – an online tutoring service that allows you to reach out for assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- DeakinTALENT – career and employment services for current students and graduates. Includes tailored coaching, workshops, resources and events, as well as the Jobs & Internships Board, which advertises internships, pre-graduate roles and graduate opportunities.
- Students as Partners – gain professional project experience while you’re studying, and help our staff improve the student experience for both you and your peers at Deakin.
- Clubs and societies – check out what’s on offer in your faculty or join DUSA to meet like-minded people in a range of areas, ranging from sport to social interests!