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Campus News : July 2011
12 Campus News July 2011 University of Wollongong www.uow.edu.au Alumni graduates of our university... More than 100 guests attended the inaugural Singapore UOW Alumni Reception at the InterContinental Hotel in April. The networking event was organised to celebrate UOW graduates living and working in Singapore and to mark the University's 60th anniversary. Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerard Sutton recorded a message to all UOW alumni living in Singapore thanking them for their ongoing engagement, and urging them to get involved in the range of 60th anniversary events taking place during 2011. Over 100 guests attended the Singapore Chapter celebrates connection function, including the Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, Doug Chester, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) and MC for the evening Professor Joe Chicharo, representatives from UOW's partner institutions Singapore Institute of Management CEO Kwok Cheong Lee and PSB Academy CEO Steve Lai. UOW Arts graduate and founder and CEO of the IndoChine hospitality empire Michael Ma was guest speaker. Singapore Alumni Chapter president Chandroo Methani commented: "Each graduate has done something different since leaving the university but there is always that common thread that links us. The University of Wollongong is a huge part of our lives and it is wonderful to come together this evening and reminisce about old times." Professor Chicharo reflected on the importance of maintaining engagement with the University. "The time our Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Joe Chicharo (centre) with Singapore Alumni Chapter members (from left): Maurice Tan, Sylvia Lay Kim Oo, Michelle Lee, Siti Hawa Bee Shaik Farid, Chandroo Methani (president) and Hasman Aziz. graduates spend at UOW shapes them for their professional lives and also puts them in contact with people who will potentially be their colleagues in later life," he said. "As a graduate myself I understand the importance of maintaining contact with UOW through events like this." CN There are some lessons which can only be learnt from experience. For third year Commerce student Mark Jones, working as an assistant accountant for Illawarra firm Accounting Professionals has provided the real-life experience required to succeed in the industry. Jones is part of a group of seven students employed by the Shellharbour-based firm under a five year traineeship program designed to allow for a work, study and lifestyle balance. Jones said his studies at UOW had provided a strong foundation of knowledge on which to build upon with hands-on experience. "Uni provides a great theoretical background to accounting, whereas actually working in the profession gives you the hands on experience that employers are looking for," he said. "I've also developed a wide range of skills which can't be taught or learnt in the classroom such as how to deal with and work alongside clients." Mark praised the program, noting that he will have three full years of work experience under his belt when he graduates next year. "It will definitely put me out in front of students who don't have work experience," he said. "Working has also enabled me to pay off my degree each Balance key to trainee program semester so that I will graduate without a HECS/HELP debt to pay." Accounting Professionals has employed 28 young people under its traineeship program since 1996, most of them UOW students. Partner Garry Pinch said the firm believed UOW graduates posses the technical skill sets required to become high level professionals and that the role of the program was to provide opportunities and encouragement for graduates to apply such skills. "We have a large and diverse client base and all trainees are given the opportunity to work closely with our clients," he said. "Our approach to mentoring UOW undergraduates is to encourage a mindset to use their education to provide high level advice to clients about future business trends and opportunities." Mr Pinch stressed the importance of providing local students with employment opportunities. "Working and studying at the same time is a large commitment. Being able to do both locally assists with this as students are able to stay at home with their families," he said. One of the firm's biggest success stories is the promotion of two UOW graduates to the role of Partners. Angela Hales and Mark Placek began as trainees at Accounting Professionals while completing their Commerce degrees and were both promoted to Partners in 2004. Accounting Professionals has employed 17 UOW graduates through the trainee program. JB UOW trainees at Accounting Professionals (from left): Antonia Divito, Mark Jones, Teigan Van de Voorde, Ashleigh Bourke, Samantha Brown and Brendan Neall. UOW Alumni at Accounting Professionals Gary Pinch, Partner Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) 1983. Mark Placek, Partner Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) 2001. Angela Hales, Partner Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) Bachelor of Arts (Japanese) 2000. Melanie Barton, Accountant. Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) 2009 Nadia Hoang, Accountant. Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) 2008 Nick Fitzgerald, Client Manager. Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) 2000 Jacqui Carnevale, Client Manager Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting, Business Law) 2008.