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Currently: Graduate Accountant, KPMG
The choice that seems logical is not necessarily the right choice.
Accounting and financial planning never appeared on Andrew Burn's career radar while he was at school. Science was his 'thing' so science courses gained his attention. 'I always did chemistry and physics at school and, even though I was not sure what I wanted to do, chemical engineering seemed to follow on,' he says. 'But I just didn't like it.'
Andrew completed one semester of a chemical engineering degree before heading home to western Victoria to work on a local farm and reconsider his tertiary options. 'I looked into courses again and went to open days,' he says. 'This time I opened my mind to a complete range of courses, not just science.'
Knowing someone already undertaking a Deakin commerce degree gave Andrew an insight into the course. 'I liked the way it was structured and it sounded pretty interesting', he says. 'With a lot of commerce courses you have to choose your major straight away, but the first year of the Deakin course is general and you choose your major later - based on what you have enjoyed. It gives you a chance to have a go at everything before you choose.'
Second time around, Andrew was happy with his choice. 'I loved it, it was really interesting,' he says of the Bachelor of Commerce he completed in 2009 at the Waurn Ponds campus. And living in the on-campus residences meant there was more than the course to enjoy. 'It was great, and so convenient, not worrying about getting to and from class,' he says. 'Especially coming from the country and from a small school, you link with people in the same situation.'
Andrew completed three majors: accounting, finance and financial planning. His financial planning studies received a welcome boost last year when he landed a job in the field. After a company contacted Deakin staff asking for students to be recommended for a position, he secured a job for one-two days per week for the remainder of the year. 'It was really handy to be working in the field while I was studying it,' he says. 'It gives you hands-on experience and makes it easier. You can have a two hour lecture where they explain things, but when you do a full day's work you are really learning the principles.'
Andrew commenced a graduate accounting position with KPMG in 2010, and after working in financial planning, is keen to notch up some experience in a different field. 'Long term I am not sure - I am tossing up between financial planning and accounting,' he says. 'I will do my CA (Chartered Accounting) qualification and if accounting is not my thing I will go back to financial planning.'