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It's a long way from the small island of Sri Lanka to come to a country half a world away, but for graduate Rathieshkanth Kanagaratnam, the decision to come to Australia to study at Deakin proved a great experience.
"I was first interested in coming to Australia because my foundation course was at the Australian College of Business Technology based in Colombo. After completing this I decided to continue my degree at Deakin where I was granted advanced standing into the course. I preferred to live in Melbourne because of its multicultural feel and I think it is one of world's most liveable cities."
"It was only after I came to live in Australia that I realised what a land of opportunity it really is and above all how friendly the people are. I just love Australia," he said.
Rathieshkanth graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Commerce from the Melbourne Campus at Burwood and is now back living and working in his home city of Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he is a director with his family export company Rathi Lanka Garments P/L.
Rathieshkanth explains that he has a real passion for working in and developing the family's business interests in Sri Lanka and overseas.
"Rathi Lanka Garments was started by my father and has been in the manufacture and export of ready-made garments business since 1979. It is now one of the leading garment manufacturers and exporters in Sri Lanka. The company deals in low-priced, quality garments for men, ladies, and children and exporting these to Canada and the US."
"A couple of the best things about my work are that I am able to interact with so many different stakeholders in the manufacturing industry and ensure we meet our buyer's needs in what is a competitive market place," he said.
"My business skills honed at Deakin are helping me greatly in the family business and I am using them to bring about change in my role as Designation Director to develop it even further."
When asked what he enjoyed most about his time at Deakin, Rathieshkanth has no hesitations in nominating the support services available to students and friendly staff as the key reasons for his study success.
"I received a quality education from Deakin. The facilities are great and the staff are well trained. My degree has enabled me to approach life with a greater degree of confidence and surety especially in business. I encourage any international students to come to Deakin to study They'll love Australia too."
"Coming to Deakin allowed me to meet so many different people from around the world. The academic staff were very friendly and DUSA were so helpful to me with its multicultural outreach programs and the many activities and support services they offered. In particular the peer support programs that are done by the Deakin International office are just the best!"
With such a passion for business it is little surprise that Rathieshkanth has even grander plans for the family company in the future.
"I plan to diversify the business into other exciting areas but always with a focus on niche markets in the manufacture and export of garments," he said.