Waresa’s world of possibilities.

UTS Bachelor of Business graduate, Waresa Saiara, is a busy woman. “I’ve got three jobs now, if I include being a peer helper at UTS College,” she says. “I got my first full-time job before I graduated. Right after my final exams, I started work in an exit-planning, financial evaluation firm. I still work there part-time, but after a year I was offered a very attractive opportunity at an insurance company – a graduate internal audit role. It’s all keeping me occupied and productive, so why not?”

Finding a welcome in Australia

Waresa was just 18 when she left her home in Chittagong, Bangladesh, to study in Australia. She says, “I chose it because of its diversity. I thought mixing with people from different cultures would be good for me. There’s not so much diversity in my home country, so meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds was a big change – but a good one. I found Australia very welcoming, and it was exciting to get out and be independent.”

A pathway to UTS

She had concentrated on science in high school, but Waresa was drawn towards a career in business, partly inspired by her father. “He has a business back in Bangladesh, and he’s been involved in business deals all his life. I love working with numbers,” she says. “But I had no idea what business was, and my Bangladeshi high school qualification wasn’t completely transferrable, so I chose a Diploma of Business at UTS College as my way to UTS. It also helped me understand the different areas of business.”

She remembers her experience at UTS College fondly. “I had the best time there,” she says. “I made tons of friends and I’m still in touch with all of them. And the teachers were the best part – they’re some of the best people I’ve ever met. So helpful. Even when I was getting my first graduate job, they provided recommendations for me. They were just the nicest people.”

The skills she learnt at UTS College helped Waresa reach her study goals and she still uses those skills in her professional life. She says, “I remember when I first had to write a report at UTS College. I was overwhelmed. I thought, ‘I’m just starting to understand what business is and I’m expected to write a business report?’ But the teachers there handled it so well. They took us through step-by-step, from the structure of writing a report, to referencing, sentence structures, and how to simplify it. And there were so many other resources. I could reach out to people who conducted the out-of-class sessions like English language and maths. They checked my reports and gave me tips that I still use now.”

Fast track to second year at UTS

Waresa joined second year of Bachelor of Business at UTS after successfully completing her diploma and was enjoying life on the UTS campus. “My first semester was really great,” she says. But it was 2020, and things changed quickly. “From my second semester onwards, it was all online because of the pandemic. It was stressful at first, but I think I handled it pretty well. I had to rely on myself more, and even when I couldn’t meet people in person, we could text things like, ‘Hey, how are you doing with this assignment? How far have you gone?’ Little things like that helped me a lot.”

Her majors were Accounting and Finance. “It was my dad’s dream for me to become an accountant, and I chose Finance as an additional major because I found it so fascinating at UTS College,” she says.

Graduating with a job
During the final year of her degree, Waresa kept an eye on the job market and made full use of the UTS Career Hub. “I just love them. They were so helpful with my resumes, and they gave me strategies for job searching. I hope I can pass that knowledge on to others now. Attending my graduation felt great. It was a relief to know I already had a job.” she says.

Waresa is happy at this stage of her career. She says, “Internal audit is a lot of work. It’s challenging, but I’ve got a great mentor in my manager. The way she questions things really fascinates me and I’d like to be able to think like that. I don’t think you’d ever stop learning in this role.”

Despite her busy work schedule, Waresa is also working towards her CA (Chartered Accountant accreditation). “I’m halfway through it now. I also want to get a PhD in the longer term because I’m thinking about becoming an academic one day. And I’d like to get back into working with numbers, in a role that really challenges me. There are so many options in front of me,” she says.

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