Business, Kenya, Student Stories, Study

I found a sense of belonging while at Deakin

July 1, 2021 - 4 min read

I am Joan Sifuna, studying Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in accounting at Deakin University since 2019. I am in my final year of my degree looking forward to completing my studies in October 2021.

Deakin College as my pathway to Deakin University

I decided to study at Deakin from the recommendation of my uncle, and my cousins graduated from Deakin too. I did my first year through Deakin College with a Diploma of Commerce.

Deakin College provides a better environment for international students because it has smaller class sizes. We had the chance to discuss one-on-one with our lecturers and had small group tutorials and workshops. This enabled me to form a good foundation for my studies before joining the university.

Finding a degree I love

Originally, I did not have a desire to study an accounting degree. This changed when I started at Deakin College. One of the subjects I took was Accounting for Decision Making and I really enjoyed the class. That made me realise I could turn my interest in budgeting and my saving habit into a career path.

Deakin makes learning enjoyable through its teaching methods and the lecturer’s attention paid to each student. My lecturers were willing to always support me. I also like their quick responses to questions and detailed feedback for assignments.

Transitioning to online study

I personally had to adjust to online learning. In the beginning, it was difficult to manage time with less structure in place. With time however, I have been able get a structure to help me meet my study goals.

I have also been able to enjoy learning online because I can replay recorded classes, giving me the chance to catch up on any classes that I did not have a clear understanding of or missed.

The online platform has also provided me the comfort to do my classes and complete my assignments with a lot of flexibility. Deakin also provides students with study support services, including financial support services and health services. Writing mentors who are experienced students provide personalised study support and they were very helpful during the transition to online studying.

Deakin has helped me become career-ready

I believe that Deakin has prepared me for my career through the internships I was able to do. DeakinTALENT also runs events where students, especially international students like me, are able to meet and interact with various companies that visit the campus every trimester.

“Through my degree, I received opportunities that enabled me to have hands-on experience and to build my resume so that I can get ready for the job market.”

I had the opportunity to do two group-based internships through Deakin. My first one was with the Deakin Freelancing Hub and the second one was with the Deakin Business Consulting Clinic. Because of these two internships, I was able to receive enough experience to qualify for another internship I found outside of school. I had a chance to work in a family-owned accounting firm.

Through my degree, I received opportunities that enabled me to have hands-on experience and to build my resume so that I can get ready for the job market. When I complete my studies, I will be searching for work in accounting firms here in Australia. Currently I am very interested in forensic accounting and auditing or tax accounting.

Finding a community through Deakin

Moving into a new country as an international student by myself, I had to find a way to make friends and connect with people in the community. I did this by attending the international student events through Study Geelong as well as the Afro-Australian Student Organisation where I had a chance to interact with other international students as well as local students and learned a lot about different cultures.

Eventually, I became a Study Geelong Ambassador and a Deakin Student Ambassador. Deakin’s student association gives students the opportunity to meet and interact with others through welcome events and different clubs you can join.

Study Geelong provided a great platform for international students like me through welcome events and including educational ones like a workshop for creating LinkedIn profiles and learning about my work rights as an international student, among others.

I have also been able to be a part of a community of Kenyans living in Geelong. I have been able to meet and interact with people from a similar background. It made me feel like I am not alone, and I can always talk to someone with a similar background. It has also created a great sense of community when I catch-up and just have a good time with my community.

This environment has given me a sense of belonging as well as support an understanding.

Quick links:

Learn more about Deakin College here.

Learn more about the Diploma of Commerce here.

Learn more about Online to On-Campus pathway here.

Learn more about Bachelor of Commerce here.

Learn about Deakin’s job hub here.

Find out about Study Geelong here.

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^^ 2022 Student Experience Survey, UA benchmark group Victorian universities.
# Australian Graduate Outcomes Survey 2016–2022 (GOS), Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT).

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