A strong interest in accounting and business management while at school was one of the main reasons Matthew van Rooy chose to study a commerce degree – majoring in accounting and financial planning – at Deakin’s Warrnambool Campus.
As a lifetime Warrnambool resident, he also saw Deakin as the ‘perfect choice’ for his tertiary studies as it allowed him to remain in his home town close to family, friends and sporting commitments.
‘I’d developed an interest in finance from a first year subject … the main reason I decided that financial planning would be a good major was I thought it would be a rewarding job helping people prepare for retirement, assisting in buying a home or just meeting any of their financial goals,’ he explains.
As a recipient of Deakin’s Neilson Foundation Scholarship, Matthew was eligible to apply for the outstanding opportunity of a four-week internship with Platinum Asset Management Limited – a fund manager located in Sydney.
There, he spent three weeks within the investment analyst team and one week within the unit registry and investor services teams.
‘Within the analyst team, I was allocated an industry where I had to determine future growth and any specific stock investments. While working in the investor services and unit registry teams I gained incredible behind-the-scenes insight into the funds management industry,’ he says.
‘From a financial planning perspective it was a truly wonderful opportunity because I saw how managed funds are administrated and I know this will help me greatly in the future.’
Matthew says he feels very fortunate to have gained first-hand knowledge in an industry where it can be ‘notoriously difficult’ to get a foot in the door.
‘The internship let me apply my studies rather than just looking at it from a theoretical view. It also helped with potential career opportunities because employers can see that I’ve had experience within the funds management industry.’
Completing his degree at Deakin has not only enhanced Matthew’s knowledge of accounting, finance and financial planning, but offered him other valuable benefits.
‘Outside of my studies Deakin has allowed me to meet new people and make new friends. I’ve also been given opportunities to be involved in student tutoring and PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) tutoring which I have thoroughly enjoyed,’ he adds.
Recently graduated, Matthew is now looking forward to building a career as a respected professional in the financial services sector.
‘I see the financial planning industry vital in Australia’s future … if I can help the community prepare for retirement this will not only assist with the amount of money the government spends on the old-age pension but will help people plan for a more comfortable lifestyle in retirement.’