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International internship leads to international ‘best paper’ award

Finance student Sanjana Srikanth turns her Deakin overseas internship into an award-winning academic paper.

A Deakin Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) program has been the inspiration for an award-winning paper recently presented at a national conference in India.

Deakin Business School (DBS) student Sanjana Srikanth, who is studying a Master of International Finance degree, won the “best paper award” for presenting her work Globalisation and the need for culturally competent finance managers at the Jain College in Bangalore, India.

Research for the paper was based on her participation in a Deakin WIL program that saw her working an intern with Vietnam’s largest insurance company ‘Bao Viet Life’ in Hanoi.

Deakin Business School WIL students in Hanoi

Deakin Business School WIL students at their welcome ceremony in Hanoi.

Sanjana says her Vietnam work experience, which included her presenting a lengthy report to Hanoi Business School’s academic board, enhanced her ability to complete project tasks and deadlines under a range of conditions.

‘It helped develop my academic learning, skill development, career development and personal development. Further, I gained insight into the aspects of professionalism such as work ethics, culture, time management, team working skills and prioritising tasks,’ she says.

After returning from Vietnam, Sanjana was encouraged by her WIL academic leader Dr Achinto Roy, who is also Director International and Lecturer for DBS’s Department of Management, to turn her overseas learning into an academic paper.

‘The national conference at Jain College’s Centre for Management Studies was chosen as a venue because the conference topic – Emerging trends of Business and Finance – was relevant to Sanjana’s experience in Vietnam and the timing also coincided with a visit to her home city,’ he explains.

Sanjana completed a Bachelor of Business Administration at Jain College and says it was an honour to win the “best paper” award at her alma mater that was based on her Deakin learning in Vietnam.

‘While working at Bao Viet Life I was also part of a promotional video,’ she recalls.

‘This was an unforgettable experience as it taught me the skill of balancing between work and respect for time training myself for a competent career globally. As part of my career development, it helped me to observe and culturally understand the globalised era and need for skilled employees.’

Dr Roy specialises in student global mobility programs and says overseas WIL internships enable students to experience a real-life work environment while working as consultants with international companies.

‘Students work in groups as on project or problem for which the company needs a solution and they have to apply what they have learnt at university. WIL is part of Deakin’s LIVE agenda as it connects our students with real world working environments.’

Sanjana chose to study a Master of International Finance with DBS because ‘finance is the blood of business’ and she was impressed by Deakin’s high ranking among Australian universities.

Now in the final trimester of her degree, she says the course has delivered her with sound teaching on the ethical and responsible finance management of individuals, organisations and businesses.

‘Australia is also one of the most progressive nations of the world and it is full of opportunities to work with some of the world’s best organisations,’ she adds.

With graduation in sight, Sanjana is looking forward to pursuing a career in finance, banking or management and says she’s grateful for the skills and knowledge she’s gained at Deakin.

‘I would like to thank Deakin University for the opportunity that led to this award – also to Hanoi Business School for a great welcome and hospitality and to Bao Viet Life for creating a wonderful and supportive work environment. I would also like to convey great thanks to my Deakin mentors Dr Achinto Roy and Dr Huong Le who encouraged me and my fellow students to perform at our best throughout the program.’

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